Live, Eat, Move, September 29, 2018

What Does Being Healthy Actually Mean – The 5 Pillars Of Health & Wellness

What does “being healthy” mean to you?

For some people it is reaching a certain number on the scales, for others it might be maintaining a fitness marker like 10,000 steps per day, and for some it might mean meditating daily to connect with the present moment and always act from their higher self.

We talk about calories, insulin resistance, HIIT, mindfulness, blue zones, telomeres and orgamastic meditation. We read up on how stress affects the ageing process and how we can get everything we want if only trust in the universe.

And then it gets all too stressful and we go back to our glass of pinot grigio with dinner (… and then finish the bottle the next night). We eat the vegan, gluten free coconut ice cream afterwards that’s actually loaded with sugar, then comes the guilt from overindulging, and then the negative self talk that inevitably follows.

There is SO much info and new research available now – which is AMAZING – but it gets bloody confusing, and leads to more procrastinating and questioning rather than motivating us to actually take action to improve our health.

Sound familiar?

A few years ago I went through a burn-out that made me stop and think about what ‘being healthy’ really meant to me. It surprised me to realise that it was much, much more than having a green smoothie for breakfast and getting in a work out a few times a week. It’s about keeping a delicate balance between: Diet & Nutrition – what we nourish our bodies with; Movement & Exercise – whatever shape and form that takes for you; Mindfulness and Meditation – being present; Hormonal Health which effects our moods, sleep and energy levels; and Visualizing & Manifesting – the deeper work.

Nutrition is key and extremely important, but there are another 4 elements on this list that are equally as important if we want to ‘get healthy’. It’s easy to forget this when we are busy, carrying extra kgs and just want the number of the scales to go down, but sometimes it isn’t about cutting calories and punishing ourselves at the gym, its about finding the balance to allow our hormones to level out, and our body to get lean.

Being healthy for me means striking a beautiful balance in all 5 elements, but that’s not to say that it’s easy or I do this perfectly all the time.  If a new client of mine is exercising at the gym 7 days a week, but is super stressed and constantly tired and wired, she is definitely not healthy and functioning at her very best.

With live busy lives with stressful jobs, demanding bosses and beautiful but exhausting children. As women we try to do everything, be everything and keep it all together all the time because well, we have to, or at least we think we do. But eventually something starts to give, a tiny pull on the fabric, and if we don’t step back, take some space, acknowledge it and move into an environment where we can own it, that’s when our health gets out of balance, and we stop feeling like ourselves.

Here are some easy tips and reminders on how to nurture these 6 pillars of health:

Diet & Nutrition

  • Reduce sugar
  • Start your day with warm water and lemon. If the lemon is too much work, at least drink a big glass of warm / room temperature water
  • Eat 1-5 cups of non starchy vegetables a day – include lots of greens

Movement & Exercise

  • Get in 3 x fitness / sports / activity / movement sessions per week and make a deal with yourself that you won’t break this. Mark your sessions in your calendar every Sunday night and whatever happens, get them in.
  • What could that look like?  Go for a speedy walk Monday lunchtime, do a spin class Wednesday evening and dance around the living room with your kids for 30 minutes on the weekend. Done.

Mindfulness & Meditation

  • Download Headspace app and start their free 10 day learnt to meditate pack
  • Pick something that you do all the time – walk through a door frame, making a cup of tea, washing your hands and every time you do this use it as a reminder to be present – feel how the water feels on your hands, be aware of how you feel walking into the room, what sounds can you hear while you are making a cup of tea? Stick to it for one week and observe how you feel.

Hormonal Health

  • Each morning before you get out of bed, think to yourself – what do I need today. Not what do I have to get done, what do I need. This might be 5 minutes of space to just sit and close your eyes, it might be a conversation with someone, or it might be to hug your partner. It’s about you.
  • Sleep, get some rest. Nothing positive comes from a place of exhaustion.

Visualising & Manifesting

  • Practice gratitude – at dinner tonight, start a nightly gratitude practice – ask everyone at the table to say one thing that happened today that they are grateful for. And mean it. You can also journal if you don’t have the fortune of being surrounded by family or friends at dinner right now.
  • Get out of your own way and have faith in the universe, god, mother nature – it doesn’t matter what, just trust that you are being supported.

If you are feeling out of balance, and could do with some guidance and accountability, check out my online health coaching packages to see if my programs are right for you.

Image credit: Bas Van Est

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