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Body

QUIZ: What's your body IQ?

How in tune with your body are you? Take the test and find out how to get bodywise.

By Helen Foster
There are many different types of intelligence – emotional, educational, spiritual, for example – but according to US doctor Rachel Carlton Abrams, we also need to develop our body intelligence to be truly healthy.
“Being ‘bodywise’ is the ability to tap into what’s going on in your body and learn what it needs,” she says.
“Our minds are now so busy many of us live completely from the neck up and pay no attention to the rest of our body at all – until we get sick. Tune into what your body is telling you though, and it can change your health, your weight and how you feel."
Being bodywise requires a couple of different skills: you need to know some basic medical facts about your body; you need to know how your body sends signals to say something is amiss; and you need to know how to give your body what it needs to feel good.
So, how in tune are you with your body? Take this quiz to find out…

QUIZ: How bodywise are you?

4 ways you can be more bodywise

Know your numbers
While listening to your body is a fundamental part of being bodywise, there is important information about our bodies we can’t sense like blood pressure or high cholesterol, says Dr Carlton Abrams.
“It’s therefore important to have accurate measured data in these areas so you can then make any changes needed.” At the very least you should know your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose.
Learn to body scan
Sensing, feeling and discerning what your body is trying to tell you is the key point of being bodywise, but you’ll need to practise.
“At least once a week, close your eyes and take inventory. Pay attention to every part of your body from the toes up and ask if there’s a nagging issue you’ve been avoiding and why might it be happening,” says Dr Carlton Abrams. If you find something, think about how to fix it.
Learn to spot true hunger
One cause of weight gain is eating when you’re not hungry – becoming more bodywise can stop this. “For the next three days, when you feel the need to eat ask yourself – am I actually hungry or am I bored, anxious, sad or angry, or just eating from habit?“ says Dr Carlton Abrams.
“If you’re eating for any reason other than hunger, find a better solution.”
Acknowledge emotions
We have a tendency to try and ignore things that make us feel bad, but repressed emotions are linked to health concerns including heart disease and pain. You don’t need to wallow in misery to let them out, though.
“Simply acknowledge the feeling by placing your hand over your heart when you’re sad or upset. Take a deep breath and just be present in what you’re feeling,” says Dr Carlton Abrams.
Follow these simple shifts and find yourself on your way to your healthiest, happiest you.

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