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Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Mouth and Teeth Clean While Wearing Aligners

The journey to having the perfect set of teeth is not always an easy one, but the results are certainly worth it. For years, orthodontic braces were the primary option for straightening teeth, but now, the use of aligners has eliminated the embarrassing brace face look by providing a comfortable, discrete solution that can help you achieve your desired set of teeth. The importance of maintaining a clean mouth increases while using aligners, so we researched 5 tips to remember if you decide to straighten your teeth with this method.

  • Brush your teeth after meals

Your mouth can be a natural camping ground for bacteria if it is not brushed at least twice a day and after every meal if you are wearing aligners. When you don’t brush your teeth after eating and then replace your aligners in your mouth, you are trapping food between your teeth, which increases the chances of cavities, bacterial build-ups and staining. Research shows that by brushing your teeth after you eat, you eliminate chances of harmful bacteria attacking your teeth.

  • Floss often

Flossing is essential to removing food stuck between your teeth. When it comes to preventing tooth loss and protecting the gums, flossing is even more important than brushing your teeth. Despite the importance of flossing, only about 50% of Americans floss. There is no point in spending a large amount of money to get your teeth straight if you are not taking care of them and taking preventive measures to keep them healthy.

  • Avoid foods that stain

Many things can stain your teeth, especially when you are wearing aligners. Orthodontists advise only drinking water while wearing your aligners, and any colorful, carbonated or acidic drinks should be avoided. Teeth whitening kits are usually sent out with aligner kits or can be easily purchased online. Your aligners need to be treated like your teeth and cared for just the same to avoid being stained. When cleaning your aligners, it is important to follow the directions provided to you by your dentist or orthodontist.

  • Avoid candy or sweets

Having too much candy or sweets while wearing your aligners can increase your risk of developing gingivitis or cavities, especially if you are not frequently brushing your teeth. If it is sticky, hard or gooey, don’t eat it! These types of candies can stick to your teeth for a long time and cause major issues.

  • Clean your aligners

This seems like a no-brainer, but believe it or not a lot of people forget to clean their aligners. Always rinse them off with warm water every time you take them off to eat or drink. Wash them morning and night with clear antibacterial soap, not toothpaste. Aligner companies like Invisalign provide specialized cleaning crystals to soak your aligners for cleaning, but regular brushing of aligners is also ok.

Best Natural Ways to Increase Energy

It happens to all of us- we all get fatigued, tired, and drained from day-to-day activities and stressors.  Some people turn to coffee, others to energy drinks, and some even to drugs.  Since Health Fitness Revolution is always about being as healthy as possible, we believe that eliminating the true causes will prevent further health problems in the future and most importantly- keep you free and not dependent on an unhealthy product to get you through the day.

  • Drink Water! There is so much scientific evidence behind the importance and health benefits of water, which we have mentioned here before. Being dehydrated is the most common reason behind fatigue and water is the BEST and cheapest way of rectifying this. Note that coffee and sports drinks do not count as water.
  • Exercise: Not only does exercise guarantee that you will sleep better, it also circulates oxygen and give your cells more energy to burn.  Working out causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that make you feel energized.  Even a short power-walk around the block can increase your energy levels.
  • Breathe Deeply:  Fresh air  will oxygenate your blood cells and give a boost to your whole body.
  • Avoid Sugar: It peeks your blood sugar levels, causing you to crash later on.  Also stay away from artificial sweeteners which are poisonous to the body.
  • Drink Vegetable Juice:  It may be a good idea to invest in a juicer and get energy-boosting vitamins and minerals from fresh juice you make.  Carrot and Ginger are known to have invigorating properties.
  • Rid Yourself of Clutter: make life simpler, get rid of unnecessary clutter- this helps you prioritize and feel less under pressure.
  • Control Stress: Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy.  Talk to a friend, a counselor, meditate, practice yoga, find what relaxes you most and helps you de-stress- do it as often as needed.
  • Cleanse you Liver:  Stop drinking alcohol for a week and notice how you feel.  The liver’s role in the body is to detoxify it, so take some strain off of it and let it work without added toxins from liquor.
  • Take chemically treated, processed foods out of your diet
  • Turn off the TV before bed: Instead of falling asleep to the TV, turn it off and read a couple chapters of a book before falling asleep.
  • Add more nutritious raw fruits and vegetables to your diet
  • Spend time with Loved Ones!

