Helping your body to help you
When you look at your lifestyle and the way you perceive your body - there can be many issues that you face. Often, no one else will see what you see - but all that matters is that you can look in that mirror and be able to love yourself.
And the best and easiest way for you to do that comes through looking after yourself.
You don't have to be the healthiest person in the world (though it will help) or go to the gym for three hours every day, but there are things that you should be doing to help your body to help you.
The right clothing and support
Before starting any strenuous exercise regimes or cardio, you should be giving your body the physical support it needs. Obviously in sport this might be an area which is more important, but things like wearing an ill fitting bra can damage your breast tissue and injure your back - and the larger the breasts the more severe the consequences.
Go and be measured to find the right size - and apply that to a decent sports bra too.
In regards to other areas, footwear is a huge consideration; the ankles, knees and hips act as buffers for each other, so if one is damaged, the other will be two. You can help reduce that with extra absorption of the impact through insoles like Biopods.
Choose the right shoes for the occasion - like outdoor running shoes or USA made walking boots. If you choose the wrong trainer type or clothes for support, then they're not going to protect your body properly and you could do more harm than good.
If you're doing a hard workout or cardio, you'll want lightweight sports clothes so you can perform your best. Thick joggers and a hoody are not going to cut it on a treadmill and you'll be stopping before you've even got started!
Your diet has a huge effect on your body. Eating the right foods can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and will go a long way to keeping you from becoming overweight.
Whereas eating too much saturated fat or trans fats can result in unhealthy cholesterol levels, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Since high cholesterol has no symptoms, a cholesterol blood test is the only way to detect if you have it.
No matter your dietary preferences, you can gain all the protein and vitamins that you need through a wide array of vegetables and fruit - keep your diet varied to reduce the risk of falling into a repeated pattern of meals
If your body is too used to the same foods your palette quickly loses interest - so make sure you mix it up and keep trying new flavours to stop you from snacking on the bad stuff.
I highly recommend a plant based diet full of colourful fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and wholegrains. Not only is it delicious, but it's the best diet for you and you'll start feeling great once you cut all the highly processed, sugar filled junk foods out.
Obviously exercise is a huge help for your body. But you need to listen to what your body needs. Everyone has aches and pains and you should never ignore them just for the gains. If you have bad joints then try a low impact workout like yoga or swimming.
If you don't enjoy running but love a bit of cardio why not try hiking or long distance walking?
You can do exercise at home easily, and it can be a simple thing to build your own routine. Check out You Tube for free at-home workouts including strengthening and toning, yoga, zumba and just about anything you like to do.
Try a few out and see which you like most.
Exercise doesn't have to be boring, you just need to find the type that you enjoy. Check out local classes and see what nearby gyms offer. It could be the best decision you ever make.
See also: Why joining a gym with a crèche has benefited our family
Never discount your mental health as part of your body; it can be so often separated as if it's a whole other entity. Where, in fact, the basics of maintaining a healthy mind is the same as a healthy body; fuel it with the right things.
If you regularly give your mind negative things to dwell on - be that negative headlines, listening to people complain, or even look for things to complain about yourself, then your mind is going to give all of that negativity back to you.
These tips will help you stay positive:
- Read the headlines, but also read other websites which make you laugh or amuse you in an upbeat way.
- Don't surround yourself with negativity or you will become that negativity.
- Focus on self love, self care, self appreciation and choose to be a positive person.
- Fill your life with people who inspire you and make you happy.
- Always look for the good in any situation.
- Plus, remember a good diet and exercise will go a long way in improving your mental health too.