Taking care of your body will go a long way in promoting your health, your ability to be present and maintain your own rhythm.
The core principles of nutrition and hydration are fuel, energy production and optimal body functioning. If you put good fuel and water into your body, your energy level and body have the best chance of functioning optimally. Conversely, if you put bad fuel in your body, your energy level and body may not perform at peak condition.
What constitutes good fuel is a matter of common sense. Whole foods and quality protein are good fuel for the body and highly processed foods and drink with excessive sugar, fat and caffeine are poor fuel.
Every 24 hours, the body recycles 170 liters of water to maintain the normal physiological functions required for efficient brain and body tissue function, as well as for transmission of information within the body. How important is water? Your body can go without food for about a month, however it cannot go without water for more than eight to 14 days, depending upon the person— later is essential for sustaining life.
How often and how much depends upon your body’s unique needs. A good indicator of hydration is the color of your urine. If the color is light and clear, your body is effectively clearing the waste from your body. If the color is dark yellow or orange, you probably need to increase your water intake.
Sleep and rest are your body’s vehicles for regenerating and recharging itself. The amount and quality of sleep and rest you get in any given day or period of time will affect your health, productivity and performance in any activity. Often, disruptions in sleep are caused by stress and/or your nervous system being “stuck” in sympathetic or aroused mode. Being stuck may be the result of day-to-day life, situational stress or physiological happenings.
No matter what the cause, without sleep and rest, vitality is unachievable. Sleep is regulated by your body’s circadian rhythm—an internal clock that cycles every 24 hours. The best way to get optimal sleep is to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Most people have a morning or night circadian profile. Morning people generally go to bed between 9 and 11 p.m. and wake up between 5 and 7 a.m. Conversely, night people go to bed between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. and wake up between 9 and 11 a.m.
We live in a world where the expectation is to be connected and available 24/7. With this in mind, your nervous system is overwhelmed and challenged to not only keep up but also integrate the never-ending stream of information into your experience. Developing a stress reduction routine, as well as setting aside time everyday where you purposely “disconnect” from the demands, can help.
Spending time in nature. Go to a park, take a walk in the woods or hike in the mountains. Sometimes, simply stepping outside of your massage environment and taking in the sun and breathing in the fresh air helps us re-energize, even when we only have a few minutes to spare.
Do an electronic and news fast. Turn off your computer, television, radio and don’t read the newspaper or any news media. Most importantly, put your PDA, cell phone, or whatever device you use most consistently away for a day. If you’re worried about the challenge of not being connected for an entire day, start slowly, say an hour one morning. Then, try to extend the time to a full morning and work up to turning your devices off for an entire day. You’ll be surprised at how good you’ll feel and how recharged you’ll find yourself the next day.
Copyright © 2012 Sutherland-Chan Richmond Hill. All Rights Reserved.