Top Natural Ways to Cure Headaches

Over 90% of the population has been affected by a headache and 78% of people suffer from chronic head pain.  We are always looking for natural remedies and techniques for life’s common ailments, so Health Fitness Revolution is bringing you the best natural ways to cure the common headache:

  • Include Physical Activity into your Daily Routine:  As always, being physically active curbs many ailments.  A daily walk and moderate physical activity can keep headaches at bay.
  • Drink Plenty of Water:  Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, especially if you’re hungover or recently vomited.  Drink 3 large glasses of water when you feel the onset of pain, and keep sipping all day- the pain will gradually ease up.
  • Listen to Some Binaural Beats:  Binaural beats are supposed to cause the release of endorphins in your brain, which is the body’s natural pain reliever.
  • Try Aromatherapy: Peppermint, lavender,eucalyptus, rosemary, basil and sandalwood are the recommended oils.  Put a few drops on a napkin and enjoy the smell!
  • Use Accu-pressure:  Chinese medicine has been using this method for thousands of years.  To practice this method, firmly massage the acupressure point on each hand where the thumb and index finger bones meet (second metacarpal bone). If you can have someone do this on both hands simultaneously it works best.  If not, then do 5 minutes on one hand and then switch.
  • Have Sex:  Sex increases blood flow, reduces stress, and reduces blood pressure throughout the body and brain. A love session releases the hormone oxytocin, which triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer.
  • Massage your temples, scalp, earlobes, and neck: Light massage, such as drawing circles on your temples can distract you from the pain, as well as improving circulation and relieving tension. 
  •  Natural Herbs:  Feverfew is effective at preventing migraines, but not stopping them once they’ve begun. The plant’s active ingredient, parthenolide, inhibits the chemicals in the brain that cause the blood vessels to dilate.  Also, Butterbur extract has been used medicinally since the middle ages, and can be taken daily as a preventative to reduce the number and severity of attacks.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals: This will keep your blood sugar levels even, preventing headaches.

 

9 Ways To Reduce Inflammation and Pain

One of the greatest contributors to joint pain is inflammation. It’s the body’s reaction to injury or damage, but when inflammation’s out of control it can lead to severe impairment of mobility and increased pain. Fortunately, it can be attacked head-on and at the cellular level with inflammation-reducing foods, supplements and exercise. So reduce inflammation with these tips.

Here are 9 ways to reduce inflammation:

1. Put your kitchen on a diet.

Empty your fridge and pantry of food that will add to joint pain. Out go high-carb, high-salt, unhealthy trans fats and saturated fat-laden foods.

2. Shop for healthy joints.

This means that you’ll want to buy:

  • Vegetables full of vitamins and phytonutrients (zucchini, red peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and more)
  • Seasonings to liven up your meals and please your palate (including ginger, garlic, cinnamon)
  • Dairy products that contain healthy fats to slow carbohydrate absorption (cottage cheese, yogurt, mozzarella cheese)
  • Fruits that are full of nutrients and fiber (apple, avocado, pomegranate)
  • Beans that are packed with protein and fiber (like chick peas, lentils)
  • Breads and pastas that are tasty and low-carb (such as pumpernickel, whole wheat, fettuccine egg pasta)
  • Proteins that are the mainstay of an anti-inflammatory diet (including salmon, lobster, grass-fed beef)

3. Dump your coffee and drink green tea instead.

Green tea burns calories, protects your cartilage, reduces the rate of bone loss, and is a powerful inflammation fighter.

4. Add fiberparticularly in snacks.

It will add to the feeling of fullness and bridge the gap between meals. Munch on apple slices or thin slices of cucumber with hummus. When eaten with carbohydrates, the fiber will slow down the absorption of the inflammation provoking carbohydrates.

5. Restrict carbs.

They cause the hormone insulin to be secreted and insulin is inflammatory. Keep your carbs to no more than 50 grams per day (approximately one regular-sized bagel or two bananas) and no more than 25 grams in any one meal.

6. Power up your protein.

Go for lean cuts of grass-fed beef or wild salmon to boost your protein. These powerful protein sources will provide healthy saturated fats (yes, there are healthy saturated fats!) as well as inflammation-fighting Omega-3 fats that will help keep you trim and give your joints some relief.

7. Skip dessert, but still satisfy your sweet tooth.

A dessert loaded with sugar will cause your joints to ache and your waistline to expand. But, you don’t need to feel deprived—a small bowl of delicious ripe berries (strawberries, blackberries) topped with tasty whipped cream will not only satisfy your sweet craving, but the little bit of fat in the whipped cream will slow the absorption of carbs and keep your insulin levels in check.

8. Choose the right supplements.

For reducing inflammation, supplements that can help enormously are curcumin, boswellia, and resveratrol. Remember, though: not all supplements are created equal. Purchase yours from manufacturers that test each batch. Keep in mind that the least expensive is not likely to be the best choice.

