In this chapter you have been introduced to the wide range of factors that impact your health. Health is much more than keeping your physical body in good shape. Good health also includes your mental and emotional health, quality relationships, and prioritizing your personal safety.
The contributors to physical health include eating clean, non-processed food; staying hydrated; moving your body daily; and getting sufficient sleep. You now understand why it is necessary to prioritize sleep, and that quality sleep is also dependent on the way you eat and exercise. You have identified ways to improve what you eat and how you sleep. With these changes you should be able to fall asleep with ease, stay asleep all night, and wake up feeling energized. Your mind will be clear and sharp. and you’ll get more done in less time, massively increasing your productivity and your success in college.
You now understand that a certain level of stress is to be expected. Chronic stress, however, is damaging to the body, so it’s important to have a variety of tools to manage stress. Practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and gratitude can have a powerful impact on your emotional, mental, and physical health.
At the beginning of this chapter, you were introduced to a simple way of thinking about your health—nutrients in, toxins out. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding junk food, soda, and other sugary beverages. If you move often throughout the day, drink plenty of clean water, and prioritize your sleep, you will help your body detoxify. Reduce your exposure to toxins by paying attention to what you put in and on your body. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin or hair. A helpful way to remember to take care of your health is to follow the rule of eights: aim each day for eight hours of sleep, eight servings of fruits and vegetables, eight glasses of water, eight minutes of mindfulness, and eight meaningful connections, and incorporate any one of these eight ways to move—walking, aerobic exercise, strength training, yoga, Tai Chi, stretching, HIIT, or dancing.