How to Take Care of Your Body for Mind-Body Wellness - dummies

How to Take Care of Your Body for Mind-Body Wellness

By Therese Iknoian

There are other ways you can take care of your body other than mind-body exercises, because if you take care of your body, it will take care of you. Of course, for more in-depth or individualized nutrition and lifestyle advice, you want to find other books or consult with a specialist.

Eat smart

You don’t have to become a vegetarian, shun all refined foods, eat organic, and avoid alcoholic beverages (or drink only moderately). Some people may tell you that. These lifestyle changes are your own choice. You may, however, find yourself drifting that way if you decide to deepen your mind-body practice.

Eating healthfully makes you feel better and focus better when practicing mind-body techniques. That means you need to eat a diet with low fat, high fiber, moderate protein, whole sources of carbohydrates, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Research shows that most people know what they should eat, but most don’t heed the advice. Doing so takes a bit of effort sometimes.

Eating healthfully may mean stocking up on healthy snacks to put in your briefcase, desk drawer, or even your car so that you don’t so easily succumb to vending machine munchies or fast food out of desperation. That also means drinking plenty of water, even keeping a water bottle with you so that it’s easily accessible.

Sleep well

Okay, a show of hands, please? How many of you get enough sleep most of the time? Most people feel a little sleep-deprived; doesn’t everybody at least some of the time? Sleep studies show that most of us walk around pretty sleep-needy.

Two things to note if you’re sleepy a lot:

  • You may end up just going to sleep during your deep relaxations. Doing so can prove pretty embarrassing, especially if you’re in a class or if you have a tendency to snore. You also won’t reap the benefits of a normal meditation if all you do is nap.

  • You may have a hard time finding the time and energy for your fitness routine, either traditional, mind-body, or both. Your sleepiness makes you want to just flop in a chair like a big sack of potatoes.

You probably know how much sleep you need to feel good. Try to get that amount of sleep every night so that you can actually enjoy the day, function at a productive level, and feel good about finding time for fitness.

Stand up straight (Your mama was right)

Whether you’re meditating or standing in line at the bank, if you stand up tall, you not only feel more confident, but you can also “unkink” your energy hoses. Your mama probably wasn’t thinking about your energy flow, though, when she nagged you about standing up straight.

Standing tall doesn’t mean a strained military posture, but a relaxed and spine-straight position. Your chest should be open, shoulders back and down but easily in place, your teeth unclenched (your dentist thanks you), and your head tall on your spine.

Standing straight makes you think more clearly, focus more easily, and meditate better.

Stick to a sane work schedule

This crazy world sometimes seems to encourage and bless those people who work insane hours, forgoing all time for family, fun, and freedom. Just say no. Doing so doesn’t mean becoming a slouch. It just means knowing when enough is enough, and when to go home or to take a day off.

Work isn’t a substitute for other entertainment. Go find other entertainment. Work is only one part of your life. Balance is what keeps people sane.