Your body is an amazing feat of natural engineering. Not only is it adaptable, changeable and resilient; it’s also unique. No two are the same and that’s a beautiful thing. What all bodies do how in common, though, is their inherent ability to let us know when something is up. Though it may not actually say it out loud, there are a number of clever methods your body has up its sleeve to alert you to the fact that something isn’t quite right. So, with this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL times to listen to your body.

WHEN YOU’RE CONSTANTLY EXHAUSTED

The busy modern, on-the-go life guarantees a certain level of lethargy. And that’s normal, from time to time. However, being consistently exhausted after days which don’t chart on the business scale ought to be cause for concern. If you don’t seem able to shake your fatigue, the doctor may offer advice. It may be something as simple as rectifying an iron deficiency with supplements (for those who are slightly anaemic, this will boost your energy levels) or adjusting to a more balanced diet to ensure that you get the nutrients your body needs. Whatever the cause and solution, exhaustion is an issue that needs addressing.

WHEN YOU’RE LOSING WEIGHT WITHOUT DIETING

Our society puts untold pressure on people to be thin, and that often means that people resort to extreme measures to achieve their target weight. This can be healthy in moderation – eating healthily and taking regular exercise does untold wonders for us, both physically and mentally. But losing weight dramatically and without the equivalent catalyst can be a symptom of several diagnosable medical conditions. So, if you’ve noticed that your jeans are a little looser than usual, and haven’t been cutting back on the calories or hitting the treadmill, then you should think about booking an appointment with your GP for a check up. Unexplained weight loss is one of the Crohn’s Disease symptoms that doctors may look for, and it may also be an indication of an overactive thyroid. Don’t ignore warning signs.

WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE PAIN

Pain is the clearest indicator that your body can give to announce it needs attention. Whether you are a weekend warrior, gym bunny or a professional sportsperson, you have to listen to your body, and ignore passengers on the banterbus’ mantra of ‘no pain, no gain.’ Ignoring pain can turn a short-term issue into a long-term, chronic problem. There are treatments for acute sporting injuries available, able to relieve your symptoms within 48 hours.

WHEN YOU’RE EXCESSIVELY YAWNING

It was long assumed that yawning was a way of having a deep intake of oxygen to boost the brain’s performance. Or, a sign of empathy with your fellow, sleepy companion. However, scientists have now found that yawning is the body trying to cool the brain. Despite its size, the human brain uses up to 40% of the body’s metabolic energy, and so keeping cool is critical to it performing at optimum level. The brain’s core temperature rises when it is unstimulated, tired or fighting infection, so if you’re yawning more than usual, you need to be aware that there may be other symptoms waiting to reveal themselves that may need medication to subdue.  

WHEN YOU’RE CRAVING CERTAIN FOODS

When you crave foods, Marmite at 3am for instance, it can be a sign that your body is lacking in certain nutritional elements. You’ll be aware of how pregnant women sometimes have cravings for often bizarre food combinations – rice, jam and pickles anyone? The same cravings occur in non-pregnant people, but just at a less extreme level. Your craving for buttered toast could be your body’s way of telling you that it needs more good fat or fat-soluble vitamins, for example, so listen to your tummy when it’s talking.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.