A healthy body doesn’t just happen by accident. There are necessary and intentional steps that must be taken for better wellness. Consider the following as you embark on your own health journey:
- Where you are now—physically, emotionally, and mentally?
- What lifestyle changes do you need to make to your habits (eating, sleeping, supplement intake, your daily routine, etc?)
- How will you maintain a health regimen that consists of good foods, exercise, stress relieving activities and supplements?
Without consistency and a good regimen you will never reach your full potential.
If your eyes are glazing over, don’t worry. It is easier than you realize. New healthy habits do take time, but they’re so worth it.
Time to Evaluate
Where are you physically? And where do you want to be? Write down your thoughts. In this study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, she says, “. . . if you only do one thing in relation to your goals, write them down. Those in the study who did, accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t.” Consider:
- Weight: A BMI Calculator calculates body mass index (BMI). This is a great place to see if you’re at a healthy weight or if weight loss is necessary.
Carrying too much weight can lead to:
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Coronary Heart or Gallbladder Disease
- Low quality of life
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
There is, however, a lot more to your health than just your body weight. Another important thing to consider is how you feel.
- Are you tired? Do you sleep well? Are your muscles weak? Do you struggle with issues in the bathroom? Do you have trouble focusing or do you suffer from mood swings? Where is your stress level?
- How do you unwind? Or do you?
Emotional and Mental Condition
Did you know that depression, mood swings, anxiety, and other mental health disorders can be positively impacted by simply making changes to your diet?
According to Integrative Medicine a couple of nutrients that help are…
Magnesium: Adequate amounts of magnesium are essential for avoiding headaches and fatigue, and can positively impact your mood.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These have been shown to reduce surges of stress hormones and also offer protection against heart disease, depression, and premenstrual syndrome.
Your physical, mental, and emotional well being are tied together in one amazing and complex system. How you think will affect how you live and how you choose to take care of yourself. Your psychological state also affects how you respond to stress, trauma, health issues, and everyday life.
Stress is an everyday occurrence. You may not realize that even the happiest moments of your life are stress inducing and therefore physically affect you. One study shows that even when people think that an event will be stressful there are notable changes in their nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems. This includes positive stressors like having a baby, getting married, starting a new job, etc.
Take a good look at where you currently are with stress in your life, and I’m sure you have a good idea of where you’d like to be. If you haven’t already, go ahead and write down where you are and where you want to be.
Time to Make Adjustments
Okay! Now—how do you get from here to there?
As with any new health program you’ll want to speak with your health care practitioner before taking any major steps in changing your regimen.
Your body is incredibly capable of healing and rejuvenating. Here are a few habits you can begin to cultivate to support your health journey.
Good habits to form:
- Food – Shop the outside circle of your local grocery store. Avoid cans, boxes, and prepackaged foods. Strive to buy fresh. Shop at local farmers markets.
- Keep It Simple – You don’t have to give up carbs, desserts, or go full Paleo to eat right. The key ingredients for healthy meals include lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains (gluten-free when possible). You can start with these delicious and healthy recipes.
- Supplements – Most of us are on overload and getting all the right nutrients can be challenging. A comprehensive supplement plan is a supreme way to insure you get the foundational essentials for your body. One thing you should think about adding to your diet is a daily probiotic to help balance your immune system, digestion, and overall health.
- Exercise – Depending on your lifestyle and present health status, evaluate where you are and where you want to be. You may need to simply start by walking and stretching, building up to harder cardio from there. There are also a lot of home workout options, health clubs, community centers, etc. If you are already working out and want to up your game, speak with a fitness trainer or think of other options that will light you up.
- Sleep – YES! You need sleep. To reap all the benefits of sleep you must have both quantity and quality sleep. There are a lot of positive side effects to deep sleep. It relaxes your muscles, lowers your blood pressure, and increases the blood supply to your muscles. This leads to tissue repair and growth which restores energy to your brain and body as hormones are released. It will also do wonders for your skincare!
- Stress Relieving Activities (Self-Care) – Exercise and sleep help here too, but what else relaxes you? Self care is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your idea of a stress reliever can be anything from a bath, spiritual quiet time, meditation, or sitting down with a good book. Try decreasing the clutter in your life (physical, mental, and even emotional), unplug on a regular basis until you love it (and you will!). Create morning and evening routines; they empower you.
Building A Routine
Now that you have some basics let’s talk about routine. Getting into a routine does take effort and discipline the first time around, but once you build a little momentum through small wins, you’ll be off and running.
Routines actually make all of what we are suggesting a lot easier to follow. In fact, studies show that our brain will create muscle memory of what we do routinely. This can be athletic pursuits or physically taking the lettuce out each night to prep a salad for work the next day. The more consistent it becomes the more automatic it becomes. Brushing your teeth is a good example. We just do it.
Everyone’s schedule varies, so your schedule will likely look different than someone else’s. Here are some daily routine considerations.
- Plan your food ahead, even if that means just getting a bunch of veggies washed ahead of time.
- Take a total health gut-support supplement to insure you’re supporting optimal immune, digestive, and emotional well being.
- Make time for sleep and plan to get plenty. (This will make your regimen easier to follow.)
- Decide on your exercise and de-stressing routines and then make them a mandatory part of your life. (You can even schedule them in your calendar.)
There is no quick fix to better health. You have to remain consistent in having a healthy diet, an exercise routine, and a good sleep schedule. When you focus on taking complete care of your body you’ll find your weight won’t be so stubborn, your mood will be elevated, your stress will melt away, and you’ll be ready to take on the world. You’ll be living your happiest life when you’re living your healthiest life!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 30, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy on April 22, 2021.