FOUR PRINCIPLES TO A BALANCED LIFESTYLE
As women we are always looking after others before ourselves. We are the caretakers of others and without us being the core of the household everything will fall apart as we take on many roles to fulfill.
There are 4 main principles that we should follow in order to have a great sense of health with balance to our busy lifestyles and heavy loaded daily schedules.
- Total Wellness
Total wellness is holistic. It’s a journey to discover what makes you the best version of you so that you can function at optimal capacity. While I can’t promise you any shortcuts on this journey it is actually simpler than it may seem. There is no place you will arrive at other than the satisfaction of having put in your best effort to look after your health and wellness.
Today the average person isn’t thinking about survival, rather people are thriving to create careers, build families, socializing and do all the things that keep us occupied. Our lives generally don’t feel like they are under any threat of illness and disease. Even when there are indicators of poor health such as stomach discomforts, mild pain, weight gain and tooth decay, we are too busy being “productive” to pay attention. Illness, disease and aging are a part of life but our responsibility is to give life our best effort. My suggestion is to take a simple strategic approach to health so we will truly live up to our full potential “those that don’t find time for wellness will have to make time for illness.”
Your body is made up of the food you eat. When you eat food, your body breaks it down to distribute the nutrients to where it is needed in your body. The food you eat will be used to feed your brain, build your muscles, regenerate your skin and other important functions. It’s quite complex, but if you get the food intake right then your body does the rest. It’s amazing to think that everyday people are willingly putting harmful substances into their bodies. Your body can only be built by what you feed it. Therefore my recommendation is to eat real foods that are nutrient dense as a starting point. Your goal should be to eat foods that have the least amount of processing. Eat foods that spoil and don’t have labels or packaging. Everyone is different so remember to integrate good food choices as a realistic next step for you. It takes some getting used to but you should feel amazing on a real food diet.
Once you are eating a real food diet 90% of the time you may decide to tinker with macronutrient ratios to improve outcomes. Everyone needs protein, carbohydrate and fats but the amounts of each may be different for different people based on their individual goals. Hydration between meals is also important. If you drink during your meals you are diluting your stomach acid which is not a good idea for optimal digestive function and food absorption. Drink when you are thirsty between meals. Your body needs water. You may need to address any allergies, food sensitivities, digestive ailments or supplementation as part of nutrition for wellness.
Your food intake requirements change over time but the goal of eating real food 90% of the time is a great starting place. Even once you meet your goal there are always areas that need to be reassessed such as the amount of food or the timing of food. Stay open minded to the fact that your preconceived notion of healthy food choices may change, so re-evaluation of your nutritional intake is going to be an essential part of your journey to wellness.
Healthy behaviours, movement and sleep are included as part of lifestyle. Think about the behaviours in your life that could contribute to supporting your healthy decisions such as organizing time in your schedule to make to get fresh produce. Making sure to have food prepared for the times you are hungry so you’ll more likely make good food choices. These are all healthy behaviours that support wellness.
Movement is also a huge aspect of the total picture of wellness. A beginner should make sure to do some form of movement every day as a priority. Initially aim for an active lifestyle that includes activities you enjoy such as swimming, walking, running, biking, gym etc. Once you’re more active you can explore the body’s need for a more detailed program with a combination of lifting heavy things to build muscle mass, high intensity movement for conditioning, flexibility to maintain good mobility and recovery. Either too little or too much exercise could have detrimental effects on health.
Sleep is also a major factor in wellness. Getting adequate sleep to recover from your daily activity is important. People who get adequate sleep have better appetite regulation. There is a high correlation of obesity and lack of sleep. Today in our fast pace internet, TV and mobile phone world there is rarely down time during the day. We are always “on” and constantly distracted with information. Studies are coming out that show the detriment of viewing blue light from a screen in the evenings when our bodies need to be winding down and preparing for sleep. Adults have to take responsibility to be mature about their usage and timing of internet, TV and social media as part of a healthy lifestyle. The area of lifestyle needs constant re-evaluation in today’s modern world.
It’s interesting that we can have a perfect nutritional program, have healthy movement, get adequate sleep and downtime and still be missing one of the most important aspects of health.
Mindset is the greatest driver of our total wellness. The constant self-talk in your head that creates your perceptions of who you are, what you are capable of and what is happening to you is your mindset. Think about what you tell yourself after making a food choice, when you look in the mirror, when you approach a new situation, when you go for a job interview, when interacting with people etc. How you feel about yourself and your situation? What is the ‘weather’ in your mind? If your mindset is less than ideal, you need to participate in activities that give you balance. Know what you need to do to keep yourself calm, and do them. Always come from a loving and warm place when implementing any change in your nutrition and lifestyle. Challenge your perceptions. Eating real food or being active or getting sleep is not a punishment. Being well enough to take care of your health is a privilege. Stress management is essential and can be through meditation, prayer, yoga, playing music or getting out into nature. The simple truth remains, “Attitude is everything”. If nothing else speaks to you, healing yourself through mindset can have the greatest impact on your wellness.
When looking for total wellness think about these three areas. Check in with yourself on a regular basis. Choose carefully as to what you know is your next step in wellness. Make yourself an attainable plan that incorporates your next step. Be proud of each accomplishment because your life is made up of lots of seemingly small decisions that equal the sum total of your life. You won’t be perfect in these areas because there is no end to wellness, but you can love the journey.
For more info on how to have a balanced lifestyle come and join my Re-energizing group fitness sessions three times a week.
Call 0438172632 for more info.