Many of us agonize over our waistlines, our skin and the condition of our hair without acknowledging the obvious: if we aren’t taking good care of ourselves, our bodies and our well-being will suffer. Even if you’re the rail thin girl with the hyperactive metabolism, you can get struck down by high-blood pressure if your diet isn’t right. If you are an adult, you must accept your responsibility in keeping your temple in order. Peep our good health checklist and have an honest conversation with yourself about how you are living.
- Exercise: We all aren’t meant to live in the gym; many of us lack the time and/or the drive to get Michelle Obama arm cuts. However, everyone needs to get physical activity into their daily routine. Walk ten minutes to the train instead of taking the bus there. Sign up for the lunch-time cardio class at work. If you hate working out in public, there are endless workout DVDs you can cop for the house and they cater to every fitness level imaginable. You can even find exercise videos on YouTube for free99! Spend thirty minutes each day dancing to your favorite music. Move your body, Clutchettes! She deserves it!
- Diet: Are you eating right? Remember: eating little is not always eating well. Skipping meals is a good way to cost yourself much-needed nutrients and to even keep extra pounds on your frame. Taking on a restrictive diet, such as vegetarianism, without doing your research about what sort of foods you need to eat to get your daily requirements of nutrients, fats, fiber, etc. is another good way to jack up your body’s motions. Talk to a doctor about what your eating should look like and if you can’t, do your research on a balanced diet and what your personal nutrition intake should look like.
- Water: H20 gets its own heading because so many of us aren’t taking in enough each day. While scientists are largely split on how much we need (some say eight cups a day; other suggest one ounce per pound of body weight), the consensus is that you need to be drinking it often. Sugary drinks and chemical laden sodas can wreak havoc on your body; replace as many of them as you can with a tall glass of water, which flushes out toxins and keeps your body hydrated.
- Vitamins: Are you taking your supplements or checking the foods you eat to see what you are getting from them? Did you know that vitamin C can increase the amount of fat you burn when you work out? Or that biotin is fab for hair growth? Are you aware of how B-12 can help your energy levels? Get cozy with the dude at GNC and step your healthy up.
- Sleep: Yeah, we know…’they sleep, we grind’ is the motto of many. But if you don’t get enough rest, you will find your empire building to be a bit more challenging. Unsightly dark circles aren’t the only burden of a sleep-deprived lifestyle; you may also be dealing with fatigue and irritability that are making your proverbial grind much more difficult than it should be. You don’t have to be at every happy hour this week. Go to bed, girl!
- Emotional Needs: Are you taking on your issues head on and talking about them? Or are you putting school/career/family and everything else before your sanity? Do you have someone to talk to when things are rough? By failing to confront your fears, pains, struggles and traumas, you can literally be making yourself sick. Skip the ‘strong Black woman’ BS and attend to YOU.