Personal and mental wellbeing are hot topics currently, but is looking after yourself as important as it’s made it to be? After all, past generations have lived through wars, recessions and deprivation, yet still soldiered on. Why has wellness now become a media buzz word once more? The stats are fairly clear on the topic. 56% of Americans did not go on vacation last year and a recent British study suggests that this is very detrimental to your health.
Those who looked after themselves by taking a holiday, found their blood pressure is considerably lower than those who did not go on vacation. Lower blood pressure reduces the risk of strokes and heart-related problems. In addition to holiday, the results backed up an American study of women, completed in 1991 that suggests vacation, in addition to rest, exercise and meditation, are vital for people’s health and wellbeing.
So it seems the importance of personal wellbeing has not changed, so what has? The major issue seems to be that our lifestyles have changed to such an extent, that most modern people don’t have the time to spend on themselves. It is common knowledge that it is vital to exercise, but time is a key factor preventing people spending the time on themselves that they deserve.
The fast-paced, modern way of life, rarely lends itself to happiness, health and wellbeing. The pursuit of comfort via economic means, often means we are continually stretched and tired. This has a massive knock-on effect on how we feel. In response, a number of us head to the gym in our droves, making sure after a hard day’s work we are hitting the treadmill or the weights. Whilst exercise is always a good thing, we can often neglect what is happening on the inside of our body. Here, we look at the importance of starting your journey from the inside out and ensuring you are looking after yourself within.
It is well known nowadays that what we fuel ourselves with, is the key to achieving our goals. Nutrition is as important, as exercise training for weight loss and all bodybuilders know the importance of packing in the protein after a workout. What we consume is not just important for physical benefit, there is a great deal of new research on how what we consume, can change how we feel.
The rise in plant-based has been exponential in recent years. Since 2014, it is claimed that plant-based diets have increased by 500%. This is not coincidental, especially considering how easy it is to buy and consume meat in Modern America. The truth about the meat industry is beginning to become more widely known and the serious ill effects, the regular consumption of red meat can cause. Conversely, the benefits of a plant-based diet are coming more to the fore.
Some researchers such as Dean Ornish actually suggest that a plant-based diet can reverse heart disease, caused by years of eating meat. In addition eating a lower fat, vegetarian diet will reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure which commonly increased in middle-aged Americans. As if these benefits were not enough, plant-based foods increase your fiber intake and swapping meat for low fat, veggie alternatives will also help you lose weight.
It is also important to focus on what liquids we consume too. The benefits of staying well hydrated can never be underestimated. A healthy, regular intake of water has benefits inside and out. On the inside, you help to flush out toxins and can help reduce fatigue. On the outside, drinking water keeps your skin healthy and hydrated and thus improves your complexion. A regular facial may be part of your regimen, but a steady supply of water goes hand in hand. It also promotes weight loss, boosts the immune system and can be a natural headache remedy. Also, it is free! So rather than waste money on fizzy drinks and sodas, you are better off sticking to H2O.
Also be aware of low calorie sodas too. A study by researcher, Jillian Michaels, suggests that drinking low calorie fizzy drinks may prevent weight loss in the long term. Artificial sweeteners are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle and should really be avoided if at all possible. In addition, alcohol is a no go for maintaining your wellbeing and looking after yourself. That cold, glass of wine may seem like the perfect way to end a tough day, but alcohol is a depressant and effects your whole system and its regular workings. It will ensure you put on weight, but more importantly affects the quality of your sleep. The lack of R.E.M. shut-eye, can cause you to feel deflated, anxious and tired, possibly making you want another alcoholic drink. Avoid, the cycle altogether if you can.
If you fuel your body correctly, you will begin to feel the benefits in a short space of time. Energy levels will increase, your sleep will be deeper and weight will start to drop off. However, it is also important to give the mind the correct attention as well as the body if you really want to take care of yourself properly.
Mindfulness and Meditation are proven techniques to help rest the mind and improve health. The benefits of Transcendental Meditation have been widely talked about since the 1960's. However, this can be a costly process and rather time consuming. There are many free apps available nowadays that introduce individuals to the art of mindfulness and help give you the space and time you need to rest and relax the mind. It is commonly believed that the mind rests during sleep. This however, is not always the case. For the mind to truly get the calm it needs and deserves, taking ten or twenty minutes a day could be invaluable in making you more productive and assisting your personal wellbeing.
Sometimes too, we just need someone to talk to. Whether it is to discuss issues in our life that maybe stressful or getting on top of us. Or, if we need help with the fitness regime, a consultant could be of great benefit to give you fresh ideas and provide a different perspective. Sometimes change is as good as rest, and can give us the boost we need to start feeling invigorated once again.
In a world where products and appearance are given precedence, it is important to take some time for yourself and make sure you are looking after yourself from the inside out.
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