There’s so much information these days about absolutely everything to do with health and wellbeing. Not to mention fitness and weight loss, you only need to google these words to find yourself lost in hundreds of thousands of references to websites, blogs, articles and the like.

Ongoing learning and self education are so important, especially in relation to our health and wellbeing which is a topic that affects us all so deeply.  The problem is, where do you start and finish? And with all the conflicting information, who do you believe?

When it comes to maintaining a healthy body and mind there are some simple steps that you can take.  It’s not rocket science, it doesn’t need to be referenced by scientific data or research, it’s really basic common sense, but for some reason we’ve forgotten some of these simple things so I thought I’d go over them.

Eat real, whole foods

You really are what you eat, the human body literally recreates every cell in the body every year. So what is your body using to do that? A packet of rice crackers with all sorts of food additives and flavour enhancing agents?  Or some organic chicken and vegetables?

Foods that are packaged, canned and processed have had all of their life giving goodness sapped out of them, in fact these foods actually require your energy to digest, rather than provide you with energy – which is what food is supposed to do.

Wherever possible, eat organic, free range plants and animals.  This is how nature intended you to eat it and your body will thank you for it.

Drink clean water, regularly

We can survive weeks without food but only a few days without water so it really is the most essential beverage known to man.  Water not only cleanses our system and keeps us hydrated, it can aid in digestion, improve energy levels, reduce cravings, reduce appetite, improve skin conditions and much more.

Unfortunately these days, tap water is “conditioned” with toxic chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride.  These chemicals then have to be processed by our poor overloaded livers so it’s best to drink filtered water at all times.

Get eight hours of sleep a night

We’ve only had electricity for the last 200 odd years, so before this time, we were all sleeping an average of 9 hours a night!  Getting to bed a few hours after sunset and waking at sunrise has been known to reduce weight, balance blood sugar levels, balance hormone levels to name just a few benefits.  Getting adequate sleep will also give you the sustained energy you need to last through the day, as well as help reduce the dark lines under your eyes and general tired appearance.

Remember to take deep breaths

I’ve mentioned how long we can survive without food and water, well it’s minutes without breath so breathing is really critical to health and wellbeing and yet it’s usually taken for granted.  Practicing taking deep breaths during the day can improve your overall stress levels which will have a knock on effect to many other functions within the body.  Taking deep breaths regularly can help with things such as digestion, assimilation, fatigue and irritability.  It’s amazing how different an annoying or upsetting situation can look after a few deep breaths.

Get out and move your body

I know you’ve heard this one a thousand times before but it’s not as bad or as hard as you think it is.  We were designed to move regularly at a relatively slow pace, not punch out a 60 minute cardio session on the stairmaster at the local gym.  Lots of walking is a great way to start and we’re designed to do it, so your body will love you for it.  Granted, there are many benefits to building muscle strength and tone so some weight training in addition to this will not only increase the metabolism but also improve overall strength and conditioning for all of your daily activities.

Choose happy thoughts

Just as our food is helping to make our bodies, so are our thoughts.  It’s easy to get bogged down in the little (and big) annoyances of life but too many of these thoughts can create a multitude of problems within the body, not to mention outside in our lives.  Just as easily as you are choosing to have a nagging negative thought, you can choose to have a more affirming positive thought and this can help to create more balance and wellbeing in our lives.  If all else fails, try smiling…..it’s hard to stay in a cranky place when you have a smile on your face, even if it’s initially forced.

Being healthy doesn’t have to be something monumentally hard, nor does it have to be something that takes hours of planning or time out of your life.  Health and wellbeing is about taking steps (sometimes even baby steps) and keeping it simple!

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