The human body is this amazing, super efficient, machine. The more I read about it’s functions and how the different internal systems work together to create this insanely synchronized rhythm for carrying out every process, the more I am amazed. So if the body is so efficient, why do we need to work so hard? Truth is… We DON’T! We just need to listen to what our bodies are telling us, and give it what it needs. So let’s start with the basics.
The human body needs basic necessities for survival; Energy- which comes from our diet- what we eat and drink, Exercise, and Sleep.
Energy is obtained through the food that we eat. Different foods have different nutrients, and the higher the nutritional value, the greater the energy it will yield for a greater period of time. The easiest way to make sure you are giving your body the nutrients it needs is by having a balanced diet. With a balanced diet, we can still enjoy things like pizza and ice cream occasionally, without completely throwing off the system and falling into a “couch potato” rut. You can’t stuff your face with mac and cheese or fried chicken and expect to feel good after. It just doesn’t happen. For more information and for the basics on how to balance your plate there are a variety of websites that offer information. One of my favorites, is http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ This website is like the “latest version” of what we used to rely on for a balanced diet- The Food Pyramid.
When people hear “exercise” they are either pumped up and ready to go or get completely turned off and feel like suddenly losing the weight is going to be their ‘mission impossible’. Well, let me start by telling you that research shows that diet and sleep are actually more important than exercise to maintain a healthy weight. So, you don’t need to be a body builder or marathon runner to succeed here. I always suggest to people that if you are trying to get healthy, start out by making lifestyle changes that will stick, and then if down the road you need a new challenge, change things up and go for it! So how much exercise SHOULD the average adult be getting? Research suggests that either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly. Strength training exercise should happen at least twice a week. Remember to always consult with your physician if you have any concerns, former injuries or elevated health risks prior to starting a new program.
Last but definitely not least, SLEEP! People often don’t realize just how important sleep is for the human body. Different people require different amounts of sleep, so rather than go into too much detail on this one I have included a few resources below for you to explore this need for yourself.