Do you know what your body needs? It needs energy from a variety of sources. I talked about that a couple weeks ago when I started this three-part blog post. Your body also needs plenty of building materials to build and repair itself. I talked about that last week in part two. The final piece that I will talk about here is your body’s need for alternating periods of activity and rest.
People are kind of funny about the activity side. It seems that people either obsess about it by going to the gym to work out, or they ignore it altogether.
Most people ignore their body’s need for sleep. Even governments mess with your sleep. They short your kids on their sleep by having them get on the school bus at 6AM and they adjust your sleeping hours by one hour twice each year.
What your body needs to stay healthy is plenty of activity mixed with periods of quality rest and sleep. That’s what I’m talking about today.
What Your Body Needs – Physical Activity
A lot of people, both children and adults, spend a lot of their day sitting.
- They sit at desks at school or at work
- On the way to and from, they sit in seats on the bus or in the car
- Then they sit on the couch in the evening and watch TV.
Some people try to correct that by taking on massive activity at the gym. Other people don’t attempt to correct it at all.
For health purposes, what your body needs is a happy medium between those two extremes.
Why Exercise is Good for You
Your body was built for movement. You have muscles that stretch from one bone to another to allow them to move in relation to each other so that you can get from one place to another and do a lot of other things.
More important than that, your body depends on your movement to stay healthy. Your heart pumps your blood though your arteries to get nutrition and oxygen to your cells, but your veins need muscle contraction to pump your blood back to your heart.
Your muscles also pump your lymph system to remove wastes from your body.
Muscles – Use ’em or Lose ’em
It takes a lot of material and work for your body to build your muscles and your bones, so if you don’t need them, your body won’t make them. Your body will actually break them down and use them for other purposes leaving you weak and frail.
To build muscle, your body needs to take protein from your diet and break it down into the component amino acids like I talked about last time in my building materials post. Then it takes those amino acids and constructs new proteins to build muscle tissue.
Once your body builds muscle, it takes a lot of energy to maintain it, which is why people with more muscle burn more calories even at rest.
The Same Things Goes for Your Bones
It’s a similar deal for your bones. Your body has plenty of other things to do with the calcium you take in. It uses calcium to regulate your nervous system and your heart’s electrical system. It is also used to buffer acids that you consume, and most people consume way too much acidic processed food.
Your body will only go to the effort of strengthening your bones if you actually use them. And your body will only strengthen the ones that you use.
How to Get Enough Exercise
Getting exercise to keep yourself healthy isn’t that hard. You don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive equipment or get a gym membership. All you really have to do is get up and move. Take a walk, do the dishes, mow the lawn. They all involve moving. The more parts of your body that you move the better.
You can also mix in some fun things. I like to hike in the mountains. That involves a lot of walking and a little bit of climbing. We took our kids caving a couple weeks ago and they loved it. That involves, walking, crawling and a little bit of climbing. Both activities get all parts of the body involved.
What Your Body Needs – Plenty of Rest
You know that you need to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, but you might not know why sleep is important for health.
You may see sleep as a complete waste of time because there are so many other things that you could do with that time. While you may be sleeping, your body is still working very hard doing the things that it can’t do while you are active.
It is easier to repair things in a building when it is closed and work on a highway at night when there is a lot less traffic. Likewise, it is easier for your body to do maintenance when you are asleep.
If you get a full 8 hours of sleep every night, then your body has a full 8 hours to repair damage, strengthen bones and muscles that get used a lot, and file away memories and information from the day.
If you short the body on its maintenance period then some things aren’t going to get done. You will be weaker and more worn down. Nothing in your body will work as well because shortcuts had to be taken to get as much work done as possible.
Which Sleep Aid is Best?
Some people have a hard time getting to sleep at night and look to sleep aids. My favorite sleep aid is a bed and a good pillow. Actually, I use a magnetic mattress pad on top of my mattress and I have a magnetic pillow that I really like, and I sleep very well.
There are other things that you can do to help you get to sleep at night too. Make sure that it is dark and quiet. Turn off the TV at least an hour before you go to sleep and read a book to help relax your mind. Stay away from caffeine and other stimulants in the evening because they can affect you for several hours after you take them.
Get enough sleep at night and your body will thank you.
BTW, I am an affiliate for the mattress pad and pillow that I use, so I may earn a commission is you order through the linked page.
Are You Taking Care of What Your Body Needs?
Your body will work much better and allow you to do so much more when you take good care of it and give it what it needs.
Are you getting enough exercise during the day and sleep at night? Leave me a comment below and let me know how you are doing, and please share this post with your followers on social media.