“Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”. The ‘Sunscreen’ song by Baz Luhrmann
As another Lockdown restriction is lifted, for the majority, life slowly returns to something resembling normal. Roads are busy and congested once again, mainly due to temporary traffic lights on every other street, as we hustle and bustle our way to the day job.
But this last year has taught us more than ever the value of health and healthy life choices. Whilst working and saving might provide us with a comfortable retirement, it is of little benefit if we are not healthy enough to enjoy it or live long enough to see it.
Just as the only constant in life is change, there is no hiding from the fact that as the sunsets on each day, we are one day older. However, with each passing day we have a chance to either improve or neglect our health. Think of your body as machine that requires daily care and attention. Make healthier food choices, do something every day that raises your heart rate, even if it is just walking the dog. Learn to relax and slow down. Too much stress can have a negative impact on your life, impacting on your sleep patterns and decision-making, which in turn may open the doors to caffeine and alcohol to stimulate and suppress.
To keep your body like a well-oiled machine, it is vital that it receives the proper care and attention. This is not a short-term fix, there is no magic potion, but by adopting the following key essentials and letting them form the blueprint for your life from now on in, you will in the words of Dr Spock, “live long and prosper”
Healthy food choices
What you eat has a significant impact in your energy levels and your ability to perform, fight off illness and infection and stay vibrant. You truly are what you eat.
Exercise is key to a healthy body and a healthy mind, try and find a balance between cardio, strengthening, mobilising and rest. Be gentle to your joints, show them the movement ranges they should be able to perform with ease. Be kind to your heart, it is the most important muscle you possess, it needs to be exerted, but also requires time to recover. Rest, recoup and relax, slowing down takes the pressure off you and your body’s systems. Your body will thank you and consequently, your performance will improve!
Poor sleep is linked to lack of concentration, weight gain, depression, suppressed immune system and inflammation. Whereas those who sleep well, have higher levels of concentration, perform better and overall consume fewer calories. Sleep, along with nutrition and exercise, form the foundation of optimal health. If you fail to take care of your sleep that optimum becomes significantly harder to achieve.
Prior to establishing the Personal Best, Carl Benton taught Physical Education, coached teams, and ran fitness classes for 10 years in the New Forest. Carl was also a regular contributor to Ultra Fit magazine, writing over 40 articles in collaboration with Pete Cohen.