Healthy Living

Exercise & Fitness
The New Art of Living explores 10 areas for you to focus on to maintain your performance at maximum level seeing you through in peak shape.

Doing the right exercise
Exercise is a great way to help you feel better while improving your overall stamina and health. The right exercise can even be fun. It is always prudent to check with your physician to get specific recommendations regarding your particular health status before you start. Exercise is much like medication; it is helpful if applied appropriately and dangerous if misused. Doing more than is right for you or doing the wrong type of exercises will only lead to soreness and frustration.

Allow your body to rest
In order for the body to recover sufficiently after training sessions it is critically important to allow time for rest and sleep. Training, and life in general, take from our bodies while rest and sleep allow for repair and recovery. Reduced rest and sleep levels will prevent this repair process resulting in fatigue and possible injury.

Eat a good diet
If the body is not sufficiently fuelled for training then performance will suffer. A sufficient amount of good quality food from a wide variety of sources should be consumed. High energy foods are best at filling up the fuel stores before and after training.

Drinking plenty of fluids
Lack of hydration is one of the reasons why a lot of sportspeople do not reach their full performance potential. If the body is not properly hydrated then it is not possible to reach your maximum performance, regardless of how much training you have done. When fluid levels are low, the body heats up and become less efficient, reducing performance efficiency and potential. You need to consume more fluids than you might think. Thirst is only a late indicator of low fluid levels. A good check of hydration levels is urine – samples should be relatively clear. If the urine is dark it may mean that hydration levels are poor.

Stay focused on your goals
One of the characteristics that separates true champions from other sportspeople is their ability to stay focused on the targets. As the time progresses keep your goals in mind so that standards are maintained and results are achieved.

Cut down on alcohol
Okay, an occasional alcoholic drink will not disrupt your training too much but drinking too much will impede recovery and affect your performance.

Keep stress under control
Normal life tends to be hectic and for beginners doing exercise is like an extra job along with their occupation. To be successful you will need excellent support from your work colleagues and family. If you are under pressure in areas outside your sport then performance levels will be affected. To avoid stress you will need to plan your schedule carefully allowing ample time for travel, work, sport and family. If you are stressed for any reason try to identify the reason for that stress and then take steps, if possible, to manage it.

Use all available recovery techniques
The body is like a machine in that it needs to be cared for. Include one stretching session per week to prevent your muscles and tendons from getting excessively tight. Hot or cold baths will speed up recovery. A massage will help to reduce unwanted physical and psychological tension.

Do something fun or creative
Doing something you really enjoy, like crafts, needlework, painting, drawing, woodworking, making a sculpture, reading fiction, comics, mystery novels, or inspirational writings, doing crossword or jigsaw puzzles, playing a game, taking some photographs, going fishing, going to a movie or other community event, or gardening.

Use your spiritual resources
Spiritual resources and making use of these resources varies from person to person. For some people it means praying, going to church, or reaching out to a member of the clergy. For others it is meditating or reading affirmations and other kinds of inspirational materials. It may include rituals and ceremonies—whatever feels right to you. Spiritual work does not necessarily occur within the bounds of an organized religion. Remember, you can be spiritual without being religious.

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