Not a lot of people truly value their bodies in the sense that they find it urgent to take care of them. Many don’t really give it much thought because they either don’t have enough motivation or they just don’t care, period.
However, we need to realize that we only have one body to manage for our entire life. If we mess it up early on, there are no spare parts or new bodies we can buy at a neighborhood store to replace the damaged one.
Why do you need to look after your body?
You may be active in taking care of your home, car, investments, collections, pets, but if you don’t put as much energy into mindfully caring for your physical health, everything else might be useless in the end. Sure, you go to our family physician for annual check-ups and visit your dentist to have your monthly prophylaxis or your wisdom teeth extracted. But maintaining physical health is more than just the medical checkups. It must be a lifestyle.
Did you notice that not everyone who was infected by the coronavirus ended up with deteriorating health? In fact, there are more people who tested positive that were asymptomatic. The ones who were badly affected were either older adults whose health was starting to wane or those who are sickly and are more prone to complications. The asymptomatic persons often had higher immunity. Strengthening the immune system for situations like COVID-19 is one of the reasons you must take care of your body.
Even if COVID-19 didn’t happen, there are a lot of chronic diseases and lifestyle-related sicknesses from which you need to protect yourself. Genes have a role to play in your physical condition. So does a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and obesity. These include:
- Heart conditions
- High blood pressure
Although you can’t always avoid diseases, the least you can do is take care of your body to increase its fighting chance against illnesses.
Three Key Areas of Physical Self-Care
Basic care for your body falls under these three key areas: food and nutrition, sleep and rest, and physical activity.
Food and Nutrition
Food and other substances you put inside your body have a direct effect on your health. Processed and junk food are high in fats, salt, and sugar, which your body doesn’t need. Avoid these types of food, or consume in moderation. Overconsumption of processed products is hazardous to your health. Diets, if done the right and healthy way, contributes significantly to a healthy body. The more you learn and understand how food and nutrition work in your body, the more you’ll see the urgency of eating healthy.
Sleep and Rest
Fact: your body cannot function fully when it is sleep-deprived. With all the rushing and chasing after things that you do, you likely try to get by on only a few hours of sleep each day. Some claim that it’s all they need. But your body has a way of recouping the energy you’ve lost from days of sleeplessness. Either you’ll find yourself being overly tired and extending your sleep, or getting sick.
After years of study and research, scientists and sleep experts confirm that rest and sleep are very important to one’s well-being. They recommend that adults get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep daily to be at optimum condition. Sleep deprivation limits our cognitive and physical functions which, at times, can be quite dangerous.
As mentioned earlier, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to different illnesses and diseases, especially those related to obesity. The lack of physical activity factors into these conditions.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of intensive workouts weekly for adults. They also recommend easing into an active lifestyle. Take things slow and build up gradually toward it. Set fitness goals for yourself and be accountable to someone who will help you achieve those goals.
Know your body and its needs, and make the necessary adjustments to eat a well-balanced diet and live a healthier lifestyle. Check-in with your physician, too, so they can give you advice about improving your health.