There are an abundance of tips, tricks and secrets out there that help with all aspects of your life, especially in the health and fitness department. Better diet, better and more intense workouts, you name it, you’ve probably heard them all. Each one boasting to be better than the last. How about taking a step back, and going with the philosophy of if it ain’t broke, dont fix it? Sticking to simple but known and effective methods to getting better results in your overal health seems like a msart way to go. No gadgets and empty promises, just hard work and smart decisions. Read further for advice on everything from nutrition, mental health and better results the natural way.
Being positive can often be hard to do every single day. We all have our good days and bad days, and this is completely normal. Life is often compared to a roller coaster, and rightly so, due to the highs and lows we experience. This being said, being positive more than being negative is much better for overall health, both mentally and physically. Positivity does radiate from us whenever we express it, and those around us are better for it too. The effects of positivity really do work wonders.
Positive mental health is just as important as physical health in that without a healthy mind, our bodies can and will suffer. But as stated, we have highs and lows in life that are unavoidable, so how do we maintain positivity in our mental state and just what does that entail?
Positive Mental Health
Referred to as a state of balance, equilibrium or overall well-being, positive mental health helps us to deal with the highs and lows and the punches that life throws at us. Being able to realize our abilities, our worth and work productively on a daily basis means that our mental health is in check.
Properly handling stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle both in body and mind can drastically help reduce depression, boost work performance, increase all around productivity and even aid in other areas of our lives such as our relationships and the way in which we handle ourselves in social settings.
Mental Health Focus Areas
Health of the mind and body has been studied for centuries, some recent studies have shown that there are key areas within our lives that we should focus on in particular to obtain the most out of ourselves in the area of mental health. To keep our minds sharp so that we can in turn keep our bodies healthy, it is suggested that we concentrate on spiritual, psychological, behavioral, social, physical, nutritional, medical and environmental aspects of our lives. This chart better illustrates just what that means for each specific area. In doing so, this means approaching your health as an integrated system, rather than one or more separate parts.
Positive mental health starts with being comfortable with yourself, feeling good, expressing emotion in healthy ways, having people and avenues to release tension, stress and to confide in. All of these things and more help us along the way to positivity and to great mental health as well as physical health.
Our physical health is intimately connected to our psychological wellness as well. Research shows that our attitude affects our brain, body and emotions. incorporating attitudes into our lives that directly involve gratitude, appreciation and love can have a profound effect on our body’s health. A positive attitude should be part of our daily wellness practice. Although easier said than done, aiming to meet these goals will enhance and better all areas of our lives.
Staying hydrated is arguably the most important thing that we must do to keep our bodies at a normal balance and in their best condition. Consuming water helps everything from our immune system to our hair and skin. For decades, consuming bottled water has been touted as the best way to properly fuel the body. With absolutely no calories, total fat, cholesterol or even total carbohydrates, water is the greatest source that we can possibly put into our body to keep it running at its best. That is until the newest craze came around, touting itself as an even better way to boost and improve health, all with flavor and taste, something that plain water simply cannot offer.
This naturally occurring liquid is low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, and has more potassium in it than four bananas. Coconut water has a naturally sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from ripe, green coconuts. The majority of coconut water on the market contains on average, 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.
Better Than Plain Water?
Many people are turning to coconut water for its amazing health benefits, its flavor and its overall effect on health. Since water only hydrates, it serves a limited amount of purposes for a healthy lifestyle. Although nothing can ever replace water for hydrating and fueling the body, coconut water does in fact do much more. Because it’s filled with potassium and natural electrolytes it packs more of a punch in the benefits department. Most sports drinks on the market claiming to be a great source of energy, only do so because their drinks are filled with artificial flavoring and added sugars. The healthy, natural alternative to this is coconut water.
With this wonderful, healthy and tasty option to staying hydrated, fueling the body and pumping yourself full of good nutrients that aren’t found in water, coconut water is the way to go. There are a number of places in Downey that carry all of the different types of coconut water. If you’re looking for a great healthy alternative to plain old water, or if you’re looking to add some flavor to your daily hydration, try coconut water. Click here to see where in Downey you can find this healthy drink.
As young pups we all sit around in the classroom for circle reading time, most of which is done on the floor. We are accustomed to sitting on the floor in a cross legged position for lengthy periods of time and being comfortable in it. I however, once again, am the anomaly to this. I have absolutely awful flexibility in my hips and so my cross legged sitting has always been affected. Among other things with being non flexible is that my hamstrings and quads are tighter than the average person. I do pride myself however, on being able to touch my toes when I stretch. The reason I can do this, is due to years of sports and stretching. Without this I’m sure I’d walk like a robot everyday.