9. Move right and move right now!

Add aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises to your life. Even 10 minutes a day can help your joints. And if you’re in pain, move wisely—walk, use the lightest weight possible, and gently stretch.

By making these changes you can reduce the amount of inflammation in your joints, reduce your pain, and get moving in the right direction for a life of mobility, enjoyment and comfort.

 

As Originally Published Here.

Easy Ways to Drink More Water Daily

We’ve touted the health benefits of drinking a lot of water, and even wrote about the health benefits here.  Now Health Fitness Revolution is bringing you easy tips for incorporating more water into you daily routine:

  • Temperature: Find out which water temperature you like the most, and make sure you always have some on hand. If you like water ice cold, find a container where you can keep it iced all day.
  • Flavor: Add lemon juice, lime juice, orange slices, cucumber slices, berries or herbs/herb extracts (like peppermint).
  • Bubbles: If you like soda, try sparkling mineral water or  natural flavored sparkling mineral water: none of the calories and all of the carbonation.
  • Bottles: Having a water bottle you like around all the time will make you want to fill it up over and over – and show it off.
  • Straws: Because sometime sipping from a straw can help you drink more.
  • Wake up with water: Starting your day with a glass of water is easier because you’re thirsty from that (hopefully) nice long night of sleep you’ve had.
  • Brew something: Sometimes we overlook tea as a source of hydration, but if you avoid caffeine and sugar, tea is a great hydrator!
  • Remember how good it is: Once you start a healthy water habit, you’ll start realizing how good you feel when you do drink water. And if you start losing weight, keep that in mind every time you think about drinking something else!
  • Use it as a diet tool: Before you reach for a snack, drink a glass of water. Before you eat, and in between meals, feelings of hunger can be mistaken for feelings of thirst. Drink more water and save calories when you’re really just thirsty.
  • Keep it clean: Tap water is usually fine, but sometimes water and even ice can get a funky flavor that makes you not want to drink it. So invest in a water filter, water filtration system, water softener, or water delivery. Anything that helps your water taste better is an investment worth making!

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your State of Mind

From the day we are born, our brain is constantly at work, making new and old connections. It’s important to keep our brain in tip top shape because we need it perform on a daily basis. Here are some tips to help keep our brain and state of mind in top shape!

1. Make your home and work space optimistic. Having an optimistic home and work space will help you have a more positive mindset. One way to do this is to keep pictures of vacations or of happy times around the home and workspace. And change out the pictures every now and then to get some variety and keep you smiling.

2. Express gratitude. Expressing gratitude is something we don’t do as often as we should. Expressing gratitude on a daily basis can help you feel more optimistic.

3. Compliment others. Take the time to compliment others. This will help train your brain to see the good in others and in life.

4. Do a mindfulness meditation. Meditating offers many benefits to help the mind stay clam and relaxed. Meditation can also help you with your outlook on life and help you become more self-aware.

5. Focus for 10 minutes a day. You should always be focusing on your work or the task at hand, but if you find your mind wandering, try focusing on an object for at least 10 minutes a day. If you find your mind wandering, bring it back to that object. This will help increase your attentiveness and help you focus better.

6. Pay attention to body language. If you want to become better at interacting with people and perceiving body language, watch people in public and try to guess their emotion. Pay attention to friends and colleagues and identify the tone they convey based on their body language.

7. Identify emotional triggers. If you want to avoid a certain emotion, it’s important to realize the triggers that cause that emotion. Realizing the emotional triggers can help you stay away from feeling that way and will also help you avoid doing things to trigger your unwanted state.

Information gathered from Forbes.

10 Ways to Alkalize Your Body

Our body’s naturally have an ideal pH of 7.3 – 7.45 which is slightly basic, or alkaline. Unfortunately, because of the processed foods and chemical rich environments, many of us maintain an acidic pH in our bodies. The best way to overcome this is to seek out foods that help maintain our alkaline pH and to avoid foods and products that increase the acidic pH in our bodies. Keeping your body at its natural alkalinic state is a major factor to maintaining your health and avoiding disease. Cancer along with other disease thrives in an acidic pH and cannot survive in an alkalized pH. You may notice that you don’t have that usual runny nose, you are less fatigued, or your skin breakouts have lessened. In the long run you may find you have fewer colds, prevent the development of cancer, and maintain a healthy body weight if you alkalize your body.

