Being Healthy: What It Means For You
Being healthy is something worth striving for, 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 — and this is perfectly normal!
Approach your health in a holistic way that takes into account your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Finding balance in these areas is one way to feel healthy and empowered to live your life to the fullest.
What does being healthy mean?
Being healthy will look different for different people and is all about your overall physical and mental wellbeing. It's about feeling your best, not about how you look.
Following a strict diet or exercise regimen won’t necessarily make you healthy — to be healthy you must care for your body AND your mind.
The steps you take to care for your health will change throughout your life — but there are some fundamental areas you can prioritise to ensure 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
Good nutrition can have a lasting impact on your health and wellbeing, from helping to prevent lifestyle diseases and ensuring your body has the nutrients it needs to function well to supporting muscle growth and repair during your fitness journey.
If you're not sure what healthy eating means for you, take the time to educate yourself on the variety of foods you should eat to ensure you have enough energy for your day-to-day tasks and your training. For most people, this will include a balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, with lots of fruit and vegetables.
As your lifestyle and training goals change over time, you’ll need to adjust your portions to ensure your body has the right fuel to meet your health goals.
Eating healthy food should fit into your lifestyle. Once you understand the principles of healthy eating, take a mindful approach to your nutrition to help 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 reduce the effects of stress, improve your sleep and boost your mood. But exercise doesn’t always have to mean going to the gym or doing the same workout day after day.
If you're a fitness beginner or returning to exercise after a break, try out a few different training styles to figure out what best suits you — finding a workout routine you enjoy will help you stay motivated.
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 or are feeling lower in energy.
If you're finding it harder to include movement in your day now you're working from home, why not try and find a way to work exercise snacks into your routine?
Sometimes a high-intensity workout will be exactly what you feel like, but if you’ve been under a lot of stress, low-impact cardio may be more beneficial.
The different stages of your menstrual cycle can also influence your workout plans and the kind of training you feel like doing. Always listen to your body and adjust your workouts according to how you feel. Tracking your cycle, energy and symptoms can also help!
If you have a specific fitness goal, following a structured 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 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 are training for a specific event or performance target, rest days are essential for your recovery and mental wellbeing, and resting doesn't mean losing progress! In fact, rest is essential for progress - it's when your muscles adapt and grow.
Rest can look like doing nothing at all if you're feeling fatigued, or active recovery can help you to stay focused and moving between higher intensity training days.
Prioritising sleep is another essential part 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, such as an earlier bedtime or putting your phone away an hour before bed, can also have a dramatic impact on your overall health and how you feel.
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 recovering from 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.
Sweat Trainer Kelsey Wells' latest program Redefine Fitness infuses strength training and mindfulness, incorporating intention-setting, affirmations and moments of gratitude into each workout.
"I started using these three tools and helping others to use them, and suddenly I knew I would never train another person ever again without them. That's how important and powerful I believe they are," Kelsey says.
Ready to recommit to your health goals?
Making healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as setting aside 20 minutes for a quick workout, preparing a healthy snack, writing down a few things you're grateful for, or trying a new training style.
If you're ready to recommit to your health, Sweat has four beginner-friendly programs to help you move again — they're an achievable starting point, with two 20-minute resistance workouts each week.
Start with small, sustainable 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 a short-term goal or something to do for a few weeks — it’s a lifelong journey!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.