We all want to feel vibrant, happy, and alive. However, in today’s fast-paced society, with so many demands on us, is it really possible to boost our vitality without taking time away to escape from everything?
Why not try these seven things that will help you immediately?
It’s widely estimated that 80 percent of people are in a constant state of dehydration, which is a shocking statistic. However, when we see what a lot of people are actually drinking, it is hardly surprising. Tea, coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks feature prominently on many people’s drink lists, and these have a largely dehydrating effect. Since the body is up to 80 percent water, our state of hydration makes all the difference for how we are going to feel at any given time. The way our brain functions is largely responsible for how we feel. If we are dehydrated, it has been shown that our brain can’t work properly. Therefore, we may feel a mental fog instead of the vitality we crave.
We lose water every day through sweating, breathing, fecal and urinary losses and our metabolism. These are losses that we don’t have any control over, for the most part. So, as you can see, for us to function properly these losses need to be rebalanced through that wonderful liquid with amazing properties – water!
Drinking municipally treated water is undesirable due to the chlorine content, which is linked to numerous health challenges including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). So filter your water, or distill it. How much should you drink? A general guide is we need half a fluid ounce of water for every pound of bodyweight. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you need to drink 70 fluid ounces of pure, clean water every day.
2. Get juicing!
Ah, juicing. Not only will it improve your hydration (even better than water on occasions, depending on the ingredients), but it is a phenomenal way of taking in lots of nutrients in a very bioavailable form. Juicing is absolutely the best way to start your day. However, some juices are better than others. By focusing on the green juices, rather than those based on sweet vegetables and fruit, you will ensure you do not knock your blood sugar off balance. That can have detrimental consequences for your vitality levels.
To start your day in the most energetic way, juice the following:
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
4 -5 sticks of celery
1 large handful of sunflower green sprouts
1 large handful of pea shoots
1 handful of wheatgrass (optional)
1-inch piece of ginger
1 clove garlic (very optional!)
This combination will help you power your way through the day. You’ll experience great benefits over time by continuing this regime.
We have a body designed to move. If we don’t move it, we won’t feel as vibrantly alive as we could. Exercise has huge benefits. It improves the circulation which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to the tissues, allowing them to function better. It boosts the levels of “happy hormones” (endorphins) in the brain, which improves our mood and makes us feel better about everything. Exercise also improves the muscle-to-fat ratio in the body, so we get into better shape. That, in turn, makes us feel sexier and better about ourselves in every way.
What is the best type of exercise? The one that you’ll actually do. So, no excuses – get more active today, and soon you’ll be feeling pretty awesome.
4. Breathe deeply
Very few people actually use their lungs to their full capacity. If your brain lacks oxygen, you won’t be mentally sharp and agile, and your vitality level will plummet. Deep breathing, which in turn oxygenates every cell of your body, is a great way to pick yourself up. However, we do need decent air. So if you are doing breathing exercises in a room that has poor air quality, you won’t get the benefits. Get outside in nature if you can, and close to trees. Breathe deeply for seven to ten breaths, seven to ten times. Repeat several times a day, if necessary, to sharpen your mental focus and feel more energized.
5. Get sufficient rest
We really can’t perform at our best if we are insufficiently rested, and experience poor quality sleep. No wonder half the nation can’t get moving in the morning without coffee as a stimulant! There are very few excuses for not getting to bed early enough. Opinion varies as to how much sleep we really need, but just bear this in mind – humans become psychotic in as little as ten days if deprived of REM sleep. Imagine that! Studies have shown that we, on average, require seven hours of undisturbed sleep. If we sleep more than nine hours a night, studies indicate the incidence of degenerative disease, and death from any cause, begins to rise. However, fewer than five hours a night gives the same results. So we want to ensure we’re somewhere in the middle.
Avoid exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic fields) in the bedroom by keeping your phone switched off, and never having a TV or computer in the room you sleep in. Make sure the room is as dark as possible to ensure adequate production of melatonin. It is the hormone that promotes restful sleep and it also has other health benefits.
Interestingly, a study of blind women in Sweden indicated they had half the level of breast cancer than in the sighted population. A higher melatonin level was given as the reason for this unusual finding. Avoid over-stimulation before bedtime, and aim to make your last meal at least three hours before you go to sleep.
6. Catch some rays
We all are warned of its dangers, but the truth is we really do need the sun. It boosts our mood, for one thing. “SAD,” or “winter depression”, really does have some science behind it. Sun exposure allows us to manufacture vitamin D3, which now is being widely recognised as the super-nutrient that most of us are lacking. It is so important that we get adequate vitamin D, and 90 percent of it comes from exposure of the skin to direct sunlight. It is poorly absorbed when taken orally. We know the old adage – “tan, don’t burn”. It is absolutely true. If you have not exposed your body to the sun since the last holiday three years ago, you absolutely have to gradually build up your exposure, particularly if you have very pale skin. But expose you must, or risk being affected by one of the growing number of disorders attributable to a lack of vitamin D.
However you choose to boost your exposure to the sun, enjoy it. And remember, the best form of sunblock is actually clothes, not chemicals. Cover up when you have had enough, and never risk burning.
7. Get connected
Were you aware that getting together with like-minded people is one of the best ways of boosting your mood and, therefore, vitality? Have you ever felt the energy of huge crowds at concerts, for example? I’m not suggesting you have to go to massive gatherings as often as possible to boost your energy levels. However, it is well known that you actually feel younger and more energetic if you are with people who feel the same way.
One study examined elderly people who were taken back to their 1950s youth by being given furniture, decor, music and newspapers from the era. Their biomarkers for aging were reduced and they became happier and more youthful. They even gained height – their postures returned to those of 20-year-olds! If you need an instant pick-me-up, why not choose one of your favourite songs from when you were a teenager, put it on at full blast and dance around the room to it? You’re pretty much guaranteed to feel instantly better and more energetic. Who knows? You’ll probably have a really good laugh in the process.
In John Robbins’ wonderful book Healthy at 100, he cites studies indicating the biggest killer of elderly people is actually loneliness, rather than smoking, as many people might think. It’s true that we do all need time on our own every so often to reflect and gather our thoughts, but don’t become a hermit. Connect with others and you will be happier and healthier, in turn bringing you greater joy, energy and vitality.
So there you have it – seven easy steps to greater vitality and, in turn, better long-term health, all of which you can implement today. Happy revitalising!