Love your body!

We often hear the phrase “love your body,” but what does it mean to love and care for our bodies? It’s not just about looking a certain way or fitting into a specific size. Loving your body means taking care of it through proper health, fitness, and nutrition.  

First, let’s talk about health. Our physical health is essential to our overall well-being. It affects our ability to perform daily tasks, our mood, and even our relationships. To maintain good health, it’s essential to visit your doctor regularly, get enough sleep, manage stress, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.  

Most of us know that getting enough sleep and managing stress is detrimental to a healthy lifestyle, but why?  

Getting enough sleep is crucial because it helps to promote physical and mental health. Adequate sleep can improve energy levels, mood, concentration, memory, and overall cognitive function. It also helps to regulate hormones, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the risk of various health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Additionally, lack of sleep has been linked to increased stress, decreased productivity, and decreased quality of life.  

The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours per night. However, the amount of sleep an individual needs can vary based on age, lifestyle, gender, and overall health. It is not only the number of hours that aids your sleep but the quality of your sleep.  

Here are a few tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep:  

  • Have a good 30 minutes of ‘wind down time’ before going to bed; this may include; listening to music, reading off-screen, or meditating.  
  • Avoid using blue light screens (computers, phones, and television) 1 hour before bedtime.  
  • Try to stick to a routine and go to bed at the same time each night.  

In our modern age, our stress levels are generally elevated. We all experience stress in some way or another, whether work-related, financial worries, social anxiety, or family responsibilities. These are all stress causes, and it is impossible to eliminate them. Therefore, we recommend that you instead focus on managing your stress levels by doing the following;  

  • Exercise regularly  
  • Practice deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness  
  • Get adequate sleep  
  • Maintain a healthy diet  
  • Connect with others through social support  
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake  
  • Practice time management  
  • Try relaxation techniques such as yoga or progressive muscle relaxation  
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings  
  • Take breaks and engage in leisure activities you enjoy  

Remember that what works for one person may not work for another, so it may be helpful to experiment with different stress-management strategies to find what works best for you.  

Stress and sleep go hand in hand. Note how sleep deprivation causes an increase in stress levels. If you have elevated stress levels, you tend to sleep poorly; if you don’t focus on getting enough sleep, you tend to feel more stressed. Developing a balanced sleep routine may be the first step you need to take to better your lifestyle.  

Next, let’s talk about fitness. Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. This all sounds good on paper, but we all know that getting yourself to do physical activities regularly takes a lot of work. The best way to go about it is to have someone that holds you accountable.  

The gym is the most rewarding method of boosting your fitness level. You have the luxury of various types of equipment, professional trainers, fun classes to attend, tools to measure your progress with, and as an added bonus, you get some social interaction. 

When signing up at the MTC Dome High-Performance Training Centre, you are first guided to the Assessment Centre, where the trained professionals will do a health and fitness test. As part of your assessment, they will check your vitals, body fat percentage, core strength, and potential areas of injury. They recommend doing an assessment every 3 months to track your progress and motivate you to continue on the road to fitness.  

Once you know where you stand, the next step would be to speak to a trainer, set your goals and get your program sorted. As an ASPC-recognised High-Performance Training Centre, all trainers are required to have international certification. Knowing you are in good hands will set your mind at ease.  

If all this sounds intimidating, you could join one of the fun group classes they offer; Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Fitness Boxing, and more. Or you could use their indoor heated pool and Indoor Cycling Facilities.  

Fitness doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym every day. It can be as simple as walking, cycling, or swimming. The key is to find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your daily or weekly routine.  

Lastly, let’s talk about nutrition. What we put into our bodies directly affects our physical and mental health. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and providing our bodies with the nutrients they need to function correctly.  

It is always helpful to get a professional opinion if you need help changing your diet or need to know how to gain the most out of the nutrients you consume. You can visit 360 Physiotherapy & Rehab at the MTC Dome, where you will find our in-house dietitian.   

Rather than focusing on numbers, focus on how you feel and your body operates. Remember that our bodies are all unique, and what your body needs or how it looks and functions may not be comparable to your neighbour’s. Nonetheless, all bodies are beautiful and deserve to function at their very best authentic capabilities. The key is to listen to your body and find a balance that works for you. It’s also important to remember that weight and body shape are not the only indicators of good health. A happy gut, mind, and body are much more important than the size of your jeans.  

Getting caught up in societal pressure to look a certain way can be easy, but it’s important to remember that true beauty comes from within. Loving your body means treating it with respect and kindness and allowing yourself to take care of your body through proper health, fitness, and nutrition. It’s a journey, and there is always time to start.  

So, start today by listening to your body and finding a balance that works for you. Your body will thank you in the long run. 

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