There's So Much More To Good Health Than A Rigorous Workout
Don’t get me wrong. Exercise is important! Its benefits are innumerable. Sure, there are the obvious visible benefits. Regular exercise will result in a leaner, more toned, more capable body. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Aside from the aesthetic benefits regular exercise floods your brain with feel good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins. It also helps to make your body metabolise the energy we absorb as food more efficiently to ensure that less energy is wasted in fat storage. Regular strength training can make our bones, muscles and joints more dense, making us less vulnerable to mobility issues in old age and it can even trick our cells into thinking that they are younger than they actually are.
No, nobody in their right mind would question the benefits of regular exercise. However, it’s important to note that exercise is not a one-size-fits all treatment for every facet of our health. While it can do a great deal for our mental and physical wellbeing, its benefits are muted somewhat when we neglect other important aspects of our health. Here we’ll look at some oft neglected or fundamentally misunderstood elements of our health to ensure that we’re all able to take better care of our bodies now and for the rest of our lives.
Your diet… It’s not just about what you don’t eat!
It seems as though we have developed a strangely puritanical attitude towards our diet. We think about it purely in terms of what we don’t eat, what we can’t have, what we’re not allowed. While it’s certainly true that a diet of cream cakes, cheeseburgers and heavily processed junk foods can certainly do our bodies more harm than good, we need to get out of the habit of treating our diet as a joyless set of restrictions.
A healthy diet shouldn’t feel like a prison. At no point should we feel unsatisfied, frustrated or enshrouded in mental fog. A healthy diet should be joyous and satisfying, not an exercise in self-denial. For many it’s simply a matter of finding healthier alternatives to their favorite foods and finding ways to get more nourishing vegetables and fruits into their diets. These are, pound for pound the most nutrient dense foods that we can get access to and eating more fresh veggies and fruits and less of everything else is an excellent rule of thumb to stick to if you’re unsure.
That said, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that you must forever deny yourself your most beloved junk food treats. Eating healthily 80-90% of the time while still allowing yourself the occasional cheat meal will keep you on the right track and prevent cravings. Even if you do fall off the waggon, never let a bad meal or a bad day derail your hard work.
There’s more to our dental health than a gorgeous and dazzling smile (although that’s certainly one of the most attractive qualities in any man or woman and a good look on just about anyone). Your dental health is a useful microcosm of your overall health, which is why regular dental checkups are so incredibly important. Dentists are well versed in the workings of the whole body and not just the mouth, and in many cases a dentist will be the first person to spot serious health issues. Your dentist will be your first line of defense from a range of illnesses from diabetes to HIV and aids. But this is not to underestimate the importance of your tooth and gum health.
A mouth full of straight, white teeth and healthy gums doesn’t just look great, it’s a vital component of good health. If your teeth are not as straight as they could be, this is not just a cosmetic issue, so it behoves you to investigate the services from Fraserview Dentist like Invisalign treatment. Misaligned teeth can lead to poor hygiene, uneven tooth wear, jaw pain and even impaired speech. Plus, we cannot overlook the importance of being able to smile with confidence without worrying about how people will judge us for the state of our teeth.
While many of us obsess over the state of our diet, we are far less cognizant of the importance of maintaining our digestive and gut health. Our ability to digest our food is as important as the food we consume itself. If you work in a job where you spend the majority of your day sitting, this can severely impact upon your digestive health as it puts a great deal of pressure and restriction upon your digestive organs. Thus, you should aim to get out of your seat and take a walk around at least once every hour, even if it’s just a brief trip to the water cooler.
Leaky gut can have a range of ill effects on our overall health, too so it’s in our best interests to guard against it. Our digestive system is like a miniature amazon rainforest in our bellies with all kinds of flora and microbes working together for the good of our digestive health. Unfortunately, the western diet with its high concentrations of saturated fats and lack of fibre can disrupt the harmony of the gut.
Sleep- the most common sacrifice of a busy lifestyle
Sleep is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of our health and yet, curiously, it is also one of the most commonly overlooked. Understandably, in today’s fast paced and hectic world many of us lead busy lives in which we must juggle work with social and familial obligations and in many cases we even have a side hustle to co-ordinate as well. This can lead to spikes of adrenaline throughout the day which can impede healthy, natural sleep.
Unfortunately, we cannot afford to treat sleep as an optional luxury. Turning in and waking earlier, ensuring that our bedrooms are free of electronic devices and other distractions, using essential oils and candles and practicing mindfulness meditation can all contribute to your body getting the good night’s sleep it desperately needs.
So, while working hard at the gym is undoubtedly important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of these other vital aspects of your health.