Having a healthy body is so important. There are so many campaigns running right now with a Love Your Body theme, and I adore them. I think these campaigns are providing many women and men with the courage and ability to feel comfortable in their own skin, regardless of shape, size, color, or ability.
Our bodies are a beautiful thing, and we should always be grateful for them. Yes, loving the way your body looks is crucial, but loving the way your body works is important too. The way in which our bodies function, move, and thrive is miraculous.
Think about it: our bodies are so complex, and can accomplish so much. From digesting food, to fighting off colds, to being able to chew and swallow, to running, jumping, stretching, and engaging in all the activities we love. They are just spectacular.
Due to working in the medical field, I have grown to appreciate my body more and more each day. I feel that as a young, spry person, I have taken my health and wellness for granted. Luckily, I have pulled away from this ideology and now truly value both the simple and complex things that my body can do.
It can be difficult to appreciate the “simple” things our body does like breathing, mobilizing limbs, or having our hearts beat into our chests, because those things seem so normal. Isn’t crazy to think that our lungs remember to breathe all on their own. It’s an automatic function, and it’s part of this beautiful system that keep us alive.
This system, however, is very intricate, and it can fall apart in an instant…
Having to watch patients struggle with the essentials of staying alive, such as breathing, has helped me see how important it is to take care of my body. I want to be healthy, I want to be strong, I want to appreciate my body each and every day. And I definitely want to dance the funky-chicken at my 97th birthday celebration.
I want to live. I want to thrive. And I want to experience all the joys of life while at my best health.
Here are the ways in which you can best care for your body:
1. Stop taking your health for granted
As mentioned above, we take these “simple” functions for granted, but they keep us up and running. Every single part of your body has a purpose, and you should value and cherish that no matter what. Love your body for what it looks like, and for what it can do.
2. Eat well
Although this doesn’t mean that you always need to eat all organic, grass-fed food (although that would be ideal), energize your body with healthy food that has adequate nutrients. Eat fresh food. Cook at home so you know what ingredients are going into your body. Have a fridge packed full of veggies, fruits, yogurt, nuts, etc. Nourish your body, and it will work even harder for you.
3. Limit sugars and processed foods
This includes soda. Yes, I love that delicious bubbly too, but it’s really not the greatest thing for your body. Sugars are empty calories and have little to no health benefits.
Processed foods also contain lots of sodium, and typically have a ton of preservatives. Man-made chemicals are exactly that, man-made. Try to consume foods that are produced by the earth.
Whether it’s every day or once a week, exercise. Allow your body to feel good and strong. Exercise is also great for your mental wellness, as it increases serotonin levels in the brain and can elevate your mood. Make sure to do something you enjoy. Running on a treadmill at the gym is not fun for me, so I go for a run outside instead. Again, whatever it may be, have fun!
5. Limit substance use
Hey, a cocktail or glass of wine now and then is totally fine. But remember that too much of anything isn’t healthy, especially alcohol or other drugs. While you may enjoy using recreationally, make sure that using doesn’t start to affect your health and/or ability to function and participate in daily tasks. If you happen to find that this is the case, for you or a friend, there are plenty of ways to get help.
6. Love your body
If you mentally love your body, you will have more reasons to care for your body. Each and every single person has been blessed with the body they were given. Yes, it’s a blessing. Love yourself, love your healthy body, and be comfortable in the skin that you’re in. The happier you are within yourself, the better care you can take of yourself.
YOU. ARE. PERFECT. JUST. THE. WAY. YOU. ARE.
7. Respect your body
Try not to put yourself down in front of others, or even when you’re alone. Remember that your body is a gift, and it provides you with a safe home. Both body and mind should be connected, so if you struggle with self-esteem, try to say three positive things about yourself each morning. Positive affirmations will help you mentally connect to your body, and also help you accept your body. Aim for a well-rounded love of your body and mind. You are worth it.
Ever have a health scare? Check out some tips on how to cope here.