A Slim and Alert Body

More than 60 per cent of the human body is composed of muscles and bones. To keep your posture healthy it is vital to keep these two components in good order. If we let our muscles go slack, the body structure will be weakened and will start to curve. It is important for us to know how to stand, sit and hold ourselves. Bad posture and unbalanced body structure lead to tension in the neck, shoulders and spine. To keep your body alert and straight, when sitting avoid deep, squashy armchairs. When sitting knees should always be higher than the hip joints. Always sleep on a firm mattress as a soft one will allow your spine to sag and bend.

Stress and tension are partners and a part of the world in which we live. Fear, anxiety, pressure of work and domestic problems contribute to a state of tension and such a situation causes both mental and physical pain and distress. Good sleep is the best immediate cure for tension. Inhaling fresh air and simple warming up exercises also help relieving tension. Learn to relax both mind and muscles for permanent cure. By taking a hot bath or listening to your favorite music, you can relieve your tension to some extent. If you feel sudden tension, take deep breaths. The extra oxygen released into the blood stream and the brain has a calming effect. Massage is also a useful aid to relaxation.

There are about 600 muscles in a woman's body comp­rising approximately 35 per cent of the body weight. These muscles need regular exercise and massage to maintain strength and elasticity. Without exercise and massage muscles decrease in size and attract excess fat around them.

Many girls put on excess weight between the age of 14 and 18-usually because this is the time when their bodies undergo a natural adjustment. Young married women, too, often find themselves overweight after their first baby. Provided there is nothing organically wrong, a good figure can soon be regained with a little effort. Whatever the cause of overweight, before taking any steps to reduce it must be decided how much is really superfluous. The following procedure will show you how to decide this, and the proportions at which to aim.

Measure your bust, waist and hips. Ideally, bust and hips should be nearly the same measurements and certainly the hip size should not exceed the bust by more than two inches. The waist should roughly be ten inches smaller than the bust. Next weigh yourself. Excess weight is often caused more by eating the wrong kind of food than by eating too much. Reducing your weight by balancing your diet is the safest method of all. To live a healthy life, cer­tain foods should be taken regularly. For proteins, take meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk and lentils. Bread, rice, sweets, pastries, fats and sugar contain a rich quantity of carbohydrates. For vitamins and mineral salts take vege­tables and fruits.

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