#14 MGM: Listen to your Body
We are officially into December, or as I call it the craziest month of the year. My days become longer and my sleep schedule becomes out of whack with all the holiday parties, shopping, and trying to finish up some projects before 2017 begins. My normal, well-scheduled and balanced days are no more and my body starts to let me know things need to change back. However, like many others, I tend to ignore the signs and then at the beginning of the year I am paying the price.
This week I challenge you to listen to your body.
Why you should start listening to your body
Sometimes we like to think we can be invincible, but deep down we all know that is not true,as painful as it may be to admit. As our lives get chaotic we tend to ignore the signs our body gives us to slow down or give it some extra TLC. Living a healthy lifestyle encourages you to listen to your body and address the areas that might be setting you back from your full potential.
Common Signs and What it can mean
Decrease in energy levels
If you notice your energy levels have come to a decrease over the past couple of days, your diet can be a huge reason for that. Our bodies run on the energy or food we provided it with. When you don’t put gas in your car, it won’t run and that is exactly the same thing with your body and food.
Another way your energy levels can be decreased is from your diet. When we have an unbalanced diet that is filled with quick grabs here and there, we are not providing the best fuel possible. Going back to the car analogy, if your car requires premium gas and you only put in regular gas it will not run properly in the long run. Your body requires premium food like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy in order to function properly.
The best way to go about determining if you are not eating enough or it is your diet is to track your food. Don’t focus on the calories you are eating, instead look at the foods you are eating and determine what healthier alternatives there are to have a better well-balanced diet. Start small by trying to have a healthier breakfast and work from there.
Re-occurring body aches and pains
Have you been working out more or the opposite, not sticking to your normal workout routine? It’s most common to have body aches and pains when we are overworking our bodies. Our bodies require rest to repair our muscles. When we skip a rest day or work the same body group we just continue to cause harm to our bodies. Start by taking a rest day or work a different body part that you have been forgetting about.
Another way your body can be aching is from a decrease in your workout routine. When we completely forget about certain body parts, they tend to become very tight and can cause pain if nothing is done about it. Prevent this from happening by doing small stretches or exercises throughout the day that can target an area that may be causing you some pain and have neglected to work out recently.
Unable to stay awake at normal working hours
Most likely this means you need more sleep. The recommended amount of sleep is seven to nine hours a night. Now if you’re anything like me, you might laugh at that recommendation, I’m lucky if I can get more than six and a half. However, lack of sleep can cause a kink in your healthy lifestyle. Without enough sleep, your can’t function properly and your brain actually needs sleep to help you remember and learn new things. Just by going to bed an extra 15 minutes earlier every night can make a big impact on your sleep cycle. So start small, start with an extra 15 minutes and then increase the amount you are sleeping by 5-10 minutes every week or so. Note how you are feeling and the improvements you are seeing and find your healthy sleep duration that works for you.
I hear my signs, now what?
If you notice something new make note of it. From there note how long it has been going on and if there is a pattern to your signs. I find it best to write my notes into my Google Calendar. This way I can track when it started how long it may be happening and what I did that day that can be a cause. This can also be extremely beneficial if your sign ends up being something serious that requires medical attention*. Now you will have all the answers right at your fingertip when your doctor asks about your signs and symptoms.
Overall, life may be chaotic but you can still make small changes to help improve your body signs. Listen to your body this week and determine what small steps you can take to living a healthier lifestyle free of body signs.
*If you are noticing and experiencing signs that may require medical attention please see your medical provider. This post is for general purposes only and not intended to be medical advice.