What does it mean to be healthy? A great question, right? Especially when we are busier than ever and days seem to be flying by, what do we consider to be healthy? For me, I started to crave the answer to this question when I came to the conclusion that living a Healthy lifestyle was more than the limited practice of a strict diet and a brutal exercise regime. What I'm sharing with you here in this article is not medical advice, but rather my lived experience and how that experience has formed one of the core values of Live Well Health Essentials.
As a parent with a few runs on the board so to speak, I've learned that throughout different stages of your life the healthy habits you need to implement will change - and this is normal and necessary!
A healthy lifestyle should be viewed as a holistic goal, one that caters for your emotional and mental health equally as much as your physical appearance. Put simply 'healthy' is so much more than how you look.
Here are some ways that that I use that you can be inspired to integrate into your everyday life:
Fuel Your Body
Think of your body as a car - always filling it up with petrol, booking it in for regular servicing, checking the breaks etc. all the crucial things you need to do to keep it running smoothly to prevent it from breaking down right? So why don’t we do the same for our bodies? Why is it that we don’t look after our bodies until they are injured when we can do so many things to prevent this from happening! Often I find that people are looking for rehabilitation methods rather than preventative methods to nourish and treat their bodies. Don’t get me wrong, rehabilitation … are important, but what if we could reduce the need for this by treating our bodies right? Imagine if we started to do things to maintain our health before we started to burn out. So what are these things we can do?
Nutrition and diet
Now I know that we said a strict diet is not always key on its own - but it is crucial to have a good understanding of the food your body needs to keep running. Good nutrition can have a lasting impact on your entire well being, from reducing inflammation to supporting muscle growth and recovery and preventing lifestyle diseases. If you’re currently unsure of what you should be eating to nourish that body of yours then we highly suggest talking with a professional to gain some knowledge of what your macronutrients and micronutrient daily targets should look like. As your lifestyle, exercise and everyday activities change overtime, so will your portion size and intake - it’s all about finding the sweet balance in between. Think back to that car - the better quality petrol you put into it, the better it will operate. Same goes for your body. What are some things we can suggest? The majority consumption of your food should consist of lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low fat food however, we recommend
Eating food is something that should fit into your everyday lifestyle easily and with enjoyment. Not something that you need to fit in to. Once you understand the fundamentals of ‘healthy eating’ or should we say good nutrition, you will be able to maintain a holistic approach to flexible eating while staying social, happy, fueled and satisfied.
If you're not sure where to start with nutrition and diet, some great resources are to start with the Eat For Health Guidelines released by the Australian Government.
Maintenance disguised as ‘special treats’
Now what do I mean by this? I'm guilty of seeing ‘self care’ and ‘special appointments’ categorised as a ‘luxury one off’ experience…
Activities like infra-red saunas, remedial massages and acupuncture are actually all incredible ways to prevent injury, relax your muscles and your mind - especially in the winter.
Be kind to yourself (I'm saying this to myself as well on a regular basis), reframe 'luxury one off' to 'self care' and make a regular appointment with your favourite 'self care' activity. I have regular remedial massage booked every 2 weeks.
If you don't have the budget for the self care indulgence outside of the home or would rather make it a more regular event at home, this is actually where Live Well Health Essentials can help with our range of hot and cold therapy lupin filled bags, a wonderful way to soothe aching muscles at home.
There are so many benefits to moving your body everyday. Other than the physical benefits, regular exercise can help reduce stress, boost your overall mindset, clear your mind, improve bodily functions and help with sleeping patterns. This is why I simply get out and move more.
Avoid limiting yourself to exercises that you see on social media or get told by friends to do - explore, research and test out different ways to move your body until you find something that you love and enjoy doing on the regular, I've learned this is key to long term success.
Whether it be something as simple as yoga and flow or if you prefer an intense run on the beach - find what suits your body, lifestyle and routine. Whether you are a complete beginner, returning from a long break or just bored of your routine, setting yourself on the journey to try new exercises will help keep you motivated and disciplined.
To get inspired, I believe it starts with easily getting more movement in your day.
We talk a lot about seeing professional guidance and help for your injuries, health care methods and general medical needs but it is important to look into how these people are helping you. KB Medical Sales and Live Well Health Essentials are Complementary Health Care Experts who support Health Care Professionals, as a result we're here to help you be healthier and help Health Care Professionals help you to be healthier too.
Something to consider, are your Health Care Professionals giving you things to practice at home, in your day to day routine or are they constantly booking you in for week to week appointments?
Whilst the regular appointments may be necessary depending on your health condition, if you're not already, consider these questions to ask at your next meeting:
What exercises could I be doing at home?
Would hot or cold therapy help at home?
Are there other things I could be doing in my every day routine to help with recovery?
What could I be doing for future injury prevention?
Next time you have a meeting with your GP or Health Care Professional, it is as simple as asking more questions. I've learned that it's not necessarily that you are not being given bad advice but rather if you don't ask the question you won't get the answer. Being proactive with your health by asking more questions can help your Health Care Professionals give you more information to help you be healthier.
Where do I start?
I understand all this information at once might be overwhelming so even changing one thing in your life or simply taking it slow may be the best way to get you started:
- Make little changes: tackling an achievable change such as ‘increasing water intake’ or ‘swapping white bread for brown bread’ is an easier habit to crush initially over ‘I must workout 6 days a week for an hour’. Having these smaller changes will help maintain your motivation.
- Build on what you already do and love: for example, if you love going for a walk every night for the sunset, possibly increase your speed or change up your route to make it longer.
- Surround yourself with positive energy: often we find that the people we chose to surround ourselves with most make the most impact on our thinking processes and well being. Take a positive friend on a walk or confide in your family about your progress and how much you’d love their support.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need to be a challenge.
Rather than take the approach of being healthy in the strict sense of exercise and diet only, I love and embrace the approach of being 'healthier' and in the process I am healthy.