Yas! You don’t have to get a fancy, expensive membership to a bijou yoga studio or drink green juice made in a fancy press to invest in your wellness. In fact, your investment doesn’t need to be financial at all.
WARNING: This is not some quick-fix blog where I tell you to just drink water and that will change your life, although MORE water is always a top tip. You will need to commit time and energy if you want to increase your well-being, but you don’t need to drop loads of coin.
Yup, that’s right. Something you do all day everyday often without thinking is a top way to increase your energy levels and is also a powerful tool to decompress and de-stress.
As women, we’re told from a young age that the flatter our stomach is the more worth we have. This is not only massively damaging to our sense of self-worth, but also to the way our body actually functions. Deep, slow diaphragmatic breaths are the key to feeling well-balanced and centred throughout that day. However, may of us breathe vertically and shallowly into our chests to avoid that belly expansion.
You can’t argue with science and science tells us that by breathing deeply into our diaphragm we are shifting from our SNS (sympathetic nervous system) to our PSM (parasympathetic nervous system) so from our “fight flight” response to our “rest and digest” response. This simple change in focus and intention for our breath has been shown to positively affect immune function, hypertension, asthma, autonomic nervous system imbalances, and psychological or stress-related disorders (Jerath et al., 2006). 🙌🏼
Let’s start small and tune into our breath using a simple “box breath” technique. You can inhale for a count of 4 (remember to breathe into your diaphragm!), hold for 4, exhale for 4 and hold for 4. Do this five times three times a day and you will greatly reduce your stress level, increase mental focus and prepare your body to better deal with stress in the future. This very small, subtle change can result in BIG rewards for your mental and physical health.
This is another resource that is absolutely free for everyone and is truly for every body. You do not have to be a lithe white woman to do yoga. Yoga, as a physical modality will certainly get you feeling fitter and stronger. However, it is also an amazing way to increase your mental well-being too.
A short, committed yoga practice can benefit anyone. Just 30 minutes per day will help strengthen the body/mind connection, get you breathing more deeply and effectively and help to keep you feeling your best. Start with some free YouTube resources and see how you get on.
This recent study from the University of Pennsylvania found that people with major depressive disorder, for whom medication alone was not providing adequate relief, noticed a decrease in their depression and anxiety symptoms after practising Sudarshan Kriya yoga while continuing to take their medication. But those who only took medication, and did not engage in the yoga practice, saw no changes.
With over 12% of the American population over the age of 12 currently taking medication to manage their depression, perhaps adding yoga to your daily routine could yield more encouraging results.
Drink More Water
We are all just houseplants with complicated emotions! We need sunlight and water and LOTS of it!
We are made of over 60% water and our blood is 90% water! We’re essentially land-mermaids. So why is it that it’s so tough for so many of us to commit to drinking enough water in the day? Well…let’s start by figuring out what “enough” is. According to the experts, eight 8oz glasses per day will keep you and your insides plenty moist.
Medical News Today says all of these amazing benefits are available to us just by drinking that H20!
1. It lubricates the joints
Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.
2. It forms saliva and mucus
Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay.
3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body
Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
4. It boosts skin health and beauty
With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
5. It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
6. It regulates body temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. In sport.
Some scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain.
Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise. However, more research is needed into these effects.
7, The digestive system depends on it
8. It flushes body waste
Water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and feces.
9. It helps maintain blood pressure
A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
10. The airways need it
When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
11. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible
These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
12. It prevents kidney damage
The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
13. It boosts performance during exercise
Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity.
More research is needed to confirm this, but one review found that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
14. Weight loss
Water may also help with weight loss, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Preloading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
15. It reduces the chance of a hangover
When partying, unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon alternated with alcoholic drinks can help prevent overconsumption of alcohol.
See! You don’t need to drop loads of cash to start feeling better today! Start small with the breathing and build up to some downward dog. Don’t forget to hydrate and you’re well on your way to living a better, healthier life for FREE.