The health of your mind and your body is something that you want to maintain throughout your lifetime, not just once in a while. In order to do so, you must learn to understand what your body is communicating to you. Below I will discuss 5 tips for a healthier body and mind based on the book “Natural Health, Natural Medicine” by Andrew Weil, M.D., as well as from my own personal experience.
Tip #1) Listen carefully to your body and you’ll change the way you eat. In order to maintain a weight that is healthy for you, it is important to listen to when you are full. I cannot stress this enough, as it can be easy to eat well past the point of fullness if you are not paying attention. The best remedy for this is to listen to your stomach, take your time when you eat so you can gauge with more accuracy, and eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating smaller more frequent meals throughout the day will not only keep your metabolism firing, but it will ensure that you are not over eating. Do your best to choose foods that are healthy and nutritious. Your body will thank you and you will feel better as well. However, the balance in health and weight maintenance is to enjoy your food! There is no need to put yourself through agony eating something just because it’s good for you. It won’t be very good for you if you’re grossed out by the whole experience. The whole point is to enjoy your food, while at the same time making healthy choices. Have fun trying new foods you’ve never tried before, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the variety of tastes out there!
Tip #2) Minimize the unnecessary additives and chemicals in your food. There has been a rising concern with the amount of chemicals such as pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and PCBs that go into our food. Many people are concerned about how the chemicals affects our body and even the possibility of links between autism, ADHD and other disorders. In order to minimize your input of these potentially harmful chemicals, it is important to have a diet that is full of variety. It is the best way to avoid eating too much of anything that is not good for your system. My best suggestion would be to eat as much fresh food as you can, while minimizing canned or frozen food to the best of your ability and budget. I would highly recommend finding a local farmers market if you can so that you can purchase organically grown food (food that has been grown without the use of chemicals). Purchasing organic food can be very expensive, so many communities have created their own community gardens where people can grow there own food. This may be something you want to consider in your community. It is a great way for people to be more self-sufficient and it also saves money. You can also try your hand at growing your own little garden if you have the space and sunlight.
Tip #3) Learn to appreciate the simple taste of food. Often we rely too much on condiments to “improve” the taste of our food. Unfortunately these flavors take away from the enjoyment of the natural taste of whatever food we are eating. Adding condiments such as mayonnaise to your bread, dressing on your salad, butter on your corn, or whipping cream on fruit can add a huge amount of fat to your diet. I strongly suggest trying these foods without the condiments in order to learn and appreciate the pure taste of these foods. If you do put condiments on your food, try adding less, or buy a low fat alternative.
Tip #4) Exercise, relax, and enjoy yourself! Try to exercise whenever you feel the urge to do so. Don’t try and force it on yourself because it will take the enjoyment out of doing it. Find an activity that really interests you and then you’ll be able to have a great workout while having fun at the same time. Having a healthy body is just as important as having a healthy mind. In fact, and mind and body are deeply interconnected. For example; when someone is experiencing stress the body releases a hormone called cortisol, which affects the metabolism. Being stressed for long periods of time can actually make you put weight on faster since the metabolic rate is affected. Learning to relax can help you deal with stress more constructively while giving you the peace of mind to be in the moment. It can also help with the maintenance of a healthy weight. I highly recommend meditation as a means to relaxation. All you need in order to meditate is yourself and a quiet place. Let go of thought and drift in quietness. If thoughts come up, observe them, but don’t follow them. You may also want to try meditative exercises such as Tai Chi, or yoga. These types of relaxation techniques are becoming quite popular as the benefits are observed within both the mind and body.
Tip #5) Love yourself. The more you love and respect yourself, the more inclined you will be to take care of your body. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “you are what you eat”. You have to see who you are and love who you are internally so that you can appreciate the external body you are in. I often see men or women who don’t love themselves express this dislike by attempting to change their exterior body. I’m sure you have seen this too; men who go on steroids to be bigger and in their mind “better” or women who get face surgery because they are never happy with what their natural self looks like. Loving and accepting yourself go hand in hand, which also gives you the ability to reach out and love others as well. It’s impossible to love others if you don’t love yourself. This acceptance and love will shine onto everything you are and everything you do. It will also help you sustain long lasting changes in being a more relax and healthier being.
These 5 tips for a maintaining a healthy mind and body are truly effective if you really want to change and you stay consistent with the changes.