One secret is out of the bag as to how to gain even a little bit more flexibility, so what else is there for those who are out there afflicted just as I am with not so great flexibility? Better still, why is being flexible important? It’s not as if we are all sitting cross legged at our desks, and circle time is unfortunately long gone. Well, flexibility aids the joints, blood flow and helps with anyone exercising to get better results from workouts.
Stretch, Stretch & Stretch Some More
Stretching isn’t particularly fun, and most of us either do it at less than 50 percent of what we should, or just skip out on it altogether. The soreness we feel the day after a nice workout is generally due to wear and tear of muscles, but much of the pain felt with soreness can be eradicated by proper and adequate stretching. Athletes are taught from an early age to stretch before any physical activity, not just to prevent pulling of muscles but also to loosen up the joints and the muscles themselves. Getting sufficient blood flow around the body during a workout will increase the results of said workout. A good warm up is about 15 minutes, consisting of a good amount of stretching, where each stretch is held for a sufficient amount of time, roughly 30 seconds. Stretching after workouts is also beneficial, at least for a few minutes.
The Art of Stretching
Believe it or not, all stretching is not created equal. The biggest rule in any stretching however, is not to over do it. Once you reach that point of feeling a little pain, that’s where you should stop and hold. Bouncing is a big no no. Bouncing can lead to pulled or torn muscles which is precisely what stretching is done to prevent.
Dynamic stretching is done before any form of static stretching. Static stretching is the type of stretching we are all familiar with from our elementary school gym days. Done in a seated position with limited movements. Dynamic stretching on the other hand is done with motion and is meant to mimic exaggerated movements.
There are many other alternatives to increasing flexibility, yoga is one that many people turn to, as well as massage and acupuncture. Whatever the method, increasing flexibility is an important part of keeping the body healthy, especially as it ages.
With diet and exercise, just as in life and everything else we encounter on our time on this earth, there are ups and downs. I think it’s safe to say that everyone would agree that one of the major downfalls in the area of exercise is that of injury. Now, not everyone will get injured during their time in the gym, but the odds of something nagging or at least hurting are quite high. Not many people really know what to do when this occurs, do you push through the pain, do you call it quits, do you wrap it up and take pain killers for a while? Well, if you’re unsure, here are a few things you should try.
R & R
That’s right, rest and relaxation is one of the best things to do when you have sustained an injury, this being said, it’s also one of the hardest. Depending on the type of injury, rest cannot really be fully achieved. For instance, injuring a leg would be hard to completely rest unless you were in a cast; we walk every single day, even if the distance is short.
Injuries put stress on the mind and body simultaneously, sometimes we may not even be aware of it. Giving the body adequate rest will allow the body to recover faster. Proper rest periods depend on the type of injury and just how severe the injury is. Consulting with a trainer or a physician is always the best way to go, in order to understand just how long the rest period is, and how to go about it.
Easier said than done, as they say; this part of the injury process can fluctuate on a daily basis, depending on how bad you’re hurting or how the injury is affecting you. Injuries are often the reason that many people give up on their diet and exercise regimens, the long hard road to recovery can prove too difficult for some.
Stick With It!
Positive thoughts and self motivation will go a long way. If you want it bad enough you’ll take the good with the bad and continue to push through the adversity you face. As long as your outlook is more positive than negative, you will thrive in your recovery.
Other than rest, this is obviously the most important part of recovering from an injury, especially a significant one. Getting the affected body part or area back to full strength doesn’t just come over night, serious work needs to be done in order for it to be strong again and for you to be able to get back into the gym. Proper rehab is the difference between a long or short recovery, taking this part as seriously as you do your workouts will see you back to a speedy recovery. You must be willing to put in the work and the time in order to see results.
Part of any rehabilitation should also include proper alignment or assessment by a certified chiropractor. Lifting weights, moving, twisting, jerking and any other movement that is needed to exercise, should be done with full range of motion. Getting back onto the right path in order to properly perform these tasks, should be made easier in all possible ways. At The Joint our chiropractors specialize in proper rehabilitation patient care and can help guide anyone on the road to recovery with the right tools to succeed and get back into the gym in a timely fashion.
Remember to always consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.