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Your Body

Pilates Stretches

I talked about the importance of exercise and nutrition in Step 2 but it's important to mention it again.

Exercise is an important way to keep your body functioning correctly and moving well. When you exercise you get your blood pumping which helps circulation in your body and keeps your organs strong and healthy. Think of it like if you have a water fountain and you don't change its filter often. The water will get weird and gross and can ultimately damage the fountain if the grime isn't removed.

 

Your body's circulation is kind of similar, only way more important and way more delicate. Regular exercise can help prevent many diseases including heart issues, diabetes, and many cancers. This can also help your mental health by helping your brain release endorphins and other positive neurotransmitters that help with regulation.​ Regular exercise can also help you to lose or maintain a healthy weight, which also helps prevent many diseases. Another thing worth mentioning is that regular exercise can give you more energy overall.

As you can see, exercise is ridiculously good for your body. In addition to what I mentioned above, there are so many more benefits, like improving your skin, improving sleep, reducing pain, and improving your memory.

Stretching is also an incredibly important part of maintaining your physical health. It helps keep your muscles warm and limber, preventing many injuries from occurring, especially ones that come with aging. A good analogy I like to use to understand the importance of stretching is any time one needs to work with clay. If you're trying to make something with clay before warming the clay up, it can crack or break easily. But if you warm the clay up and get it to be more limber, it'll work a lot smoother and make it easier to create what you want.

Healthy Cooking
Nutrition, much like exercise, is all about optimizing your body's health. Feeding your body the correct nutrients will encourage it to function smoothly. It can help eliminate toxins, promote cell function, provide you with stable energy, strengthen your body, and more. Think of it like taking care of a plant. You want to make sure your plant is getting the right amount of water and sunshine for it to thrive. That's exactly what the goal is when being mindful with your food, helping you thrive.

Eating well can be overwhelming at first, especially because it seems like there's so much to do. But you can take the following information as more of an outline, and less of a chore. Try to:

 
  • Get plenty of fruits and vegetables. This helps with your digestion, healthy gut bacteria, and regular bowel movements. All of which help your body in eliminating toxins. Fruits and veggies also provide your body with plenty of vitamins that do lots of complex and good things for your body.
  • Switch to whole grains. Switch from processed grains to whole grains, which take longer for your body to break down, thus giving you a more steady supply of energy as opposed to sudden bursts which are shortly followed by crashes.
  • Eat plenty of protein. Your body is made up of lots of muscles, and protein helps those muscles stay strong as well as provide stable sources of energy.
  • Get some healthy fats. This may seem counterintuitive to some people, but healthy fats help promote good cell function. That's because cells are encased in fat, and having a healthy fat casing will help cells function the way they should.
  • Drink pleeenttyy of water. Our bodies are made up of mostly water, so it's important to keep that replenished. Also, more water means more opportunities to eliminate waste and replace it with healthy new supplies. Remember the water filter analogy from earlier.

This is a lot to consider when you're first starting a new journey with nutrition, so I suggest you start small with these few changes. Drink plenty of water, get more fiber, more protein, and move away from processed sugars/fats/grains.

There are some additional things you might want to consider when it comes to your new relationship with food, and that's finding which foods make you feel best. There are lots of foods that fall under the above categories, and not all of them are meant for everybody. Just like the plant we mentioned above, different plants need different amounts of sunshine and water, and different h
umans need different amounts and varieties of foods.

I suggest you keep a food journal for a few days and take note of what you eat and how it makes you feel. Include how it makes you feel physically and emotionally. I would also encourage you to take note of how many calories go along with each food item, as well as how much protein and fiber. 

Based on what you record, you might learn that there are some foods you want to eliminate or add more of. This is also a great way to find out if you have any food intolerances
Doctor Examining Patient

Doctors' appointments are important to add to your life as well. These appointments will help ensure that your body is functioning the way it should.  Your doctor will conduct basic diagnostics and checks and help you figure out any next steps that you may need to take. These could be additional specialty doctor appointments, lifestyle changes, or medications you may need.

Your doctor will also help conduct a basic mental health wellness check and refer you to someone who will help if needed.

It's recommended that you do annual checkups to make sure everything looks good.

Cat and Book

Last but not least is sleep. It's important to get plenty of quality sleep every night. Everyone has different amounts of sleep they need and different sleep schedules their bodies respond to. On average, people require 6-9 hours of sleep. Each person has a different preferred sleep time and wake-up time. Try experimenting in your free time with different sleep schedules if you're uncertain about what works best for you. Keep a sleep journal and monitor how you feel throughout the day after a certain amount of sleep.

Getting quality sleep can be difficult, especially for people with really busy lifestyles and plenty of stress. Reducing stress is a difficult process that I will touch on later, but basically, stress stops your body from working the way it needs to. It can contribute to a whole lot of health issues and poor sleep. So finding ways to reduce stress is very important.

But aside from tackling the intense topic of stress, practice good sleep hygiene. You want to train your brain that when it sees, smells, or feels certain things, then it's sleep time. Things like:

  • Keeping your bedroom cool

  • Banning electronics before bed

  • Lighting a relaxing candle or using a diffuser

  • Meditating, stretching, or listening to an audiobook

These things can help establish a routine that tells your body it's time to sleep, and hopefully provide you with more quality sleep.

Summary:

  • Daily exercise will keep your body healthy and prevent lots of health issues.

  • A diet with plenty of water, fiber, healthy fats, and protein, will help you thrive.

  • Regular doctor appointments can help make sure everything is functioning smoothly.

  • Reducing stress and getting good sleep help your body do what it needs.

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