By now, it should come as no surprise that I love to talk about wellness and overall well-being. In this space, we have discussed, meditation, sleep, creating a sacred space and healthy boundaries, tending to your spirit, and so much more, but there is another really important part of wellness and overall well-being that I want us to talk about this week. That is our physical well-being. Are you moving enough? What are you putting in your body for nutrients? Are you drinking enough water? Are you comfortable in your own skin? See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/vnfBpT0AQmQ
It has been said that our health is our wealth. As we make our dreams come to life with our vision boards, goals, and plans, we also need to make sure that we are going to be around to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We want to make sure that we have the energy to take action on our goals, and the physical energy to be able to participate in enjoying our life. I struggled for many years with body image, and trying to control my weight. I pushed myself to lose weight, went on diets that probably did more harm than good, and ended up with a knee injury that still is with me to this day. Want to know when it is going to rain? Let’s ask my knee.
Even with losing weight, I realized that some of my own perception of self was in the mind. Other health related issues occurred with me that cause weight gain, and I felt disappointed in myself and some depression at how things were going. I will be honest here, I am also a really good cook, and I really enjoy a good meal. I am not the person you take traveling if you plan to eat salads the whole time. I want to try the local cuisine; I am a foodie at heart. Therefore, I know that some of my physical health requires me to do things in moderation. As a Sagittarius, my sign is ruled by Jupiter—the planet of expansion. We are the sign that knows how to overdo things. With that in mind, and that awareness, it allows me to enjoy delicious things, but also to know when to stop.
You can be where you want to be as a goal weight, and still feel insecure about your physical health and about your body image. It is a work in progress, and an ongoing one where you will consistently have to say, “I am going to love myself as I am,” but “I will also work to live a healthy lifestyle.” There is a lot that changed in my own life when I said, “I am cultivating a healthy lifestyle so that I can….” And you can finish that sentence for yourself. In my case, I want to be able to have the energy that I need to enjoy life as much as I can. I want to be able to work and support myself, but not feel drained to the point where I can’t go out and enjoy some time with family and friends. I want energy to work on my creative projects, and I want to feel able to participate in life.
Movement is also an important factor for my sign—in fact, for all fire signs. A practicing medical astrologer who I admire told me that it is essential that as a fire sign I move my body. It stirs up the warmth that my sign is known for and helps to get my blood pumping. The symbol for Sagittarius is the centaur, which is half man and half horse. The analogy there is that we need to tap into that animalistic instinct and run and move.
If you are wondering how you can get more physical activity into your life, I suggest a few things:
A) Try a variety of things. Not everyone is going to resonate with you but try. Try yoga, dancing, walking, running, biking, Zumba, weights, rock climbing, or swimming to name a few. When you try something, make the determination for yourself on whether or not you like it.
B) Get the right equipment. There are some activities that you don’t need to make a big investment in. These days, you can watch free workout videos on YouTube. However, if you are committing to an activity, then get the proper equipment. It makes a big difference. I enjoy walking/light jogging. It is imperative in my case to have good shoes. Right now, the brand I highly recommend is Brooks. I have the Ghost 13 for women, and it feels like I am walking on a cloud. Bad equipment can cause injuries, or cause you not to get the results that you desire.
C) Don’t be afraid to start. Take one-step at a time, and just keep going. If you fall off the wagon, get back up and keep going. I have a journal where I write down what physical activity I did, for how long, and roughly the amount of calories that I burned. I write down my rest days, and whether or not, I took my vitamins. This process has helped me with consistency, and it helps me to have something to look back on and feel proud about.
D) You are not in competition with anyone except yourself. Do this for you. Do this for your health. Do this for your dreams.
E) Some days will be rough. There will be days when you don’t want to do anything. Get up and go anyway. That is literally half of the battle. If you don’t feel proud of you, know that somewhere across the ethers, I feel proud of you. Also, remember that you can do hard things!