  • Avoid these foods!
    • The best way to maintain an alkaline pH in your body is to avoid or limit foods that when digested and broken create an acidic environment in the body. Some of these foods may include:
      • Refined sugars,
      • Deep fried foods
      • Processed foods
      • Meats
      • Corn
      • Eggs
      • Dairy products
      • Beans and fish.
      • In the most simple terms stay away from all processed foods and fried foods which are extremely acidic.
  • Avoid These Beverages!
    • Anything that is high in sugar should be avoided or limited in order to promoteanalkalized pH in your body.These sugary drinks may include:
      • Soda
      • Sweetened teas
      • Processed fruit juices
      • Sports drinks
      • Caffeinated drinks like coffee, caffeinated teas and energy drinks.
  • Avoid Drinking Alcohol!
    • Alcohol has strong acidic properties. It is no secret that alcohol is not healthy in general, but what you probably didn’t know is that when you drink alcohol it increases the acidic pH in your body and thus decreases the alkalized pH you naturally have. However, knowing how to balance out this acidic pH when you do drink alcohol is important. Try to stay fully hydrated with high pH alkaline water to help neutralize the acidic pH of your body due to the alcohol. In the long run, if your sole goal is maintain your alkalized pH, then avoid alcohol all together.
  • Drink Fresh Juice!
    • Try drinking fresh green juice every single day. Do this by squeezing the juices of vegetables and fruit yourself! This way you don’t have to worry about any sneaky ingredients like sugar or preservatives. Additionally you won’t have to worry about the pasteurization process destroying those delicate vitamins in those juices. Instead you will have the juices of exactly what you juice including the vitamins! This all can contributes to the alkaline pH of your body!
  • Lemons and Limes!
    • Try squeezing lemons and limes into a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. It might sounds silly to drink the juice lemons or limes because they are citrus fruits and seem acidic, but they are actually very alkalininc when processed in the body!
  • Drink Water!
    • Water is essential to life and our bodies are made up of more than 60% of water. Drinking water can only do good for your health. Water is naturally at neutral pH, so instead of going for a soda, drink water instead! Also try to drink purified or spring water and avoid tap water which has has chemicals and other things added to it to sanitize it.
  • Stay Natural!
    • Try using natural bath and body product. Check the ingredients of your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotions, facial creams and make-up. Find these products with basic ingredients. The regular commercial products you see in stores are made with chemicals that can be toxic and have an effect on body; it can contribute to the acidity of your body.
  • Keep it Green and Organic!
    • Try eating more plant-based foods and go for only grass-fed, organic animal products.
    • Eat more vegetables and fruit.
    • Include other natural foods like wheat grass, barley grass, kelp, cayenne, chlorella and spirulina in your diet.
  • No More Soda, But Baking Soda!
    • If you are really trying hard to alkalize the pH of your body try mixing ½ tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it everyday. If you can’t stand the idea of changing anything in your diet, this may be the most effective and easiest way to bring your pH level up in alkalinity, so try it out!
  • Read The Back Label!
    • If you are aiming to avoid certain foods to help maintain your alkaline pH, you need to be careful about reading the ingredients and contents of food products you eat and other products you use. What the front of the package says, means nothing, even if it says ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’. These labels can be misleading; you can still find the same unhealthy additives, preservatives and chemicals that are inorganic as in the commercial products. The difference is the ingredients contain products that were grown without chemicals or antibiotics and follow the guidelines of what qualifies to be organic.

Check out more of out top 10 here!

Top 10 Ways to Avoid High Cholesterol

Most of us think cholesterol as a whole is bad, but that’s not the case! We need it moderate amounts of cholesterol for many functions in the body. There are two levels of cholesterol that we need to pay attention to. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is the good cholesterol and the one we should keep it at high levels. And the LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is the bad one, which we must focus more on to maintain it at the lowest levels possible. Also the triglycerides are a type of fat that, along with high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol, will affect your health negatively. The kinds of fats that raise your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels are saturated fats and trans fats in food.

When we talk about high cholesterol, we are referring mainly to LDL cholesterol. Too much of it can create a build-up, called plaque, in the arteries and resulting in blockage. This can make it harder for blood to circulate properly. If your blood circulation slows down, the rest of your body won’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function, increasing your risks for heart diseases and other diseases. In worst cases, the arteries can get completely blocked and cause a heart attack and even death. High levels of cholesterol in the blood has been proved to cause heart diseases.

According to the National Heart and Lung Institute, heart disease is the #1 killer in men and women.  More than a million of people have heart attacks every year and about half die because of a heart disease. High levels of LDL cholesterol are the main cause for heart diseases, and as you grow older, your cholesterol levels will more than likely increase. But fortunately, there are many ways you can avoid having high levels cholesterol.

