Oxygen, water, and sunlight are the most basic life-giving elements on this earth, without it we have no existence here, but our current lifestyles are so hectic, we seem to take it all for granted and not much thought goes into the fact that we need these elements daily to survive properly.
Our bodies are 70% water and we extract water from what we eat and drink. No doubt you heard that you should drink eight glasses of water per day. This is true although some people may need even more than that. Water is what hydrates you. Drinks like coffee, sodas, and alcohol will dehydrate you. Not to say that you should never drink them, but if you do, then drink extra water to make up for it.
How do you know if you are dehydrated? Here are some tips:
1) If you push your finger down on your skin and it does not pop back up immediately but feels a bit mushy and comes back slower, then you are dehydrated.
2) If your urine is dark yellow and has an odor, then you are dehydrated. Urine should be fairly clear and odor free. Note: there are foods such as asparagus or b-vitamins that will give your urine a dark color but that is natural and nothing to worry about.
3) If you are fatigued, your skin is flushed or your lips or mouth is dry then you may be dehydrated.
Sunlight is another element that we need to survive. We get lots of warnings that we need to protect ourselves from the sun and use sunscreen and stay indoors as much as possible. There is some merit to that, but we get vitamin D directly from the sun and you only need about 15 to 20 minutes to get that. As soon as the sun comes up, our spirits rise dramatically. Enjoying the sunshine can give you that boost, lift your spirits and make you feel better. Relaxing in the sun is a great way to de-stress.
Oxygen! Getting enough is vital, but alas, we have become shallow breathers, and many more of us than you realize don’t get enough oxygen.
Well, just look at the couch potato watching TV all day, or people that have machines that do most of the work for us. How often have you seen lawn maintenance personnel sitting on a lawn mower cutting the grass? We used to get out and push. It was a huff-and-puff job but you certainly would be breathing hard afterward.
Kids used to walk to school, now they take buses or get driven to school. How many of us sit in an office all day working at our computers? Then we go out for a sit-down lunch, work some more and get home and relax in front of the TV for the rest of the night trying to unwind from the mental stress of the day. Sleep and do the same routine the next day and the next day and so on. When do we really move our bodies?
There is a certain percentage of people that will go to the gym regularly or do cardio workouts and then you have people who dance etc. For those of you already doing that, good work!
We need oxygen for all the cells in our bodies to be healthy. The best way to do that is to move our bodies around and breathe deeply. Most exercise classes will get you there. It does not matter if you do weights, yoga, running, or walking. Get yourself moving and breathing.
You can also do breathing exercises while sitting or lying down. Get yourself comfortable and slowly breathe in through your nose and then slowly release from your mouth. Do this several times. Take a break for a few minutes and do it again several more times.
In short, drink water, breathe deeply, and get some sunshine! You will look and feel better!