Being Healthy: What It Means For You
Being healthy is something that we are all striving towards, but what does it actually mean?
First of all, being healthy is NOT a one-size-fits-all prescription. Throughout different stages of your life, the healthy habits that work best for you will change as your lifestyle changes — this is perfectly normal!
Health should be approached in a holistic way that takes into account your physical, mental and emotional wellness. When you find balance in these areas, you will be empowered to live to the fullest.
- What does it mean to be healthy?
- Eating healthy
- Exercising regularly
- Making time for rest
- Prioritising your mental wellbeing
What does being healthy mean?
Being healthy looks different for different people — when you are healthy, you will feel well: physically, mentally and socially. Being healthy means feeling your best, it’s not about how you look.
Following a strict diet or exercise regime won’t make you healthy — to be healthy you must care for your body and mind, as a whole.
The steps that you take to care for your health will change throughout the different stages of your life — but there are some fundamental areas of your health that you can prioritise to ensure that you feel your best.
Here are some ways that you can take personal accountability for your own health and wellness:
Caring for your body through good nutrition
Nutrition can have a lasting impact on our health and wellness, from preventing lifestyle diseases, to reducing inflammation and supporting muscle growth and repair during the fitness journey.
Take the time to educate yourself on the variety of foods that you should eat to meet your macronutrient and micronutrient targets each day. As your lifestyle and training goals change over time, you’ll need to adjust your portions to ensure that your body has the right fuel to meet your health goals.
Eating healthy food is something that should fit into your lifestyle. Once you understand the principles of healthy eating, you can take a mindful approach to your nutrition that helps you to maintain a healthy daily food intake, while staying healthy socially, physically and mentally.
Make time for regular exercise
There are so many benefits to exercising regularly — exercise can help you to beat the effects of stress, improve sleep and boost your mood. Exercise doesn’t always have to mean going to the gym or doing the same thing.
Incorporating different forms of exercise that suit your changing lifestyle will help you to stay motivated to continually move your body.
Incidental exercise, like taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking an extra stop to catch the bus, can help you to meet your movement goals even when you don’t have workouts scheduled in.
Sometimes a high-intensity workout will be exactly what you need to get a boost of energy, but if you’ve been under a lot of stress, low-impact cardio may be the most beneficial style of exercise. Always listen to your body and adjust your training according to how you feel.
When you have a specific fitness goal, following a structured personal training program can help you to achieve that goal sooner.
Get enough rest
When you set up a new fitness or wellness routine, it’s easy to schedule in all your workouts and daily activities — but have you left enough time for rest and relaxation?
Whether you are aiming to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle or training for a specific event or performance target, rest days are essential for your recovery and mental wellbeing.
Rest doesn’t mean losing progress or doing nothing at all — active recovery can help you to stay focused between higher intensity training days.
Prioritising sleep is another essential aspect of being healthy. When you sleep, the cells of your body regenerate and your body has time to adapt to your training. Making small changes to improve your sleep over time can have a dramatic impact on your overall health.
Prioritise your mental and emotional wellbeing
Being healthy means more than just looking after your physical body — positive thoughts and a healthy mindset are also key to your wellbeing. Whether you’re feeling down due to a fitness setback, or there are other areas of your life causing you stress, taking steps to cultivate a positive attitude can help to improve how you feel.
Some ways that you can do this include expressing gratitude daily or making time for a regular mindfulness practice. You can incorporate these principles into your everyday activities — taking care of your mental wellbeing doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment.
A 2013 study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that a four-day mindfulness meditation programme reduced cortisol levels, a stress hormone in your blood, however further research is needed in this area.
Being healthy means prioritising your physical and mental wellbeing
Choosing to be healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. When you find balance in your life, you are on the right track to feeling your best!
Start with small changes that fit into your lifestyle, and remember, you can find the support and motivation you need from the SWEAT Community. Being healthy isn’t something you’ll do for a few weeks — it’s a lifelong journey!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.