The Secret to a Healthy Body!

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Some people are tall, some are short, some people have curvy figures, others are straight and angular, and some people are naturally thin while others are genetically programmed to hold on to fat. So just what is normal?

A normal body is a healthy body and what is healthy varies from individual to individual. A healthy body is best determined by looking at a comparison of height, weight, body fat ratio, fitness, diet and hydration. 

The Importance of a Healthy Body Image

It is important for teens to be encouraged to develop healthy attitudes toward their bodies. Teens should be taught that the ideal body is a healthy body.

All body types are beautiful. The only time teens should worry about their body is when it is unhealthy. Teens should be taught that obesity is unhealthy but not ugly. They should be reminded that skinny bodies can be unhealthy too. By focusing more on health and less on looks teens can see their bodies in a whole new light.

Recognizing Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can happen when a healthy body image is lacking. Teens are especially susceptible to developing eating disorders. If you think you or a friend may suffer from an eating disorder get professional help.

The secret to a healthy body is simple and actually not too difficult, but all the same it does take daily discipline. In addition, it doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money.

 There are five areas of focus that will keep your body in shape, healthy, flexible, and strong:

1. Aerobic Exercise. The simplest way to meet this need is walking. Walking is the one of the best exercises for your body. The wear and tear on your joints is lower than jogging. Be sure to start off slower to warm up and increase speed slowly after about 3-5 minutes. To increase the intensity, simply lengthen your stride a bit and speed up your pace. The other strategy for increasing intensity is to increase your speed for short bursts of time. (see workout below) If you prefer, jogging is also good if it doesn’t bother your knees. Just know that walking is just as good if you go fast enough. No big investment needed. All you need is your sneakers, and maybe not even that if you walk on the beach. 30 minutes per day every day has been shown to be the optimal amount of exercise. If you don’t have time all at once, the same benefits are derived even if you break it up into 3 X 10 minute or 2 X 15 minute sessions.

2. Stretching. An important age marker is your level of flexibility. Yoga is a terrific way to keep your body flexible. If you don’t have time for a full yoga session, try to make sure you do 5 minutes of stretching each day after your aerobic exercise. To ensure you get most areas of your body, try a sun salutation, some seated twists, and a hip opener.

3. Balancing. Balance, along with flexibility, is something that we lose with age. Practice this a little bit every day and you’ll be less likely to lose it. Yoga, again, is another great way to build and maintain balance. There are several yoga poses you could use to increase balance. Try one each day. A simple one you can do is to stand on one leg and grab the foot of the other leg to stretch the hamstring in the front of the thigh. As you build your balance over time try to touch your toes with your other hand while maintaining balance. It is helpful to keep your eyes focused on one point. Do this for 15-60 seconds on each leg.

4. Strength Building. You can certainly join a gym and lift weights. But another less expensive option, which is just as good, is simply using the weight of your own body for resistance.

5. Deep Breathing. This is very important and here’s why. Your lymph system relies on the contraction of muscles and breathing to move the fluids of the lymph system around the body. Why is this so important? The lymph system “has three interrelated functions: (1) removal of excess fluids from body tissues, (2) absorption of fatty acids and subsequent transport of fat, as chyle, to the circulatory system and, (3) production of immune cells.” So, how do you get your daily dose? Aerobic exercise, yoga, and/or try The Deep Breathing Exercise 2-3 times per day. Here’s how:

  • Empty your lungs completely by pulling in your stomach while you exhale.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • Hold for twice as long as it took to breathe it in.
  • Exhale for 4 times as long as it took to breath it in.
  • Do this 10 times.
  • Enjoy the rejuvenation!

Weekly Exercise Regimen

Monday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (Morning, Afternoon, Evening).
  • 30 minutes Walking at brisk pace.
  • 5-10 minutes stretching.
  • One balance pose.

Tuesday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (M,A,E).
  • 45-60 minutes Yoga.

Wednesday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (M,A,E).
  • 30 minutes walking with alternating 3 minute power bursts/3 minute moderate pace.
  • 5-10 minutes stretching.
  • One balance pose.

Thursday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (M,A,E).
  • 30-60 minutes Pilates.

Friday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (M,A,E).
  • 30 minutes walking.
  • 5-10 minutes stretching.
  • One balance pose.

Saturday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (M,A,E).
  • 30 minutes walking.
  • 20 minutes strength training.
  • 5-10 minutes stretching.
  • One balance pose.

Sunday

  • Deep Breathing Exercise (M,A,E).
  • 45-60 minutes Yoga.

Sources:

http://www.lifehack.org

http://teenadvice.about.com

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