Caring For Your Body

You only get one body in this life, so you need to look after it. Advice about caring for your body is conflicting and often confusing, hence it’s sometimes hard to know what’s best. Many people abandon any effort to take care of themselves because it’s just too difficult. But the application of a little science, and quite a lot more common sense, can go a long way to helping you to work out what’s best for you and your body.

There are  three aspects of caring for your body: rest and sleep; food, diet and nutrition; and exercise, it provides a framework for thinking about doing the right thing by your body. To read the full article go to: CaringForYourBody

A Framework for Thinking. In any aspect of caring for yourself, there are three questions to ask:

What do I want to do?

What is best for me?

What am I going to do?

The first aspect relates to your emotions: it is about how you feel, and what you want to do, whether about what you eat, when you go to sleep, or how much exercise you take.

The second applies reason to the situation, and asks what you think.

Finally, you need to balance those two aspects, and make a decision about what you actually do in any given situation.

There will be many times when what you want to do coincides perfectly with what you know you should do.

You may want to go out for a bike ride because the sun is shining, or go to bed early because you are tired.

At other times, you will find that you are very tempted to do something that you know you would be better avoiding.

You may want to eat another slice of chocolate cake, for example, or not take exercise because you are busy.

It is important to remember that you don’t always have to do the right thing.

Every now and then, it will be fine to follow your instincts and eat chocolate, or laze around in bed all day. But if you do that too often, there will be consequences. For example, if you overeat and do not take enough exercise, you are likely to end up overweight, which can lead to the development of various chronic diseases including diabetes.

By all means give yourself a break from time to time, but don’t let bad behaviour become a habit because habits are hard to break.

Rest and Sleep

Scientists have done a lot of research on rest and sleep, but we still don’t really know why we need to sleep.

We do, however, know that regular periods of rest and sleep are vital to our personal well-being. Being deprived of sleep is dangerous: it limits our ability to do things like drive, and can also make us ill.

Our pages on What is Sleep? and How to Sleep – The Importance of Sleep explain more.
Of course everyone’s needs for sleep differ slightly. Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, famously claimed to need only four hours sleep every night, and more recently, there has been almost an epidemic amongst CEOs claiming kudos for early rising.

What is important is to be aware of your personal sleep patterns, and ensure that you get enough sleep on a regular basis to function effectively.