When we think of getting healthy, we often think of set cliches. Now, having a great diet and working out is good for you, there’s no doubt about that, but they are not the only factors that can determine your health. In fact, most of the time, they can actually point towards bad levels of health. If you ever find yourself jumping on the latest diet trend, or exercising excessively (or not at all), diet and exercise are actually doing you more harm than good.
So, for the first time in your life, you’re going to stop focusing on what you eat and how much you move. Instead, you’re going to place a lot more emphasis on the idea of holistic health. Health isn’t just limited to diet and exercise after all; it’s made up of so many little contributing factors that, when you can control them, can make a huge difference to how you look and feel.
One of the most important things that you can ever do when it comes to your health is to change your outlook. Instead of seeing your body as the enemy, embrace it. Realize that you have to nourish your body to see it grow, develop, and function in the ways that you want it to.
Right now, you probably see food as either a treat or a curse. But, you need to start thinking about food as fuel. The reason we eat is to stay alive. Without food, we will stop functioning. Yes, food can be tasty and a form of enjoyment, as passion even – for some, but its primary purpose is to fuel our bodies. So, it’s time that you start seeing food as more than just a treat or that thing that makes you fat – you need to see it as a tool. In doing so, you should eat more foods that provide you with endless health benefits, and not just look and smell good.
A key element of any healthy lifestyle is sleep. Far too many people see sleep as that thing we do when we’re tired. And yes, we do sleep when we’re tired, but that’s because our bodies are craving the break they need. Instead, you should see rest as another health tool. When we get enough sleep (around 7-8 hours each night), our bodies heal, repair, recover, and reenergize. Without it, we can be cranky, bloated and lethargic. So, from now on, stick to set sleeping and waking times, and you’ll soon see a difference in your energy levels.
While we’re on the topic of energy, it’s important to know the ways that you can keep your body as energized as possible. Remember, health isn’t about an image; it’s about a state of mind, a feeling, a way of life. So, working on being full of energy can help you to achieve your optimum level of health. Being active is a great way to boost your energy. You don’t have to run for hours on end or break your body in the gym to do it either. But, doing a little bit of exercise everyday will make all of the difference.
Although you may think that nourishing your body is enough, if you really want to reach your best levels of health, you need to make sure you protect it too. To keep your body running, you need to make sure that it’s safe to perform at it’s best levels.
Keep In Check
First of all, one of the best ways to stay on top of your health is to stay on top of your health checks. We all know that we need to make regular visits to our doctor and dentist (if you haven’t got one, use a site like www.24hourdental.org to find a local office), but how many of us actually do that? It’s the same for things like eye tests, hearing tests, and screening tests for major illnesses that could affect us at some point in our lives. So make sure to book your appointments and then attend them!
Another protective factor that doesn’t always get adhered to is staying away from the sun. The sun does actually have some really great benefits for the body, like increasing vitamin D levels, but it can also be highly damaging too. Not only does prolonged sun exposure age us, but it can cause cancer – meaning you should do what you can to say out of midday heat, or cover up if you are out in it. Wearing the right SPF will also help you out. It’s the process of burning the skin that is the most toxic of all, so it’s always something you should aim to avoid.
When you’re leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well and exercising, you can often feel as if you’re doing good health wise. But, sometimes, food can be quite sneaky. Depending on your chosen diet and lifestyle, you might not be getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. So, if you really want to look after your body and protect your health, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re taking a vitamin supplement (or a few) each day to top up your levels.
And finally, it’s important to remember that health isn’t all about being hard on yourself, it can be fun too. When you look at health holistically, it benefits your body. You need to be able to take care of yourself, reward yourself, and treat your body well. When you do, it will flourish. Being strict with diet and exercise does have its perks, but it’s the rewards that will make a world of difference.
Relaxing your body is just as important as letting it rest. When you sleep, you recover – but you’re not always able to completely unwind. When you’re stressed, you can often fall asleep and then wake up in the very same state. But, when you relax your mind and body, you’re letting go of your worries. Regardless of the way you choose to relax, it’s important that you make time for it. Whether you head to a spa, take a long bubble bath, read a good book, or even have a girly pamper night, your health needs it. Treating yourself well can go a long way, so never feel guilty for taking some time out.
In life, and in health, it’s important to have goals. Without them, you can be aimlessly wondering around, day after day. But, when you have a vision or an end goal in mind, your days are worth while – they’re taking one step closer to achieving your dreams. Milestones can help with this. Whether you have a health goal, career goal, or life goal, by setting steps to follow, and allowing yourself one hell of a reward at the end of it, you’re encouraging a healthy mindset and seeing it through.
It’s easy to be hard on yourself. We all do it. If perfection didn’t exist (and come on, let’s face it, it doesn’t), we would all be a lot happier. But, instead, we often chase endless desires that benefit us in no way at all. So, instead of pushing yourself to the extreme, instead of comparing yourself to others, instead of beating yourself up, just stop. Be kinder to yourself – it will work out a lot better in the long run. And if you’re not too sure how to change your outlook, practice mindfulness. It will clear your mind, regroup your focus and show you what your priorities really are. And what could be healthier than that?
*This post is contributed to Spicy Scribbler Blog