Why and how it’s important to keep your body healthy and what the benefits are.
As we experience life in and through our body, it is amazing how easy it is to neglect or forget how to look after it properly. At school we learn far more about the world and the importance of getting a job than we do about our body and how to take care of it properly! But if we aren’t going to look after ourselves properly, or don’t know how to, we won’t be able to get the most out of life and retain our independence in retirement.
Whilst many aspects of life are out of our control, the health of our body is in our control. We have the freewill to chose what we ingest and expose our body to on a daily basis. Because the food and diet industry is such big business we are constantly bombarded with addictive temptations, processed foods and false advertisements. Technology may have enhanced our lives and saved us time but it has also made us a less active. Many of us battle with extremely busy life-styles and this can make it hard to find time to keep our bodies as healthy as we’d like to. Electricity allows us to stay up or work late and this means that many of us are not getting the quality or length of sleep we need for optimal immunity and metabolic function. This makes us more susceptible to illness, disease and weight-gain. Exposure to environmental stress, such as overcrowded environments and pollution also has an impact on our health. Too much physical exertion and high impact forms of sport can also cause stress to our organs and joints.
Now it may sound all doom and gloom unless we go and live on an organic desert island but the good news is that there are some simple ways we can keep our bodies healthier despite our demanding, modern lives. The benefits are that you will maintain a better quality of life, look better, increase your self-respect and feel empowered. You’ll also get far more years out of your joints and organs and hopefully spend less time in the doctor’s surgery and more time enjoying life and having fun!
5 ways to keep your body healthier:
- Eat non-processed foods 80% of the time. If you have a physical ailment or injury, reduce or remove wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy from your diet. You will still be able to get all of your vitamin, mineral and fibre requirements from other foods.
- Wear good quality footwear and shoes with cushioned soles when walking on hard surfaces such as pavements.
- Opt for the scenic route when travelling to come into less contact with pollution. Select park or country walks over town or road walks.
- Drink a lot of water and learn to love it. Only drink alcohol or fizzy drinks on special occasions. We metabolise sugars completely differently if we drink them – don’t believe the health claims many smoothies and shake manufacturers make.
- Stretch your body and spend longer stretching the areas that are tight or used on a daily basis. Even if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day and done no exercise, you still need to stretch! This will not only benefit your joints but also your heart, lungs and therefore circulation.
By Gabriella Clarke MHS MNCS (ACC)
Therapist & Coach