CHOOSING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Regular exercise is a key component of good health. Sure, with the pressures of modern day living it can be difficult to take the time out to engage in physical activity, but exercise helps your mind and body in so many ways. Not only can it help you to lose weight and tone muscle, but it can also increase your energy levels and release endorphins and other “feel-good” chemicals that can help stabilise and even improve your mood.
Strength and weight-bearing exercises such as running, jumping and walking can even help to stave off osteoporosis (weakening of the bones). Regular physical activity also makes it more likely that you will avoid diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Of course, for those who already have these diseases, they will no doubt be easier to manage going forward if exercise is made a routine part of life.
Of course, before starting any exercise programme, it is important to check with your physician.
A balanced diet is, broadly speaking, one that includes a variety of foods from all of the major food groups, in balanced amounts. Of course, the precise nature of a balanced diet will vary from individual to individual, according to their specific body type, needs and lifestyle. For example, whether they are vegetarian or vegan, whether they have unusually high demands on their energy levels and whether they have any food allergies or intolerances (such as to gluten or dairy).
Eating a balanced diet will make it easier to meet your daily vitamin, mineral and other nutrient requirements, particularly if you choose to incorporate particularly nutrient-dense foods (sometimes referred to as "superfoods"), such as living foods that are high in beneficial enzymes.
It will also promote your overall health and well-being, helping you to look and feel your best. When combined with regular physical activity, a balanced diet can help prevent conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Pure drinking water
Drinking a sufficient amount of water on a daily basis is an incredibly important aspect of maintaining your health. Through activities of daily living, the average person loses about 3-4 liters of fluid a day in sweat, urine, exhaled air and bowel movements. This must be replaced by the liquids we drink and the foods we eat. But just how pure is the water we are drinking from our taps?
Did you know that elements of heavy metals, salts and even chemicals are all present in tap water? For example, chlorine is added to control bacteria levels. Studies have shown that chlorinated water can:
- act as a skin irritant and may be associated with eczema
- generate free radicals in the body
- destroy polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E in the body
- destroy much of our beneficial intestinal flora, making us more susceptible to digestive upsets.
When chlorine mixes with organic compounds in the water (such as leaves and dirt in the pipes), it forms chemicals called trihalomethanes - chloroform is one of these chemicals. They are known to be carcinogenic and are stored in the fatty tissues of our bodies.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! Our drinking water also contains lead (e.g. from underground pipes), bacteria (which can live and multiply in pipelines) and nitrates (that usually enter the water supply from pesticides that have contaminated ground water). Therefore, drinking pure / filtered water whenever possible is preferable for optimal health.
Our bodies are continually being exposed to toxins, whether from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink or the products that we use on a daily basis. This can place significant strain on our bodies, which are constantly trying to remove these toxins.
Most of the time, our bodies’ detoxification systems (e.g. the liver, the digestive system, the skin, the lungs, the urinary system, the lymphatic system etc) are able to cope with the level of toxins in our bodies. However, in some cases the toxic build-up becomes too high, particularly if nutritional requirements are not being met. Therefore, an occasional body cleanse and detox programme can offer the body’s detoxification systems a little support.
Unfortunately, in this modern age, farming and food processing methods, transporting food items over long distances, long shelf-lives and heating methods (to name but a few factors) mean that the food we eat is often depleted of vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and other important nutrients. For example:
- Processed bottled juices can last for up to 2 years. Once cold pressed, fresh juice is pasteurised or heat treated. This heating process is known to destroy many nutrients, as well as the naturally occurring enzymes within the fruit and vegetables, and changes the pH from alkaline to acid. Most antioxidants are heat sensitive and can reduce by 15% each time a juice is heated. It is therefore preferable to drink freshly squeezed juice, whenever possible.
- Our diets don't contain as much living and raw food as they once did and modern food processing techniques and cooking destroy nearly 100% of the enzymes naturally present in whole foods. Even raw food doesn't contain as many enzymes as it once did, due to environmental factors, depleted soil and preservation techniques. You might be surprised to learn that cooking food destroys about half of the protein content and around 60% of vitamins!
These are just two of many reasons why you may not be getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need. Food supplements can offer a quick and helpful way of giving your body additional support generally, or in order to achieve a particular health goal.