Here are the top 10 ways to help you avoid high cholesterol levels:

  • Stay active – Exercising most days a week and maintaining your body moving in most part of a day is essential in having an active lifestyle. Engaging in physical activity will lower your LDL cholesterol and raise you HDL cholesterol. You want your blood to circulate smoothly without anything building up along the walls to block your arteries.
  • Avoid fatty foods – Saturated fats and trans fats in foods are the most responsible for raising your cholesterol levels in your blood. Cutting down the amounts of saturated fat in your food will definitely help lowering your cholesterol.  Foods with low saturated fat are fat-free or 1% in dairy foods, lean meats, skinless poultry and fish. Aim for soft margarines since some have little or no trans fat. Avoid fried food, and cakes mostly, they are high in trans fats. Cholesterol in food is important too, so try to cut those amounts too. Try to limit eating liver and some organ meats because they are high in cholesterol, as well as whole (full-fat) dairy foods.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables – They are naturally low in fat and high in soluble fiber. They can help maintain a healthy body weight and a less fat percentage in you body. Soluble fiber is crucial to your body and it has been shown to keep your cholesterol under control. Jennifer Moll, a cholesterol expert, says that spinach has cholesterol friendly properties.
  • Pull out the yolks – Yolks in eggs are high in cholesterol, buy they are also nutritious. When eating eggs try pulling them out half of the time. Eating the egg whites is very nutritious too and cholesterol-free.
  • Include more nuts and whole grains in your meals – Whole grain foods are good sources of  fiber. Nuts have good fats. They both help raise you HDL cholesterol level while lowering the bad one (LDL). Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, oats, lentils, beans are great to lower cholesterol.
  • Keep a healthy weight – Being overweight often means that you have extra mass in your body that you don’t need, it usually is excess of fat. Having extra fat in you body will increase your cholesterol. To make your sure you are within the range of a healthy weight, have your doctor check our BMI (Body Mass Index).
  • Check your levels – The National Heart and Lung Institute advises checking your cholesterol at least once every 5 years. Aim for less than 200mg/dL of your total cholesterol and less than 100mg/dL of your LDL levels.
  • Maintain normal blood pressure – Hypertension (high blood pressure) happens when your arteries stretch beyond what is healthy, so they can get damaged and small tears. The American Heart Association states that build-ups from cholesterol happens where the arteries are affected or damaged. So make sure you maintain a Healthy blood pressure by primarily not exceeding the salt in your diet.
  • Quit smoking – Cigarette smoking is known to increase artery thickness, therefore narrowing the arteries and essentially damaging the blood vessels and making it difficult for blood to flow to and from the heart and body.
  • Limit your alcohol intake – Drinking too much alcohol will raise your cholesterol levels and harm your blood vessels. The American Heart Association Although agreed that moderate amounts (about 1 glass) have been shown to help raise your HDL cholesterol.

Check out more of our top 10 benefits here!

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Ways to Avoid the Freshmen 15

There are a number of concerns high school graduates have plaguing their minds as they go off to college? How am I going to pay off my student loans? Will my classes be difficult? What if I never make any friends? Attending college is a landmark time for young adults and as they juggle classes, extra-curricular activities, work and having an active social life, all that time-crunching can lead to an increase in stress levels, emotional eating habits and consuming the fastest of fast foods. Cue the legend of the Freshmen 15 – no, it’s not a hazing ritual, nor is it a pool determining which 15 students will fit into senior superlatives – but the inevitable 15 pounds that freshmen seem to universally gain upon their first semester at university. That’s right, universally. You can see why this is a problem.

Health Fitness Revolution complied the top 10 ways to avoid the Freshmen 15 from creeping up on you:

