Have you been spending a bit too much time on the couch lately? Inertia begets inertia. The side effects of a sedentary lifestyle include lethargy, high blood pressure, bloating, onset diabetes and potential weight gain. If you don’t use your muscles, they atrophy; this includes your brain. It’s no doubt you are over whelmed with the constant blare of health and fitness advice blaring from nearly every major media outlet. While the way our bodies function has not changes, scientific research has exploded on heath, exercise and diet. It can seem confusing and daunting to decipher the extreme from the useful. Follow these back to basics recommendations from the health professionals to jump start your total body wellness program. Total body wellness is comprised of three basic tenants: exercise, mindful eating and strong relationships. Nail these and you’ll set yourself up for a long, healthy and active life. There’s no time like the present to get started.
The first step is to actually take steps. Make a commitment to spend at least thirty minutes each day moving. Take a brisk walk, go kayaking, ride your bike, or take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and check out the awesome facilities offered by 24 Hour Fitness facilities across the nation. The side effects of consistent exercise are increased stamina, lowered blood pressure, weight loss, muscle strength and a general feeling of well-being. Don’t consider exercising to be a chore; consider it to be a thirty minute a day gift to yourself. Spend a few hours with a personal training to assess your current physical condition, work out an exercise plan and put together steps to reach your wellness goals. Alternate cardiovascular activities with weight training and muscle building and finally be sure to include stretching and exercises to increase balance and elasticity.
Don’t sabotage your new work out regime with poor eating choices. The single greatest impact you can make to your diet is the elimination of fast foodmeals and sugary sodas. Our metabolisms simply are not designed to process copious amounts of sugar and soda every day. Bloating, high blood pressure, mild depression and weight gain are just a few of the side effects of excess sugar and sodium. Opt for water spiked with lemon or lime slices, fresh vegetables and lean proteins. Quantity is just as important as quality when making mindful food choices. Vegetable servings should be roughly the size of your open palm and protein choices should be approximately the size of your fist. Avoid overly processed foods with ingredients that you can’t pronounce. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to eat healthy. Commit to spending a few hours on the weekend planning and shopping for your meals. Don’t forget to include healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts.
Finally, the third, and equally important, component of total body wellness is rich relationships. Pick up the phone and make a date to see a family member or old friend. Bury any old axes and give of yourself to grow your relationships. They will pay back in spades. Best of luck to you on your journey towards total body wellness.