5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Body Every Day

By Sarah Winfrey on 23 July 2015 1 comment

It can be hard to take care of yourself. So hard that in some circles, "self-care" is quickly becoming a buzzword.

Even if the concept of self-care intimidates or confounds you — maybe you're wondering where you will ever find time to do one more thing — think about starting with your body. The five steps below are things that aren't hard to incorporate into a daily routine, and can have a significant impact on how you feel.

1. Consume Probiotics

Your colon has its own specific set of bacteria. These help you digest and absorb food. The thing is, it's better to have some sets of bacteria than others. "Bad" bacteria seem to make it easier to maintain a higher body weight and hold onto fat, while "good" bacteria seem to promote leanness.

In addition, there also seems to be a connection between the bacteria in your gut and how well your brain functions. Gut bacteria also influence your immune system, because they have quite a bit of say regarding whether or not bad things — like viruses and other bacteria — get absorbed into the body or excreted.

It seems that the bacteria you have in your colon are determined largely by what you eat. Probiotics are fermented foods — foods full of bacteria — that seem to help you develop a healthy set of "good" bacteria. These foods include everything from yogurt to kefir to kombucha and sauerkraut. And consuming them every day ensures that you continue to grow the right kinds of bacteria and not the wrong ones.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but that doesn't mean you're drinking enough. Water helps so many parts of the human body — it can help you digest food, lose weight, have clearer skin, feel less tired, and have a better functioning brain. And many people don't even realize that they are chronically dehydrated, because they've been that way for so long.

What "enough" is will vary from person to person based on size, activity level, age, and more, so it might take some trial and error to figure out how much you need. Let your urine be your guide — if it is a light lemonade color, you're drinking plenty of water. So find a water bottle that fits your lifestyle and start carrying it today.

3. Meditate

The form of meditation that seems to help your brain most basically involves setting aside a period of time and, in that time, doing your best to be fully present. Some people focus on their breathing to help them achieve this. Others repeat a mantra.

Meditation is good for your body because it changes the way your brain works. Over time, you will find yourself responding in a calmer manner, even to things that are difficult. You will also find yourself more present in daily matters, better able to show empathy, and more compassionate. All of this happens because of physical changes in your brain!

Daily meditation is important because most brains aren't naturally wired this way, and will revert to an old way of being quite easily. If you are intimidated by the thought of starting a meditation practice (and many people are), try beginning with sitting in the present for only five minutes at a time. Gradually, your desire to meditate and your capacity for it will increase.

4. Get Enough Sleep

We need sleep to survive, to grow, to remember well, to be able to deal emotionally throughout the day, and for our bodies to repair themselves. While experts aren't sure exactly how sleep helps us in all of these ways, it does, and we shouldn't skimp on it.

There's not really a "magic number" of hours when it comes to sleep. Some people seem to reap all the benefits when they only sleep six to seven hours each night, while others need eight or nine hours to feel rested and function well. Only you can figure out how much sleep you need to be getting on a regular basis. While going to bed early can be a pain, it is worth the effort in the long run.

5. Consume Nutrients

Thinking about nutrients can be intimidating. After all, there are a lot of them. However, focusing on eating nutrient-dense foods (which foods depends on which nutrients you need) and even taking supplements can have an astounding number of benefits for your body.

If you're not sure where to start, take the time to visit your doctor. Many nutrients can be tested via a blood sample, and then you'll have some idea of what your particular body is lacking. That will give you a good place to focus for a while, and you can decide where to go from there when your initial levels balance out.

No matter how relaxed you are, self-care is important. Take care of your body now so that you can live your life to the fullest!

What do you do for your body every day? How has this changed your life?

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Guest's picture
EvanB

I'd add to this one single, unabashed expression of boundless joy per day! Sing, dance, write a poem, tell someone how much you love them, jump up and down like a kid...whatever fills you daily with the joy of existence. If you don't feel it, fake it til you make it! Research has shown that this alters your metabolism, digestion, immune system, hormonal balance and much more in myriads of ways.
EvanBortnick

Guest's picture
Guest

Where is exercise? Improves sleep, digestion, circulation, mind-state, and countless more measures of well-being.