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In today’s world, teenagers are dealing with stress levels higher than at any point in recorded history. From the stresses of school, home life, social interaction and the daunting idea of an ever approaching future, one has to find a balance between all this chaos.
So when asked to pursue a new physical activity, of course, as many others, my first ideas were ‘gym more’ or even ‘stop eating sugar’. And while those were good ones, I thought that maybe I could use this task to my advantage. I could pursue activities that tended to my physical and emotional needs.
The activities that I decided to undertake were 4 different ones, aiding in growth of mind and body.
Intake of 2L of water daily
While this may seem like a lot to undertake, I decided that if I could spread them out evenly amongst my daily routines, even with exams or extra murals, I could benefit from these activities.
Beginning research with running, it was obvious that running is actually as beneficial as runners make it out to be. Not only is it a full body workout (head to toe) and strengthens leg muscles and core muscles, running increases lung capacity, prevents high blood pressure, strengthens immune system as well as monitors metabolism which can lead to weight loss.
Running, however, does have a reputation for being extremely difficult and people tend to avoid it at all costs, but according to executive vice president and co-founder of Mind Body Training, Fred Devito: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
And this is the mindset I am hoping to undertake with this challenge.
My next topic of research was the ancient art of Yoga. There had to be a reason that people were so crazy about it. And after research, I think they have a right to:
Yoga was developed by a Indus-Sarasvati civilization over 5,000 years ago in the North of India and has been passed down right into today’s society and is thriving.
Yoga is best known for increasing flexibility of muscles as well as strengthening them, increases strength of cartilaginous joints in body, maintenance of bone strength, efficient blood flow – the list is seemingly endless.
And among that list is also mentions of reduced stress, increased release of ‘happy’ endorphins, which contribute to my goal of holistic health.
Moving onto the third and fourth concept of my chosen activities, which both fall under the idea of Nutrition, which is import to consider along with physical activities such as running or yoga.
The Low-Carb Diet is the dietary requirement of cutting your daily carbohydrate intake by 80-90%, approximately 20-50 grams a day. This ideal is made possible by the reduction of fruits, vegetables, sweet pastries, bread, pasta – even products with a small percentage of carbohydrates, and substituting this loss with meat and healthy fat products.
The short term benefits of such an endeavor are:
Increased bone strength
Decrease of muscle fatigue
Increased brain stimulation
And while this diet is promoted among circles of society, there are negative impacts that people may experience during or after the participation in this diet plan:
But, as the famous saying goes, “Nothing tried, nothing gained.”
And lastly, drinking 2 liters of water daily. This, according to healthline.com, is the approximate amount a person should be drinking daily.
The benefits of doing this include decrease in rates of constipation, kidney stones, acne (which is generally a problem found in most teenagers) increased skin hydration.
These are my chosen activities and I hope that they are beneficial to me throughout the 3 month trial period.
My goals for this change in lifestyle are:
Decreased stress levels – with regards to maintaining composure and calm during exam or hectic timetables.
Increased sleep satisfaction – having slept an appropriate amount of hours and feeling refreshed upon waking up.
Decreased fatigue – experience energized feelings amongst chaotic time periods, e.g. exams, major production.
Better overall feeling – feeling healthy, no being bloated or stressed, this can contribute to happier mental health.
I must however mention, the water intake and low-carb diet plan will not be shown in the logbook, only the running and the yoga, as this will be excercised every day not only a few times a week.
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