Everyone has their own set of needs, wants, and desires, but when you are making your vision, please remember to include a space for physical health. Physical health also includes making sure that you are drinking enough water and getting the right types of foods into your body. I am confident that you can do some good research on proper nutrition. Some things that I have found that work well for me.
A) Get a proper breakfast. This really helps to get the day off to a good start.
B) Take your vitamins. Talk with your health care provider to see what your needs are. Some of us need extra Vitamin D, especially in the wintertime. I started taking a prescription strength Vitamin D supplement over a year ago, and it has helped with everything from my mood to my energy. B vitamins are also good ones to have in the cabinet!
C) Eat the colors of the rainbow. I heard this bit of advice once, and put it into action at the grocery store. I can actually say that it helps with getting in fruits and vegetables and making it fun! This is all a work in progress, but small steps can take you where you want to do.
Now one of the most important parts of what I want to talk about is water consumption. The other day I felt some body pains—nothing that I would consider serious, but I just felt creaky, like a door hinge that needed to be oiled. I also felt a bit thirsty, and intuitively my brain said, “You aren’t getting enough water.” Drinking water is not second nature to me. In fact, if there is a choice between water and anything else, I will probably choose the anything else. Especially ginger ale. I have such a love affair with ginger ale. Recently I made a plan that I would at least have one day of drinking my required amount of water. I wanted to know what pure hydration felt like. LOL!
Was that eight cups of water? So 64 ounces? Ok…I know that the adult humans are 60 percent water and that our blood is 90 percent water…but how much water do we actually need to consume to essentially stay alive. Well the librarian in me wanted to make sure that I found the right amount, so I did most people would do… I googled, “How much water should I be drinking daily?” Easy enough question, but as I soon found, there is not an easy answer. It depends. It depends on factors like:
• Do you exercise frequently? You may need more water than recommended to cover the fluid loss from sweating. You may also need to consider a beverage that adds electrolytes to your body to help replace minerals that you lose when sweating.
• What is your environment like? Do you live somewhere hot and humid? That may require that you drink more water.• Are you pregnant or breast-feeding? You may need additional fluids to help stay hydrated.
• Are there other health issues going on with your body? Do you have a cold? That may also require additional hydration.
• What is your current weight? You may need to drink more water depending on your weight.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that adequate daily fluid intake is: 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men, and 11.5 (2.7 liters) cups for women. 20% of this will actually come from other foods and beverages that you drink.
If you don’t drink enough water, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out your normal functions. Signs that your body is probably dehydrated are: dark yellow urine, headaches, dizziness, trouble concentrating or focusing, dry mouth, dry eyes, dry lips, increase in body temperature, rapid heartrate, and feeling thirsty. Dehydration can also cause low energy, make your feel fatigue, and your skin can become vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling.
Your body needs water to carry out some really important functions like:
• Getting rid of waste
• Forms saliva and mucus (Fun fact, saliva helps us digest our food; drinking water also keeps the mouth clean, and our breath smelling fresh).
• Keeping your body temperature normal
• Keeps the skin healthy and beautiful
• Lubricating your joints
• Protect sensitive tissues (It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and more. Drinking water is involved with the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that impact thinking and reasoning).
• Stabilizes blood pressure and heartbeat (A lack of water in the blood makes the blood thicker and increases blood pressure).
• Carries oxygen and nutrients to your cells
• Aids digestion
• Helps the kidneys (Water dissolves minerals and nutrients which allows these to get to the parts of the body that needs them. Water helps the kidney to flush waste products from the body).
• Potentially lowers the risk for diseases like: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney stones, and high blood pressure.
• Water also impacts your brain functions: Specifically, staying hydrated can boost mood and mood stability, improve concentration, improve cognition, aid memory, prevent headaches, and even reduce stress.
My tip for drinking more water? Just do it! Whatever works best for you! (However, think about stopping an hour before bed)! So all of this to say please consider your physical wellbeing as well. It is part of the great equation, the great balancing of our lives, and as Arabian proverb says, “He who has health, and he who has hope, has everything.”
May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you be hydrated—you beautiful, capable, but dehydrated human!