Your body is a machine, and like any piece of equipment, care and maintenance are important to keep it running. Exercise and good sleeping habits are essential to well-being, but what is also important is that you follow a good diet. We know that getting enough rest and working out can improve our overall health.
There is no magic cure-all for weight loss, strength, and retaining your youth, but a balanced approach of getting enough sleep, moderate exercise, and a healthy diet can take inches off your waist as well as adding years to your life.
What do we mean by good health?
Good health is about balance and moderation, not overdoing it and starving yourself.
The problem is that we want immediate results and are more concerned with how we look in the mirror than how healthy our bodies actually are. We need carbs, but many of us avoid them.
Moderate aerobic exercise is essential to lowering cortisol and stress, but we often engage in extreme activities for more immediate results or for social media posts.
Simply avoiding everything you love is not an effective strategy, but introducing leafy green vegetables and fruit, as well as lean meat without a lot of processed food for snacks, can go a long way towards giving your body what it needs.
Managing portions, especially when you go out for dinner or prepping meals for the week, can help control the caloric intake and allow you to eat most of what you crave. Crash diets and extending fasting periods often result in immediate weight gain after the regimen has ended, so making your diet part of your lifestyle is essential.
Exercise, too, must be a lifestyle choice. Scheduling vigorous walks, aerobic exercise, and resistance and strength training into your day is easier than most of us think. It doesn’t require the time and expense of joining a gym to get proper exercise; it is completely free and takes less time to go for a brisk walk after doing some isometric or resistance exercises in your home.
Regardless, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle of TV binges and never-ending work schedules is important.
Finally, though it may seem counterintuitive, we must also rest. Proper sleep patterns should be regular and include light, deep, and REM sleep. If you spend the week getting four to six hours of sleep and “sleep in” on the weekend, you are robbing your body of the benefits of following a schedule and creating the opportunity for the restorative powers of good sleep.
Similarly, resting your body between active strenuous workouts is essential for recovery and for the mindful restoration of breathwork and the calming release of stress.
There may not be a magic solution to all of the things you want to work on with regard to your body, but balancing rest, nutrition, and exercise can bring you a longer, more healthy life with the body you have right now.