Health fads are often just that – fads. Every few years, we hear of new diet techniques and exercises that are supposed to work overnight miracles, but the question remains – what makes us feel optimal long-term? From the Atkins diet in the early 2000s to the benefits of becoming “vegan”, to the latest craze of keto, one fact is indisputable – mind, body, and spirit all require proper nourishment to feel our best. Marketing and corporate gimmicks can trick the average consumer into believing that there is only one way to exercise and eat. The truth is, we frequently end up spending unnecessary money or we assume being “healthy” requires time that most of us don’t have. Here are some simple steps to boost your immune system, keep your waistline trim, and feel like a million bucks regardless of your age or income.
Roughly 60% of our bodies are made up of water. The brain, heart, lungs, skin, bones, muscles, and kidneys account for the majority of the H20 we are given at birth. Each person requires different water intake based on their size, age, and physical activity. Adequate hydration can boost energy levels and metabolism significantly, especially if consumed before eating and not during or immediately after. Health issues such as dry skin, acne, kidney problems, constipation, bloating, and even cancer can be reduced just by drinking the proper amount your body needs. Combining drinking regular filtered water with occasional alkaline water can help signs of aging by regulating the acid levels in your body. The molecules in pH balanced water are absorbed easier into our system. However, don’t buy into the notion that all the water you consume needs to be alkaline. Cut out all processed sugar drinks and chemical-filled sodas to avoid dehydration and unnecessary added calories. Lower sugar, natural juices such as watermelon juice, and coconut water provide electrolytes while satisfying sweet tooth cravings if you’re looking for some vitamins and flavors. Ditch the soda and substitute with naturally flavored sparkling water if you’re looking for something fizzy and carbonated.
From pilates to CrossFit, there are constant claims to create those washboard abs and buns of steel we all want. Everyone’s body type is different. We all store fat in different places and build muscle in specific areas easier than others. One fact stays true through every era that the experts don’t want you to know – simple cardio can work miracles for your entire body. Cardio burns flab, reduces strain on the heart to pump blood, strengthens your lung capacity, and decreases your risk of multiple cancers and diseases. Running outside doesn’t cost a penny, but some may argue that it is tough on the joints. If that’s the case, the elliptical machine is incredibly low impact and works your arms, abs, glutes, and legs. It’s a total body workout that doesn’t require pricey, intimidating classes and is almost foolproof when it comes to potential injuries. Don’t forget, stretching post-workout is always a must. Our muscles and ligaments are like rubber bands, so they need to be pulled regularly to avoid shock.
At one point or another, nearly all of us deal with stress or anxiety which can have an impact on our physical and mental health. The best way to reduce your chances of letting mental pressure boil out of control is meditation. When your mind clears and focuses on the breath, the body naturally relaxes. As the body relaxes, we may experience heightened states of clarity, awareness, compassion, attention span, and improved memory. The central challenge with meditating is quieting the mind, but it only takes a bit of repeated practice.
Remember to drink plenty of water, occasionally elevate your heart rate, and set aside a few minutes a day for alone calmness and breathing. These wellness steps can be available to you at little to no cost, and they don’t require an excessive amount of time and energy. When it comes to diet and exercise trends, identify what works for you as an individual rather than what popular culture tells you is right. Your body speaks if you’re willing to listen!