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast – Students who eat breakfast usually tend to eat less throughout the day than those who skip breakfast. Some students opt to skip breakfast due to time management concerns while others may actively attempt to avoid gaining weight. The truth is the best way to keep weight off is not by skipping meals. The actual studies are mixed as to whether weight gain occurs as a result of skipping breakfast. Some say there is “merely an association” between obesity and skipping breakfast, others state those who consume breakfast have a more nutritionally balanced diet, while another study further mudded the waters by debunking several eating habit myths. Whether it’s after a good night’s rest or an all-nighter filled with studying or partying, eating a healthy breakfast will awaken your metabolism and provide the energy your brain and muscles need to tackle your busy day.
  • Stock Healthy Snacks – Stock up on snacks like trail mix, granola bars, and fresh foods and vegetables to avoid binge eating on unhealthy alternatives like chips and dip, ad even keep you fuller longer. Stocking up on healthier snacks  will keep you away from fast food and vending machines while also saving you money.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption – Starting college usually means more freedom, which leads to more partying, which naturally leads to more alcohol consumption. While Health Fitness Revolution does not advocate underage drinking, we do understand youth culture and acknowledge its existence. It is important to note that regardless of age, everything is better moderation. Drinking too much means you’re consuming many empty calories, meaning you are increasing your caloric count but gaining no nutritional value. Alcohol can also lower your blood sugar and trigger hunger, which can lead to increased eating habits.
  • Find Workout Buddies – Between classes, studying and trying to have a social life it can be really difficult to squeeze in an effective workout. Finding a workout buddy is a great way to stay motivated while having fun together. Even if you decide not to workout together, simply going to the gym together is a great way to keep each other accountable for not missing gym days.
  • Cycle to class – The shuttle bus is the fastest way to campus, but not the most proactive activity. Walking is an okay option, but only if you’re not pressed for time. So what t hen could be the happy medium? Burn extra calories by cycling to class instead of walking or taking the bus. Cycling will get your heart moderate pumping, giving you a mild cardio exercise while efficiently providing you a fun way to soar through campus. Simply imagining the wind flying through your hair should be enough to get you urging to guy a bike.
  • Join intramural sports – You don’t have to be a college athlete to play a sport. In fact, intramural sports were created just to promote socialization and athleticism, as well as boost competitiveness. Joining an intramural league will give you the opportunity to compete against others and be part of a team. Many schools have a wide variety of sports to get involved in and some may also provide some great outdoor programs which plan weekend trips to do things like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing and more.
  • Drink water throughout the day – Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining weight. Consuming water will keep you energized throughout your day and even the slightest bit of dehydration can slow down your metabolism and may even cause headaches and fatigue to set in. Constantly drinking water can also stave off hunger and even help limit food intake. For those who are trying to manage or lose weight, many people like to consume water before a meal to trick their stomach in thinking it’s full before eating a meal. This way you consume less than you normally would, and as high in calories campus cafeterias can be, that may be smart option to consider. As you travel around campus, be sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you or keep bottles of water stored in your dorm or car to stay hydrated throughout your entire day.
  • Manage your stress – College is stressful, especially for freshmen who are constantly trying to adapt to their new routine and surroundings. It thus becomes imperative you manage your time so you don’t become overwhelmed and stressed, which ultimately lead to extremely negative effects on your health, both mentally and physically. A good way to do this is to have a weekly and/or monthly calendar. Weekly calendars allow you to see upcoming deadlines for the week while monthly calendars encompass a greater view of your current and upcoming month. Keep stock of sticky notes and highlighters to help organize your notes, and make sure you create various to-do lists to keep you on top of everything. It may seem stressful to maintain this level of organization, but you will reap the benefits when you see how easy it is to squeeze in time for socializing as you take a break from studying for that mid-term!
  • Know your options at the dining hall – While this will vary depending on your school, most colleges and universities have plenty of options for students to choose from when it comes to dining. Make timing to walk through the cafeteria and weigh all your options before making any decisions, especially if you’re concerned for your health. Explore them all so you can see what has the healthier choices and you’ll know which dining stations to avoid. Look out for fresh vegetables and whole-grain foods and don’t be afraid to ask questions about your food. Odds are, if your chef doesn’t know where the food comes from or has been pre-prepared at an off-site location, it may not be the healthiest option. Naturally, avoid fast food places (though if you do choose fast food, make sure their nutrition labels are available so you can compare meals), and make sure to keep your plate nice and colorful, balanced with grains, protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
  • Utilize the school recreational center – The recreational center on campus is usually free to students (though technically paid for in your school activity fee). Take advantage of the center so you can work out without having to purchase a gym membership at another gym. For first year students living on campus is sometimes required so the rec is only a walk away and for commuting students, well, you’re going to class anyways; may as well hit the gym while you’re there, right? Also consider checking out the fitness class schedule at the gym. Whether cardio and plyometrics are more your thing or taking part in the relaxing techniques of yoga, you’re bound to find something that suits you.

25 Ways Healthy Living, Exercise, and Nutrition Are Related to Spirituality

Stop thinking of your life as a bar graph and start thinking of it as a van diagram. The different parts of what makes you-you- your health, hobbies, and spirituality- aren’t isolated from one another. They build off each other and bleed into one another, working together in union to make you happier and more fulfilled. A wealth of scientific evidence shows that a healthy and active lifestyle can pay huge dividends in spiritual fulfillment. Read our list of 25 ways healthy living, exercise, and nutrition are related to spirituality:

  • Balanced Hormones Increase Spirituality

Exercising helps foster positive hormones, such as dopamine and epinephrine which can ultimately impact your perception of life. And if you struggle with some not-so-positive feelings, the more endorphins the better your mood. Balanced hormones will help you focus on improving your quality of life. You will more likely engage in spiritual practices when you have an uplifted and happy spirit! Feeling unbalanced in your emotions? Get to exercising for your spiritual health, my friends.

