The How-Tos for Improving Health and Well-Being
We all want to find ways to make ourselves feel better both on the inside and the outside of our bodies. With the busy world we all live in, it can be hard to find time to do this, and sometimes, find the energy to do this. I am here to tell you that feeling better can be accomplished in four ways….and all of these ways will also help to keep our energy levels high and increase our metabolic rate even at rest.
The first way is through proper nutrition
Proper nutrition requires a good balance of macronutrients-proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein is the most important of the macros, especially when trying to lose weight and/or maintain muscle mass. It helps to build and repair muscles and bones, reduces appetite/food cravings, improves mood and sleep, and helps to increase the metabolic rate as our bodies burn more calories trying to break down the protein foods in our bodies. Lean proteins such as skinless chicken breast, turkey, fish, salmon, and eggs are the best protein sources. Most of us love our carbohydrates, and rightfully so as they normally taste good and can sometimes give us an endorphin effect. However, we need to watch the KIND of carbs that we consume. Focusing on complex carbs such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains is crucial to our overall health because they provide rich sources of fiber and nutrients and help to satisfy our hunger while aiding in weight loss/maintenance. We should avoid simple carbs as these add sugar to our diet and do not provide much nutrition at all. Lastly, our healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are all essential for hormone production/function, cell division regulation, and keeping us insulated. And we need not forget about water. Our bodies require at least half of our body weight in ounces per day to ensure proper hydration and body functioning. Eating healthy and proper hydration helps us feel better about ourselves because our weight is better maintained and our energy level is increased.
The second way is with consistent exercise
I emphasize the word consistent because this is what the body needs to maintain weight, muscle mass/tone, and keep the cardiovascular system healthy. We feel stronger and more confident when we have muscle tone/strength. However, we cannot exercise once in a while and expect to see results in the body. We need to get at least 3-4 days of at least 30 minutes or more per session. A good mix of cardio, core, weight training, and flexibility are all recommended. Depending on our exercise experience, we need to continually challenge ourselves too by trying new types of exercise and/or increasing our workload and working on different muscle groups each day. As we continue to consistently exercise, our muscles tone and grow and this growth activity is what increases the metabolic rate, even at rest. Exercise also reveals endorphins which are the hormones that make us feel good. A good sweat can do wonders for the body!
The third way that we promote our health and well-being is with adequate sleep
We all know that we feel better after a good night’s rest. Adequate sleep (7 to 9 hours per night) helps our cognitive ability, emotional stability, and immune system, and even helps to stabilize our weight. Did you know chronic sleep deprivation can potentially cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and/or stroke? In addition, poor sleep is another risk factor for becoming overweight and obese. And of course can make you feel too tired to exercise.
The fourth way to improve our health and well-being is by minimizing stress
Easier said than done in our busy worlds, right? We all have everyday stressors- jobs, school, housework, parenting, taking care of elderly parents… the list goes on and on. It seems like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything that we think that we need to. Prolonged stress can cause excess anxiety, depression, sleep problems, digestive issues, and even weight gain. So how do we combat stress? My first suggestion is to be organized-make a daily list of things that have to get done, what you will eat, when you will exercise, etc. Having a daily plan can help minimize stress. Another way is by following my prior three ways to improve health and well-being- proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. When we are emotionally stressed, journaling can help us.
The last way is by meditation and/or prayer.
We all need quiet time to reflect on our days and connect with our inner selves.
About The Author
Kim Dzurinda is a Well Me Right Wellness Expert. She has a Bachelor's degree in Fitness Management and Nutrition. She has her Personal Trainer certification along with a Barre/Boot Camp teaching certification. Kim has trained many different types of clients in a training facility and has also done in-house training. Kim currently works as a Nutrition Coach whereby she sets up and monitors clients' macros on a weekly basis.
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