Healthy eating and exercise can do much more than trim your waistline. It can do more than help you fit into those jeans you haven’t worn for years. When you make nutrition and exercise a priority, you benefit in spades. If you’re struggling to stay motivated and make healthy choices throughout the year, the following benefits may give you the incentive you need.
1. Boost Energy
When you lead a sedentary life, you are tired and sluggish. You don’t have much energy, so you rest and feel lethargic most of the day. If you are eating junk food on top of not getting enough physical activity each day, you will feel even more tired and run down.
On the other hand, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet fuels your body and helps you maintain an adequate level of energy. When you exercise, your body gets more oxygen and nutrients to boost your energy and help your body work more efficiently. For many people, getting into a routine of regular exercise also helps them fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and get a better overall quality of sleep.
By including whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruit, and vegetables in your diet and getting regular physical exercise, you improve muscle strength, endurance, and energy levels. You have the endurance and energy to get through your day and be more productive, too.
2. Reduce Stress
Stress negatively impacts the body in many ways, including increased risk of heart disease, blood pressure, and depression. People with high levels of stress and chronic stress also often face digestion issues, muscle tension, chronic pain, fatigue, forgetfulness, irritation, and negative emotions and moods.
When you commit to eating well, you help reduce your stress levels. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids prevent spikes in the stress hormone cortisol. Vitamin C, found in many citrus fruits, also reduces these hormones and helps boost the immune system. Other healthy foods that help manage stress include nuts, spinach, and black tea.
Recovering addicts especially know how stress can negatively impact their health and well-being. In fact, stress often leads to addiction and its related health issues. That’s why good nutrition is so important for people who are in addiction treatment. A healthy diet aids addiction treatment because healthy food helps rid the body of toxins from substance abuse and rebuilds nutrients in people who lacked a balanced diet while in the throes of addiction. Proper nutrition also helps keep stress at bay for recovering addicts and aids in good decision-making processes to help them avoid a relapse.
3. Alleviate Anxiety
People who deal with anxiety frequently search for ways to relieve it. The good news is the answer may be as close as your running shoes because exercise is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. Many people know that exercise can improve your mood and make you feel better overall. In addition, exercise has just as many positive effects on people with anxiety disorders.
Here are some ways to reduce anxiety:
- Going for a brisk walk
- Taking your dog out for a jog
- Hopping on the treadmill
- Practicing yoga
- Attending a moderately intensive aerobics class (maybe with a friend)
- An acupuncture session
If you are someone who loves water, swimming is the perfect exercise to relieve anxiety. Swimming gives you a full workout while keeping the impact on your joints to a minimum. When you exercise in the pool, your muscles get resistance from the water. Plus, this all can be done without the need to pound the pavement for a traditional run.
If you make eating well and getting fit a priority throughout the year, you will reap the benefits. Enjoy an increased level of energy, better sleep, reduced stress, and lower levels of anxiety when you make healthy eating and fitness a part of your daily routine.
If you are looking to embark on your journey towards healthy living and would like to find out if you are a candidate for our therapy we would like to meet you. To schedule an appointment with our San Francisco Acupuncturist, please call 415–415–1115 or book an appointment online.
Also published on Medium.