  • Energy and The Spirit

The energy that we acquire from exercising fuels our bodies for day to day physical activities. Not only does exercise provide physical benefits but it also boosts our brains mental energy. Mental stimulation is key in order to function at a higher spiritual level. The high that we get from the increased energy of working out motivates us to actively pursue our spiritual desires. Increased energy will encourage practices such as meditation, connecting with nature, practicing gratitude, loving others, and plenty more.

  • Physical Fitness & Spirituality

Aerobic exercises combined with strength training are a body’s best friend. Physical activity keeps you lean, fit, and strong to do everyday practices. So whether that be helping a struggling stranger lift an object, run a 5k to beat cancer, or volunteer on your feet all day, we all need endurance to engage in our own spiritual practices. A healthy body will encourage one to live out a spiritual life filled with action and integrity.

  • Food For the Soul

Mindfully eating can have a major impact on our bodies and mind. The QUALITY of food we decide to put into our stomachs can ultimately either harm or help us in our spiritual walk. Ingesting foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains affect our brain for the better. These foods provide certain chemicals that positively influence one’s mood and behaviors. When we feel good, our thoughts and actions will have a greater impact on the world around us. So eat clean to boost your spiritual life!

  • Stress Effects on Spirituality

If you feel overwhelmed in life, engaging in regular physical activity can greatly reduce stressful adrenaline and cortisol levels in the body. This in turn, will help you be more involved with your spiritual practices. As you continue to nurture your spiritual life, stress levels will also stay at a low. When we have less stress weighing us down, we spend our time engaging in uplifting things to connect us to something greater than ourselves. Those who are less stressed are happier, sleep better, more energized, and better focused.

  • Dancing in Spirit

Dancing will not only tone you up but also uplift your spirit! There’s just something in the art of dance that can sweep us away into something greater than ourselves. It can be a freeing experience for the human spirit to just move as it pleases. Eline Kieft from the Department Centre for Dance Research at Coventry University puts it this way in that “Dancing spirituality integrates the totality of the human being in movement.”

  • Walk or Hike Your way to Spirituality

We all know how much a long walk or hike can help clear a foggy mind of worry and stress. Well, walking or hiking is a great form of exercise for not only a fit body but for a healthy spiritual life as well! These actions have a way of deepening our spirits and helps us focus on the bigger picture by giving our mind a break. Real psychological health benefits take place as we walk. We have more energy, creativity, and uplifted spirits which ultimately impacts the soul in great ways. So whether you set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, (like Cheryl Strayed), or just walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, mindfully walking can transform your spiritual life!  

  • Practice Yoga

Derived from the Hindu religion, Yoga has become one of the most beloved spiritual practices around the world. This type of workout connects mind, body and spirit in different ways in which its “practices are aimed at the experience of contemplative states of consciousness and spirituality,” according to a journal published in NCBI. This research on yoga shows that it can improve one’s balance, flexibility, strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, mood, mindfulness, and overall spiritual life. If you’re looking for a great workout that improves your spiritual health as well, yoga just might be for you!

  • Meditate For Spiritual Health

Mindful practices have been around for a long time and has been a huge part of many different religions. Meditation can really be a great tool when it comes to destressing. It does more than just that, though! From improving concentration, self acceptance, happiness and more, meditation is just plain healthy for the soul. By focusing on one’s breath, meditation can connect a person deeper into their own spiritual journey that can bring about an abundant of health benefits.  

  • The Spirituality of Prayer

Prayer is a staple in a lot of religions, but religious or not, all people can incorporate this spiritual ritual in their everyday life. Prayer can be a way for the human spirit to connect to a higher power. It’s no doubt that prayer can help you feel less stressed, happier, more emotionally stable and centered. Harvard scientist Herbert Benson, MD believes all types of prayer “evoke a relaxation response that quells stress, quiets the body, and promotes healing.”

  • Walk Among Nature

Spending time in nature can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and personal health. If you choose to listen and absorb what the outdoors has to offer, then transformation can take place. Walking among the trees, feeling the wind on your face, or simply hearing the birds chirp are all apart of nature’s gifts to us. Did you know that Yale actually has a Center for Spirituality in Nature that’s devoted to deepening one’s human spiritual connection to the Divine? So next time you’re outside just open your minds and watch nature do wonders for your health.

