Keeping in good physical condition is the single most fundamental factor in being able to engage in and enjoy life to the fullest. Getting and staying healthy requires one to balance nutrition, exercise, and sleep in the proper amounts in order to allow your body to function in its full potential. What you eat is what gives the cells of your body the raw materials and energy to sustain life. Eating the right foods is essential to the proper functioning of your body. This requires making sure you have lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and that you eat less fat and more fiber. Fats can clog your circulatory system, and they also carry a higher concentration of calories than any other food source. Fiber helps keep your digestive system clean and “running smoothly”. Vegetables and fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals.
If you are exercising at least several times per week make sure you get enough protein. Protein provides essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles. Carbohydrates are essentially complex sugars that provide you with sustained energy. A good visual reference for a healthy diet is the FDA’s food pyramid. SUGAR IS THE ENEMY, avoid whenever possible. Exercise is the second key ingredient of a fitness regimen. The benefits of exercise are profound and far reaching. We will list only a few. Aerobic exercise such as practicing martial arts burns extra calories and fat, improves muscle tone and nerve conductivity, improves oxygen flow to your muscles and organs, including your brain, and increases your heart’s stamina, as well as your ability to handle stress. In some cases, exercise can actually reduce an overweight person’s overactive appetite.
Martial arts wakes up the body and the mind, and helps you get a better night’s sleep. Sleep may be the most important ingredient to good fitness. When you sleep, your body is repairing and rebuilding cells from the previous workout. Without proper sleep, your body gets run down, your immune system suffers, and you become more susceptible to infection. Deep sleep, also referred to as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) allows your brain to defragment much like a computer defrags a hard drive. During REM, the brain is busy processing the days events and disreguarding unnecessary information. REM sleep is also where one dreams. Dreaming helps bring about new ideas and a fresh outlook upon waking up to a new day. People who do not sleep well feel very short tempered and have difficulty concentrating on everyday tasks. NEVER take man made drugs to aid sleeping. So you see, keeping fit requires a balance of proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. When a person follows a proper fitness regimen, they feel stronger, more energetic, less stressed, and more alert. Fit people are more effective at what they do. They enjoy themselves more readily. They are more self confident and more cheerful. People who are physically fit just feel better.