Health Beyond Exercise: Good Habits That Go Hand-in-Hand with Fitness Routines

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The road towards healthier living is certainly not a straight line. While any step you take towards better health is a good thing, and should be encouraged and praised, it needs to be understood that “health” is a broad concept. A person can be very athletic while still being in poor shape due to other aspects of their lifestyle. While exercise and physical fitness are indeed essential to health, let’s look at other things a person should do in conjunction with their workouts to achieve their body’s full potential.

Essential Oils and Supplements

Let’s start something that many fitness aficionados have never even considered: the importance or natural essential oils. High-performing athletes who spend hours punching heavy bags or pushing weights may balk at the idea of using young living essential oils. This is curious, since many of them are proponents of vitamins and other supplements from protein powder to fish oil, to help them reach peak performance. Just as those items target certain bodily systems and functions, so do essential oils. Their ability to wake up, cleanse, and detoxify the body and mind is on par with anything else used to build and replenish the body.

Nutrition

Along the same lines, it’s generally agreed that a person must have both a healthy diet and fitness routine to stay in shape. This becomes especially true after the age of 30. Younger people can compensate for a multitude of dietary sins by pushing their energetic, young metabolisms through more rigorous exercise. The older a person gets, the more impossible it becomes to “outrun a bad diet,” so to speak.

So, what constitutes a good diet? It’s hard to find a consensus among nutritionists and fitness enthusiasts. Most agree on two concepts. First: that lean protein, such as that found in chicken, fish, and legumes is critical to building muscle. Secondly, that too much sugar is bad. That mostly covers sugars found in desserts and junk foods, but purists will also point to higher-sugar fruits like oranges, bananas, and pineapples as culprits.

As with most fitness routines, the goal often determines the method to reach it. If you are already fit and trying to create greater muscle tone and definition, a high-protein, low sugar, low grain diet may be the key to your results. On the other hand, if you’re obese and new to exercise, portion control may be more effective than eliminating specific food groups. Are there any universal truths? It’s generally believed that eating natural foods like fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, and whole wheat grain makeup balanced diets for most people. Smoothies and salads are great sources of good nutrition, and they’re also very filling to help you avoid cravings for less healthy options.

Meditation, Relaxation and Stretching

Looking away from diet and more towards lifestyle for a moment, it’s important to acknowledge the toll our day-to-day lives can take on our health. It’s crucial to place value on unwinding, relaxing, and easing into and out of your day. This can take on many different forms. For some, it’s necessary to start the day with a strict regimen of stretching or a spoken affirmation. Others will use formal meditation methods to clear their minds in search of inner peace and clarity. Some combine these into practices like yoga. If this all sounds too cerebral or spiritual for you, take a more pragmatic approach by turning off television and smartphone screens an hour before bed, and read or relax before going to sleep without visual stimuli.

Exercise is great. Exercise is important. It is not, however, the only component of health. Use these guidelines to help create a well-rounded health routine.

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