Many of us obsess over our skin, hair and weight constantly. We want to look and feel good, but we don’t want to acknowledge the obvious: it requires us to live a healthy lifestyle. When we don’t take good care of ourselves, our bodies suffer. Even if you’re stick thin with a high metabolism, you can get high-blood pressure or other health issues if your diet isn’t right. Peep the good health checklist and have an honest conversation with yourself about how you are living.
Exercise: Going to the gym isn’t for everyone. Not only is it intimidating, many of us simply lack the time and/or the drive to get Michelle Obama arms. However, everyone needs to get physical activity into their daily routine. Walk ten minutes to the train instead of taking the bus there. Go for a short walk during your lunch break at work. If you hate working out in public, there are endless workout DVDs you can cop for the house and they cater to every fitness level imaginable. Explore the free workout videos on You Tube or turn on some music and drop it like it’s hot in the mirror for thirty minutes a day!
Diet: Are you eating right? Remember that eating very little and eating very well are not always the same thing. Skipping meals is a good way to cost yourself much needed nutrients and it slows down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Before starting vegetarian or vegan diets do your research so that you know what sort of foods you need to eat to get your daily requirements of nutrients, fats, fiber, etc. If you’re unsure, talk to a doctor about what your eating should look like.
Water: All living things need water, yet so many of us aren’t taking in enough each day. While scientists are largely split on how much we need (some say eight cups a day, others suggest one ounce per pound of body weight), the consensus is that you need to be drinking it often. Sugary drinks and chemical laden sodas can wreak havoc on your body; replace as many of them as you can with a tall glass of water, which flushes out toxins and keeps your body hydrated.
Vitamins: A balanced diet provides the body with vitamins and minerals, but it’s nearly impossible to get it all in with food alone. That’s why so many people turn to supplements to fill in the gaps. Did you know that vitamin C can increase the amount of fat you burn when you work out? Or that biotin is fab for hair growth? Are you aware of how B-12 can help your energy levels? Get cozy with the dude at GNC and step your healthy up.
Sleep: I’m not sure who came up with that whole “I can sleep when I die” nonsense, but it was probably a man, and he probably looked like the walking dead anyway. YOU, my dear, need your beauty sleep! Unsightly dark circles and puffy eyes aren’t the only burden of a sleep-deprived lifestyle. You may also be dealing with fatigue and irritability that are making your life much more difficult than it should be. Go to bed, girl!
Emotional Needs: Are you taking your issues head on and talking about them? Or are you putting school/career/family and everything else before your sanity? Do you have someone to talk to when things get rough or do you tend to keep it bottled up inside? By failing to confront your fears, pains, struggles and traumas, you can literally be making yourself sick. Even Superman got to take a break and be just a regular guy sometimes. Take a break and take some time for you!
So how did you do? Are you taking care of yourself? If you want to improve, today is always the perfect day to turn it around.
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