  • Discipline and Spirituality

In order to see tangible results from a fitness or nutrition plan, you first need to establish self discipline. Whether that be working out at a specific time every day, or resisting to eat that slice of cake, discipline takes effort and energy. Applying this type of approach to your spiritual life can truly help in your spiritual journey! Spiritual practices that help with discipline involve action, learning, understanding, absorbing, and cultivation of one’s own journey.

  • The ART of Spirituality

The arts have always been integral to religion.  Even in the twentieth century, many artists saw their art in spiritual terms.  In terms of spiritual health, being able to express yourself through art helps to relieve stress, encourages creative thinking, boosts self-esteem, and provides a sense of accomplishment.

  • When The Spirit Sings

Did you know singing is healthy for the heart? And group singing is a great way to reap health benefits. According to several studies, singing helps lower stress, produce endorphins, and relieve anxiety. Singing can no doubt be a spiritual practice if you want it to be. Many religions actually use singing as a spiritual practice. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16

  • Running Towards Spirituality

Ah the high we get after a good run. Running a marathon or simply a 5k can definitely benefit your wellbeing for the better. Many runners can tell you just how fulfilling and spiritual this exercise can be! Runner’s World puts it this way “The spiritual benefits available in running–appreciating nature, developing a communion with others, seeing how things in the universe connect, meditating–can quiet the mind, facilitate introspection, and help you become more virtuous and whole.”

  • Fasting’s Effect on Spirituality

There are many health benefits of fasting.  Among many benefits, fasting can help you lose weight more efficiently, improve your insulin sensitivity, and reduce oxidative stress in the body.  Fasting also helps to regulate your hormone levels so that you can curb your appetite and only eat when you are truly hungry.

  • Spirituality Benefits Psychological Well-Being

According to Jesus, it is best to forgive, even if you have to do so more than once.  Being able to forgive others contributes to healthier relationships and lowered chronic stress levels. Let go of that grudge and forgive for your health!

  • Spirituality Can Help You Beat Addiction

Spirituality has played a big role in the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Spirituality is a big part in the guiding principles of the AA program and embodies developing positive coping skills along with having faith in a higher power to overcome addiction.

  • Hope Brings Health

Having hope is essential for a positive outlook on life. In a 35 year clinical study of Harvard Graduates, it was shown that graduates who expressed hope and optimism lived longer and experienced fewer illnesses in their lifetime.  Additionally, having a positive and hopeful outlook will reduce the levels of stress hormones that your body produces.  

  • The Effect of Love and Social Support on Health:

It’s those special bonds we share with each other that satisfy and enrich our lives. Did you know that social support from those closest to us can actually help protect us against certain diseases? Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that social support actually helped guard a Pennsylvanian family against heart disease! Looks like it’s time to start loving each other, my spiritual friends.

  • Spirituality’s Effect on Health

Lack of spiritual connection to self and others, self-destructive behaviors, and isolation from others in life may contribute hormonal imbalances which will inevitably manifest as illness in the body.  Some ways to keep your hormones in check include regular exercise and having a healthy, balanced diet.

  • Spirituality and Personal Hygiene

Simply put, hygiene is a key component of human health and well-being.  Aside from the overall health benefits, having good personal hygiene will help you feel confident about yourself.  In some religions like Islam, you are expected to give special attention to personal hygiene in respect to faith. Plus, who doesn’t like to smell good?

  • Volunteer in Your Community:

Many people who volunteer their time, money and energy for apparently nothing in return still reap spiritual benefits.  Being a volunteer not only increases your sense of well-being, it can help reinforce your ties to the community and give you a greater sense of justice. So go out and impact the community with your spirit of service!

  • Sleep and The Soul

Sleep may be the image or brother of death, for in sleep the body rests while the soul remains awake, so in death the body rests while the soul and spirit live.” – William Shakespeare

Without a doubt, sleep is extremely important for your health and well-being.  From a religious perspective, the importance of sleep is referenced in many texts including the Quran, the Bible, the Torah, Kabbalah, and Buddhist teachings.  Upon going to sleep, the body and mind calm down from daily activity and our physiology and neurology begin their critical restorative processes.

  • Sex Can Be Spiritual

Sex is a great source of pleasure for human beings. Not only is sex a great way to exercise your body, but it can also exercise your spiritual life. Roughing up the sheets with an intimate partner can truly transform and connect you on a higher level of energy. Next time you’re with your partner, try being fully aware of the vibrancy being exchanged between the two. Sex can be something that goes beyond the physical limitations with a sense of “heightened awareness and expanded consciousness,” if you let it.