We’ve all done it before. We start to feel that tickle in our throat, the stuffiness in our nose, or the ache in our stomach and we look for a solution to prevent what we don’t want to go through. Whether it be calling a loved one for advice, or pulling up the computer for a quick Google search, there is an abundant cluster of practices and products aimed to combat almost every illness. Why do we wait until these symptoms hit us in the face before we start taking care of our bodies? Would it not be a lot simpler to always choose to take care of our bodies, giving them the nutrients and rest that they need to operate properly? I recently came to this realization, and now I want to share with you along with a number of simple tips that I’ve found to be effective in keeping me going strong -and yes it took a delicious sore throat and cold for me to realize.
One of the biggest factors that I feel contributes to this somewhat common behavior is the sheer fact that many of us take our bodies for granted. We stay focused on the busyness of our daily life and forget about the real vehicle that we use to do everything that we do. When we pull all-nighters to finish an assignment, or when we eat what is readily available rather then what is healthy it’s our body that takes the beating. I’m sure that if we were all able to quantify the amount of turmoil we regularly put our bodies through we would see just how much of a miracle it is that we aren’t constantly sick with something. Secondly, many of us are simply used to our bodies operating as they regularly do. They get hungry two to three times a day, require sleep for at least 5 hours and always appreciate any exercise we give them. Imagine if we actually took proper care of them. I’m sure that no matter what changes we would experience outwardly, the overall functionality and capability we would experience would undoubtedly smash what we once thought was the norm.
So what can we do? I’m sure that there are hundreds of things we could adopt, and many of them you are probably already aware of, but here are some that I’ve found to be both effective and simple to do:
TIP #1: Drink plenty of water daily
The Details: Our bodies are said to consist of anywhere from 45-75% water, so it should be no surprise that it is one of the key components to good health. The amount you are encouraged to consume daily will vary from source to source, so rather than give you a concrete amount I instead invite you to simply always choose water. Instead of succumbing to the temptation of a more ‘tasty’ alternative, save your body the hassle of having to draw the water from the mixture and instead get it more directly.
The Benefits: Aside from hydrating the body for general functionality, drinking enough water is also great for flushing out toxins within the body. Use your urine as an indicator, the more yellow the urine, the more toxins you generally carry. Aim to get your body to pee at least 1 if not 2 clear pees per day.
Added Bonus: Check your water source and do whatever is financially feasible to give yourself access to the cleanest water possible. Public water systems can contain fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceuticals and other unwanted chemicals that many existing systems can remove. The cleaner the water, the greater the benefits.
TIP #2: Take some deep full breaths throughout the day
The Details: Breath is undoubtedly the source of all life and yet so many of us don’t take the time to breath properly. Take the time to practice at least a couple of deep breaths daily. Again there are conflicting theories on an adequate amount, but I at a minimum look to take at least 2-3 deep breaths 3 times daily. These breaths exist of nothing more than a filling of the lungs, a tiny suspension and a full release of that same air.
The Benefits: Deep breathing is said to be great for releasing tension and toxins, as well as massaging the organs and assisting with digestion.
Added Bonus: If you have the time look to upgrade your deep breathing to yoga and/ or meditation, I highly recommend it. Both of these practices regularly revolve around the breath and in addition to these benefits deep breathing can have a number of other wonders for your body physically.
TIP #3: Drink a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon daily
The Details: Simply boil a mug of hot water and squeeze lemon into it based on your preferred amount.
The Benefits: Helps to coat and cleanse the throat to help prevent any form of ailment or even voice loss. The lemon also helps to boost your immune system, clear your skin and balance your pH level due to its alkaline properties.
Added Bonus: Drinking warm or room temperature beverages instead of cold is a lot less harsh on the body to process. So look to make non-chilled beverages your regular choice as much as possible.
TIP #4: Buy organic fruits and vegetables
The Details: They are becoming more and more readily available and for good reason. When purchasing fruits and vegetables opt to buy organic as often as possible. They may cost more per unit right now, but the more we make them a regular purchase the more likely we are to help drive these prices down.
The Benefits: The benefits to both fruits and vegetables are more than well documented, so why not give them to your body in their purest form. By purchasing non-organic you give your body the nutrients it longs for, rather than the ones masked in either pesticides or even genetically modified organisms.
Added Bonus: Look up which produce items are most critical to be purchased organic instead of conventionally due to their pesticide content. Most berries, leafy greens and potatoes are said to be more heavily hit, while melons, grapefruits and avocadoes are amongst those that are less hit.
TIP #5: Shampoo and condition your hair with paraben-free products
The Details: Your pores are an amazing receptacle for toxins and chemicals and those on your head are of no exception to this. So when taking the time to clean those pores choose products that don’t contain a bevy of chemicals within them –most importantly parabens. Purchase paraben free shampoo and conditioners which are both readily available and affordably priced.
The Benefits: By avoiding parabens you allow these products to simply do what they are designed to do rather then hitting you with a bunch of other unwanted things in the process of it. Parabens are known to cause hormonal issues and have even been tied to breast cancer.
Added Bonus: Look into biotin enriched products. Biotin is one of the main components our hair needs to remain both healthy and on our head. It helps to promote blood flow to the scalp, helping you keep a healthy head of natural hair for longer.
I can’t stand by any guaranteed results by adopting any of these tips, but I can say that in my own experience they have all assisted in keeping me healthy. Whether you are in perfect health right now or not, take the time to give your body the love and care it deserves and not just the problem-reaction-solution that it is used to.