Today we are keeping it short and sweet, for a topic that can be long and arduous.
We have broken physiological health down into three major components:
· Your muscles
· Your heart
· Your lungs
Now don’t be fooled, there is a hell of a lot more behind this, but today we are just providing simple guidelines that you can understand in order to start taking steps towards making the most of your health.
Your muscles – If you are not lifting weights regularly, you are not maximising the physiological benefits available from your muscles. A study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine showed that “muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with all-cause mortality” – Essentially, you’re more likely to live healthier and longer if you lift weights.
On top of this, doing bouts of physical exertion (that is using your muscles to generate force repetitively until it’s not so comfortable and then doing a little more) has also proven to have a large number of positive psychological effects.
Put simply - it makes you feel pretty damn good
Your heart – It can pump really fast and really slow and it can sit somewhere in between. If you are not regularly taking your heart through all these dimensions, chances are your heart is not at achieving its true capability.
To get your heart rate right up - think high intensity interval training.
To hold it at an increased but sustainable level - think long distance running, swimming or cycling.
To slow it down (besides sleeping) think meditation, controlled breathing practice and other deliberate neurologically driven downregulation activities.
All three are vital for a healthy heart and, I’m sure you’ll agree, the heart is pretty important for life.
Your lungs – Just like the other two, it’s worth stressing them. They work in conjunction with your heart (and the rest of your body, but for the sake of keeping it simple bear with me) and also improve by being taken through all three ends of the spectrums mentioned above – High intensity, long slow endurance, downregulatory activities.
Now most of you probably land somewhere with regard to such activities, particularly if you’re physical active once or twice a week. What you should be reminded of, is that one or two is not enough. You have to take your heart, lungs and muscles, through all three dimensions to truly maximise your physiological health.
For example, you should not consider sitting at your desk, in your car or on the couch as “down regulation” (regardless of how mind-numbing reality TV can be).
Deliberate downregulation actually requires you to concentrate and will give you more control over your bodies physiological responses.
For example, try this…
Feel your heart rate (two fingers under the turn of your jaw) start counting along with it… Notice the rhythm?
Now, still feeling for your heart beat, let out a long exhale…
Notice how it slows down?
If you didn’t try again.
This is a very brief breakdown of a few key components of physiological health. It is something that is in your hands and is very easily manageable.
It simply requires a bit of time and a bit of diligence and by doing that you’ll put yourself in a position to live a longer and better-quality life.
If you are not sure where to start or what to do next, that is something we’d love to help you with. Just click here to grab a hold of your physiological health.