With the amount of people telling us what is healthy and what isn’t, it can be totally confusing. One person is saying you need to eat loads of carbs to stay healthy, and the other person is saying that carbs are evil and you should have lots of fat. It doesn’t make it easy for you to decide what route to go down in terms of diet. There are, however, things you can do that are as old as time itself to help your body, exercise and sleep!
The benefits of an active lifestyle have long been talked about, from increased blood flow to improving your heart to just plain feeling better in yourself. There are many different things that people tout as a shortcut to weight loss, from special tablets that are potentially very dangerous to natural remedies like using lemon water. While squeezing lemon in a bit of water is very refreshing, lemon water is overrated and it is not as good a tool to weight loss as it was once thought to be. But when it comes to losing weight, it’s the cliché of move more and eat less. This doesn’t give you license to eat an apple and go for a 5-mile run! In fact, if you don’t eat enough, your body goes into “starvation mode.” The trick is to strike a right balance. The thing about exercise is that it doesn’t have to be the chore everyone thinks it is. If you think it’s going to be difficult, believe me, it’s going to be difficult! But by choosing an exercise that you enjoy, that is half the battle. Pick a high-intensity sport that you can play with a friend, like squash. You will get the exercise you need, plus it’s fun!
A lot of people think exercise has to be punishing and “no pain, no gain” is the best thing to do to your body. In fact, rest and recuperation are as important to building muscle or losing weight as the exercise itself, this is where sleep comes into play. The benefits of sleep are numerous, but we seem to think of sleep as a thing of weakness. A lot of people go to work on little sleep, thinking that they just need to power through. However, those people are doing a lot of damage to their bodies! Not only does your body need proper sleep to recover after a gym session so your muscles can recover (it is more important than consuming loads of protein!) but it is also good for your mind. Your brain does all of its processing during sleep, so you need to make sure that you get the right amount of sleep to feel recovered. This doesn’t mean you can sleep for 12 hours a day! Too much sleep is as dangerous as too little sleep, and if you are sleeping for an excessive amount of hours, you may need to check if you have a deficiency in a key mineral like iron.
Sleep and exercise are what we need to build our bodies properly. Combined with a good diet, you will be completely fighting fit!