Freedom over your health and fitness habits comes in various forms. No longer is regular physical exercise the sole path to optimal health. Instead, mental health, brain function, diet, and social inclusion play a part in your overall well-being. But for all the benefits of looking after yourself, there are also dangers everywhere. So you need to be aware of things that are damaging your body and mind and how you can limit or avoid them altogether.
Knowing Your Limits
We all have different limits, and almost everyone should start low and work towards impressive feats of exercise. You cannot begin lifting weights that are well above your skill level. You will endanger yourself and those around you. You must work with an experienced trainer to safely get where you want to be. In addition, you need to understand a post workout routine to help with issues like DOMS, low energy levels, and muscle recovery. Massage, temperature treatments, and carb and protein restoration are prime examples that will help after a session.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The sheer number of addicts out there means that you probably know someone with a severe problem by the law of averages alone. And if you do, learn from them. There are many reasons why you might turn to drugs and alcohol. But the damage you will do to both your body and mind is extreme. For instance, cannabis is considered by many to be a harmless drug. It is not. Cannabis is linked to depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Not to mention the damage of smoke inhalation on your lungs. Further, the kidney and liver damage caused by alcohol is so bad it really should be illegal.
Vaping and Smoking
Like drugs and alcohol, smoking cigarettes is immensely damaging to your body and mind. Lungs, heart, and respiratory systems all but begin to fail. In extreme cases, prolonged smoking is debilitating and will ruin your life. Strokes, heart attacks, and cardiac arrest are just some examples. And there is no guarantee you will die. Instead, you live for twenty or thirty years, constantly suffering the terrible effects of tobacco, unable to quit. And research is ongoing into vaping. Vaping machines contain addictive nicotine and, in most cases, supplement a smoker’s social interactions rather than helping them quit. Avoid like the plague.
Depression, Stress, and Anxiety
Mental health is a significant issue of our time. There are many reasons why someone may suffer. Some are genetic, others are caused by external influence, and extenuating circumstances may apply in most cases. Child abuse and victimization are examples. But although coping with depression, stress and anxiety are challenging, you can help yourself in body and mind. Simple exercises help encourage serotonin and lower cortisol. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you feel good, and cortisol makes you feel down. It may be the case you have an increased cortisol production, and more serotonin can help balance it out. There are also plenty of resources out there that you can take advantage of, like the articles on Rolling Paper, which give you help and advice for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and much more.
Consuming Refined Sugars
Your diet plays a major role in how you feel in both body and mind. You are probably aware that a healthy diet is better for you. But even though you eat less meat and more fruit and vegetables, you still feel crappy. Well, refined and processed sugars might be causing damage to your functions. Refined sugars are found in pre-packaged and processed foods like cakes, biscuits, and drinks. Made from glucose and fructose, harmful sucrose is a major problem and is in products like Coke and other major soft drinks. Refined sugars are linked to severe conditions like diabetes, depression, and excessive weight gain and should be avoided on a detox diet.
Gluten and Lactose Intolerance
You may have heard of the gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people have an intolerance that causes weight gain, bloating, diarrhea, and severe gastrointestinal issues like ulcers. You should cut gluten if you have these issues after eating pasta or bread or drinks like beer. Lactose is another common intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products that cause excessive gas buildup. Both of these can be debilitating and painful. Long-term ignorance will cause severe issues if you continue to consume them without addressing the issue by changing your diet.
You should know the importance of water in your body since you cannot live without it. Yet although constant hydration is required, one survey finds that only around 20% of Americans drink the necessary amount in the USA alone. You need to drink between 1.5 and 2.5 liters of water per day for optimal health. There are many advantages to proper hydration. At the very least, enough water helps remove harmful bacteria from your bladder, regulate blood pressure, and keep organs healthy. Fortunately, you can easily get more water into your system with reusable water bottles. Just fill it up and take it everywhere with you.
Heat vs. Cold
Working out, you know how painful and weakening it can be. Your muscles can ache, your hands can get stiff, and the pressure on joints can be unbearable. There are many ways you can reduce the effects of a stressful workout, and many use hot and cold. However, many people also use hot and cold in the wrong way. For instance, a steamy shower feels good. Still, it may only soothe muscles rather than heal them and increase inflammation. Cold showers are more effective at reducing inflammation. However, heat is also helpful. A hot bath or shower opens pores, promotes blood flow, and loosens you up – in both body and mind.
Social Media Depression
Social media-related depression is a growing concern among younger generations, and the desired lifestyle versus your real one is a significant contributor to depression. We would all like more of certain things. Money, nice things, a big house or even more friends. But the Kardashian lifestyle isn’t attainable to most of us. And you should be aware that most people who are showing off on social media actually fake a lot of what they show you. There are even production companies that help you do it. While social platforms like Facebook started with good intentions, they are misused. Try not to want someone else’s life, and focus on your own.