We tend to believe the meaning of “healthy” is simply eating the right foods and exercising. While this is true, “healthy” also means striving toward peace of mind and sustaining a vibrant spirit. All of these meanings embody the essence of “healthy” and together, help shape a prosperous and enriched life.
Now, to break down “healthy” and its comprehensive meaning, we’re going to cover the essential ways to better your diet, exercise, mind, and spirit so you can start living healthy!
Diet and exercise may be the two most crucial aspects to living healthy. This is because they can both be easily refined to elevate your health, as long as you’re doing what’s right for you and you’re body.
- Eat what YOU like. There are so many diets around that it’s hard to know which one is right for you. My advice is to follow a diet that best suits you, your likes, and your dislikes. For an example, the Paleo diet has gained a strong following over the past year and while boasts great benefits like weight loss and muscle gain, it’s not the perfect diet for me – I don’t enjoy meat enough.
- Substitute. When I played soccer in high school, I would always doubt my game day performance if the coach sent in a sub to replace me from the field. But the truth is, substitutions during a match can be an immensely beneficial play. Much like substituting healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado, nuts) for unhealthy fats (creams, fried and processed foods, etc). So don’t be afraid to be “that person” at a restaurant who asks the waiter to substitute the side of greasy fries for a fresh salad.
- Know when to moderate and when to indulge. Rather than classifying foods as either “good” or “bad” – think of it in terms of “moderation” and “indulgence”. Example scenario: Cookies = something I should eat in moderation. Kale = something I should indulge. There’s such a guilt associated with eating too much of something that’s so called “bad”.
- Say goodbye to guilt and eat mindfully. Remember, you should fuel your body on whole foods (veggies, whole grains, etc.) in order to increase your energy! Just be mindful and your health will benefit.
- Use the Buddy System. Find people with similar dieting goals and become accountability partners. This is the number one way that I’ve been successful maintaining a hardcore fitness regimen. It’s been tremendously helpful having a familiar face busting their ass with me. So if you can’t convince friends or family to become your workout buddy – befriend someone at the gym! You’ll clearly have similar goals if you’re both there!
- Variety. Nothing is more boring and less motivating than the same workout regimen day in and day out. So mix it up with yoga , Crossfit, indoor cycling, or other classes. Many of these classes will have free trial periods which means you can test out a new activity before any huge investment. You never know, you may be surprised by what makes it into your weekly workout routine.
- Use your time wisely. Lack of time is probably the most common excuse for failing to get in an exercise. I get it – our lives are busy. So when you make it to the gym, give it all you got. Take quick workout routine tips from programs like Crossfit, tabata, or HIIT style workouts and go for an intense exercise for a short amount of time. I guarantee you’ll leave feeling empowered!
Daily stress can keep us from truly enjoying life. To champion a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life, do the best you can to clean up the everyday clutter that causes stress.
Clear the Clutter
- Physically clean up your space. I may be one of those odd-balls who finds it extremely therapeutic to clean when I’m stressed. I find the task to be mindless, which is why I think it works so well. Give it a try! A clear space may lead to a clear mind for you as well!
- Visualize. Visualization can be a great technique for focusing the mind on the desires, behaviors, and events occurring in your life and potentially how these things will manifest as you make healthier choices.
Goal setting can often be quite cumbersome, scary, or even frustrating. In reality though, it shouldn’t be this way. No one’s asking you to sets goals that’ll determine the next 50 years of your life. And since we’re at that time of year when people typically set resolutions, consider turning your your new resolution into an obtainable goal.
- Start small. If you’re easily intimidated by the thought of setting goals, start with a small goal or to-do list. One that can easily be accomplished in a week or maybe a month. Then amp it up and proceed from there.
- Think SMART. That is: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
- Seek out professional help. No, not that kind of professional help. Professional help through the form of a life or health coach. These type of coaches are specifically trained to help individuals discover what’s truly important in life (in this case, to live healthy) and how to achieve personal success.
Having a meditative practice can be an extremely effective way to center yourself – mind, body, and spirit. Recognize that developing a solid meditative practice takes time. Though, once mastered, will lead to heightened productivity.
Reaffirm your faith
People often feel the truest form of themselves when they’re surrounded by people with similar beliefs. So find a community to be apart of as you strive to lead a healthier life.
In essence of it all – stick with your goals and rediscover what makes you happy!