Self-Esteem For Dummies
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How can you be happy and thriving if your body is sick? It’s impossible. In order to be physically vital, it’s essential to eat foods that keep you in good physical shape, exercise often, and get enough deep sleep.

To set yourself up for success and live a healthier life in your body, feelings, and mind, believe that you can do what it takes and use the resources available to you. Be persistent, and happiness will be around the corner.

Eat healthy foods

Society seems to use weight as the only indicator of health or sickness. But there’s much more to having a fit body. Many people wait until there’s some sign that their body is damaged before they start to live a healthier lifestyle. They think they’ll make changes only when their blood pressure is sky high or their joints and muscles are in pain.

It’s smarter to treat your body well to begin with so these difficulties don’t even start.

There are numerous benefits to eating well:

  • Higher energy and vitality

  • A stronger immune system to fight infections

  • An improved ability to focus and concentrate

  • Easier sleep

  • Avoidance of muscle and joint pain

  • A healthier heart

  • A stable mood

  • Less chance of disease

Get enough exercise

Exercise can do so many things. It can improve your overall health, reduce stress, help you feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, and lift your mood.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do hard labor for hours in the gym for all these wonderful benefits to occur. You can start with five- or ten-minute sessions and slowly increase the amount of time you exercise. The key is to commit to doing moderate exercise at least every other day.

Moderate exercise is defined by your breathing and the way your body feels. You breathe a little heavier than normal, but you’re not out of breath. Your body feels warmer but not exhausted or very sweaty.

You can start by doing more movement in your everyday life. Doing housework, gardening, washing the car, mowing the lawn (as long as it’s a push mower), and sweeping outside will all get your blood moving. During breaks at work, take a brisk walk around the block. When you’re shopping, park away from the store and walk quickly up to the door. If you take public transportation, get off one stop early and walk to your destination.

Go walking or jogging with friends or take a water aerobics or dance class. Play tennis with a partner or join a soccer, basketball, or volleyball team.

Sleep deeply

Sleeping has become a dilemma for many people. Over half of adults say they have problems sleeping, and prescriptions for sleeping pills number over 50 million. These medications also have unwanted side effects, such as dependence, memory loss, sleepwalking, and changes in brain chemistry.

Being able to have a restful, deep sleep is absolutely essential for the health of your immune and digestive systems, your bones and muscles, and your glands. In addition, a good night’s sleep helps reduce stress, keeps your mind clear, and boosts your mood. Even if you’re eating a great diet and exercising frequently, if you’re not sleeping well, it’s difficult to be healthy and happy.

There are many ways to naturally improve the quality of your sleep:

  • Don’t drink coffee after 2 p.m. because it stimulates your body.

  • Have the same schedule throughout the week, getting up and going to bed at approximately the same time.

  • Don’t be too hot or too cold. Research shows that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimum for most people. Use a lighter or warmer blanket and pajamas, turn on a fan or heater, and set your thermostat.

  • Don’t eat a lot of food before bed or go to bed hungry.

  • Put shades over your windows to make your room pitch black.

  • Use a sleep mask over your eyes.

  • The light emitted by devices such as televisions, computer screens, and cellphones has a short wavelength and suppresses melatonin, which is the major hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles. So don’t use your computer, television, or cellphone for one hour before going to bed because the light that is emitted may keep you awake.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

S. Renee Smith is a renowned self-esteem and branding expert, speaker, author, and resource to the media. Her expertise in personal and professional development and ability to inspire others to make positive, permanent changes has made her a sought-after consultant and speaker to Fortune 500 corporations, universities, government and nonprofit agencies, and churches. Vivian Harte has taught assertiveness skills online to over 10,000 students worldwide. She has 14 years of experience teaching in the classroom at Pima Community College and the University of Phoenix. She also hosted her own radio and television shows for many years in Colorado Springs, Minneapolis, and Tucson.

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