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March 20, 2012, 11:17 am betterhomesgardens
Give your body the attention it deserves and you’ll be rewarded tenfold. Here are simple ways to make it happen.
Your groove is in the heart, mind and body, and it’s time to shake them into a single happy-go-lucky rhythm!
1. Never skimp on sleep. It heals like nothing else.
2. Don’t smoke. You already knew that, right?
3. Go easy on alcohol. Drink in moderation.
4. Choose organic, locally grown produce.
5. Listen to your body. Is that headache really telling you that you need more caffeine, or is it saying, ‘Hey, how about a little water and a bit of down time?’
6. Stay on top of regular health screens and checks.
7. Consider supplements. A good multivitamin can help make up for shortcomings in your diet.
8. Address niggly health concerns, pronto. Don’t just hope they’ll go away.
9. Schedule regular ‘me time’ to de-stress and regroup. It could be as simple as retreating to the tub for a long soak or as indulgent as a weekend away at a spa. You choose.
10. Dress your best by only wearing clothes that help you feel wonderful. Before you leave home each day, check with yourself and ask if you like how you look. If it’s a no, change your clothes.Make it happen
While it’s true you can’t predict every outcome, there’s so much you can do to control your own health destiny and steer it in the right direction. It starts with believing that your body is, indeed, a sacred temple, worthy of worship and the utmost respect. So, how do you begin? By being an active participant in your wellbeing, rather than just a bystander!
There’s no doubt certain foods nourish and heal, while others seem hell-bent on hurting you. Overly processed foods that are high in saturated fats, salt, refined sugars, preservatives, additives and chemicals, with names you can’t pronounce, are not the good guys. Sadly, a modern Western diet typically includes way too much of all of the above.
- The Okinawan diet is nutrient dense but low in kilojoules. They consume about 30 per cent fewer kilojoules per day than most Westerners typically do. Men should aim for up to 8,900-15,800kJ a day, and 7,300-12,500kJ for women.
- Eat plenty of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon or sardines).
- Make dark, leafy greens and yellow, red and orange vegetables a regular part of your diet as they are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. Beetroot, capsicum, spinach and kale are good options.
- Cut down on the amount of meat in your diet. The Okinawans rarely eat red meat, and lean pork or poultry is eaten sparingly but never as the main player in a meal.
- A major source of protein in the Okinawan diet is soy, with isoflavones that protect against abnormal cell growth. They also commonly eat seaweed, which is rich in magnesium, lignan (a cancer-fighting phytoestrogen), iron and folate. To get more of these ingredients in your diet, try eating Japanese cuisine, with plenty of soy – in the form of tofu, miso and edamame – and dishes containing seaweed.
- Lower your intake of refined carbohydrates (white rice, white pasta and white bread), instead opting for whole grains. Try wholemeal bread, brown rice and millet.
- Fresh herbs and spices are used in many Okinawan dishes. More than just little harbingers of flavour, they possess powerful health-giving properties.
- Freshly brewed black or green tea, infused with jasmine flowers (a rich source of antioxidants) is the Okinawan drink of choice.Life lessons
Aside from their healthy diet, the Okinawans also lead active, yet relatively stress-free, lives, right into old age. Tai chi is a popular form of exercise that’s both physically and spiritually rewarding. Community, sharing and connectedness is also highly valued in Okinawan society. It’s generally observed that people who have strong social bonds have better health profiles than those who don’t.
With a strong core and good bones, you can take on the world, no matter what your age! Make a commitment to move and keep this promise to yourself.- Find activities you like to do, but regularly switch things around so you’re always working different parts of your body. This also helps stave off boredom.
- Walk, swim, dance, take a yoga class, ride a bike or get hold of a good workout DVD and tone up in the privacy of your own home. Whatever works for you, do it!'Like' us on Facebook
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