When it comes to diet and weight loss advice, you hear it all the time: "listen to your body." While it is a great piece of advice, it is pretty vague at best. What exactly does it mean to listen to your body?
We are told to listen to our bodies when we are eating in order to avoid overeating but there can be other times over the course of the day when taking a moment to check in is more than worth it.
So often we find ourselves out of sync with our body's inner workings. We've got a deadline to make or errands to run so we ignore our headache or push through the fatigue. Trouble is, those are the very things we should be listening to. Your body is trying to get your attention! These physical symptoms are signals that your body may be in need of something of something specific.
Here are some common physical symptoms and what they may indicate about your body's needs:
Headaches have many sources. Perhaps your eyes are strained from staring at a computer screen all day, maybe your sinuses are acting up, might be stress, or it could be your time of the month, but more often than not, headaches are caused by dehydration. If you are prone to headaches, try drinking a nice, big glass of water and wait about 10-15 minutes. If that doesn't work, try your over the counter pain relief.
We do not mean your cravings for pizza or fistfuls of candy. Those cravings are mental cravings and not physical. Have you ever found yourself craving a big bed of leafy greens or a sizzling steak? This could be a sign that your body is seeking iron. If you are craving citrus, you may be needing some vitamin C. Craving eggs could indicated a need for protein. As long as your cravings aren't for something decidedly unhealthy, like a bag of chips, give in to them. Want spinach? Make a big salad for your next meal. Listening to these cravings will not only make them disappear, it will provide your body with the nutrients it is seeking.
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Like some of the other things mentioned on this list, fatigue can have many causes. It can be stress related, or caused by an illness, or linked to your period but the most common cause is also likely the most obvious: you aren't sleeping enough. When you sleep, your body builds and repairs. It is during sleep that your body generates new cell growth and builds those lean muscles you've been working on through the BodyRock Advanced Bootcamp (not following the Bootcamp? Get it and so much more with Sweatflix℠! Sign up here
). Sleep is essential for your body's basic functioning. Turn off your electronics at least an hour before bed (and don't bring any of them into the bedroom with you!) and make your room as dark as possible. Aim for a solid 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Do you ever find your hands get a little shaky? If you aren't scared or angry, you may be hungry or experiencing a drop in blood sugar. Grab yourself a small, healthy snack, like a piece of fruit or some veggies and hummus, and see if that doesn't take care of it.
When we are running through our busy lives, it can be difficult to know when and how to take a moment to slow down and check in. But it is incredibly important that we do. We spend so much time treating physical symptoms without actually ever addressing the underlying cause. We take pain pills for our headaches and drink caffeine to fight our fatigue. We ignore or numb the very messages our bodies are trying to send! Instead of pushing back against these symptoms, lets all take the time to check in with our bodies. When our bodies are happy, they perform better in every task we undertake. And who doesn't want that?
How do you check in with your body? We love hearing what you have to say, share your tips with us!