So seriously yes, we all need to learn to relax. Life is stressful enough, and surely a chill pill is the required way to go.
Think about it, aren't we tensed up day in and day out; be it over health matters, or food and nutrition, but more likely over social stuff - family, relationships, work, etc.
This is stuff that really when you take a closer and more rational and objective look is not worth stressing over because you can let go and live better. So relax!
Okay having vented that bit, back to health and nutrition matters. While the year is young I want to encourage us all to plan to manage our nutrition, which will lead to better health and afford us a balanced life. Of course when you are well you think well and perform well in many spheres of your existence. And yes good nutrition is part of stress management. Any kind of nutritional deficiency may lead to more frequent and prolonged illnesses.
Overnutrition is dangerous enough, but if you starve yourself, your body will think it's under siege and therefore will pump out stress hormones.
Also if you are on a weight loss programme, dropping more that a kilogramme per week is hard on the protective cells (T-cells) that detect diseased or foreign cells, which in turn make one susceptible to infections and illness.
As you ease into your relaxation mode, remember to eat nutritious foods loaded with antioxidants. In the interest of boosting our immunity and preventing cancer, heart disease and premature aging, we know by now that it is a good idea to pack up on antioxidants that help mop up harmful free radicals from our systems. Vitamin C,vitamin E, selenium, and numerous phytochemicals can be obtained from various fruits and vegetables, failing, which a good supplement will do. I bet you the dream of many people is a magic pill taken before each meal to dissolve or melt away all the calories that are gruesomely gobbled. In the absence of such a lovely imaginary pill, we continue to try dozens of diets, spend a fortune in gyms and exercise gadgets, and health club memberships (which in some cases we never get to use) and even hire personal trainers to save us from our perils. But does all this work? Maybe, maybe not, then we read so much literature on weight loss, diets and health and could actually qualify for PhDs.
Well, now let me provide you with a very simple guide to get into spring with verve and energy to carry on. Always eat breakfast. Even when you are in a hurry, surely you can afford to spare 15 minutes to treat yourself to this most important meal of the day
If you can not eat lunch at home, carry a healthy one to avoid fast food. Stay away from greasy and sugary quick alternatives.
Go outdoors, for a brisk walk during lunch, even a short 10 minutes walk will pare down calories and reduce the accumulated tension and stress.
Try new low-fat, easy-to-prepare recipes for lunch and dinner, be adventurous with foreign cuisines such as the Mediterranean diet which has been voted the best and healthiest. Eat something light before you go to a dinner party at which dietary dangers abound.
Find a partner to collaborate with in weight and exercise goals and maintain the resolution and pace. So eating well and learning how to relax is critical for overall health. Stress jacks up the body's production of cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that lower the immune system.
Which is why one is more likely to come down with a cold, flu or whatever is floating in the air - especially at a time when you least need to be ill e.g. when you are facing an exam, perhaps moving house, or starting a new job.
So do yourself a favour, eat well, fight stress, relax and enjoy spring. Help others do the same!