Sometimes it seems there is an awful lot to learn when you want to do your best taking care of yourself. Health information, exercise routines, injury prevention, nutrition and diet guides.
There are a few basics, though, that run the risk of getting lost in the ongoing quest for health, fitness, beauty and youth. We cover them here, in all their incredibly simple, but essential, glory.
- Get enough sleep. A whole bunch of your bodies most important processes happen while you sleep. A couple of the biggest are healing and growth. Healing doesn’t only apply to injuries or illness, either, it also means physical recovery after exercise. You literally can get stronger while you sleep.
Study after study tells us most adults thrive on 7 – 8 hours of shuteye a day. That’s the amount associated with higher levels of physical, emotional and intellectual fitness. You do better at almost everything when you’re well-rested. Sleep deprivation causes simple clumsiness or forgetfulness. When you sleep, brain chemistry may be renewed and communication with the nervous system takes place.
Besides, you know what you feel like, and what you perform like, when you’re short on sleep. And don’t forget what you look like, also. Aside from bloodshot eyes and dark circles, lack of sleep has been linked to premature wrinkling and increased production of the stress hormone cortisol, which is found in greater concentration in stores of deep body fat. Get rested!
- Drink enough water. Water is the most basic of all survival needs. If you’re alive you need water for your body to work properly. And if you’re only getting the minimum amount of water you need to survive, you’re missing out on some other important benefits. Makes sense when you realize that about half of your body weight is made up of the water in your cells, blood and organs. In fact, your blood is largely water, and carries oxygen to all the cells in your body. Cells you need to do….everything. Include move. And think.
So yes, life is sure to be better with a hydrated body. The lymphs of your immune system, which help you fight off illness, depend on water. You digest food, and produce waste that eliminates toxins from your body, with water. Great skin needs plenty of water, too. And if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking more water can help you feel fuller sooner, and help curb impulsive eating that sometimes happens when you’re thirsty and don’t even know it.
The old adage of 8/8oz. glasses a day works just fine for most people. And while water content in foods like soup or watermelon do count as a method of hydration, why not ensure you’re always hydrated with those 64 ounces of pure, clean water every day?
- Be active enough. If you’re getting to the gym 3 times a week, you might be meeting the minimum exercise guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services, which recommends the following:
Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walk or group fitness) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (cardio machines or interval training) a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. That might look like 30 minutes a day, or three 45-minute classes.
Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
Strength equipment, free weights, exercise tubing…. Pick your favorites to improve your life with better stamina, enhanced appearance, improved self-esteem, and more.
It’s pretty simple to break it down:
- Work out to clear your head, tire your body and sweat out those…
- 8 glasses of water you drank all day…. and then
- Go to bed a little earlier and get a solid 8 hours.
You’ll not only glow, you’ll know how great it feels to have all of life’s basics down pat.