What comes up when you think about the term Healthy? What does healthy look like? Each of us might have an image that has been engraved in our minds from an early age of what healthy looks like. Is it the man/woman running down the street? Is it a body image? Is it a number on the scale? Is it fruits and vegetables? These are just some examples of the images that might appear.
What if healthy isn't necessarily an image ("look") we have created in our minds, but rather a feeling? I am not here to deny that image doesn't have an impact on our health as image might be correlated with how we ultimately feel. What today's article is focused on is that healthy is not all about the image, but also about how we feel.
Let's use FEEL as an acronym to identify those areas that have a direct impact on our health and the feelings correlated with each topic.
Fuel the Body: Think of our bodies like automobiles. As the tank empties, the car no longer runs, burns out, or stalls on the side of the road. Our bodies run similarly. With most of my clients, I am reminding them that eating is good. Food equals energy. Although there are some foods that are better than others ie whole foods vs. processed foods, we must eat to give our bodies the necessary nutrients to get us through our days. Some may think Carbohydrates are bad for your health. Science identifies that timing your carbohydrate consumption around exercise enhances performance and improves recovery (Hawley & Leckey, 2015; Murray & Rosenbloom, 2018; Thomas et al., 2016). Bottom line is that we should fuel our bodies throughout the day with foods that are healthy and foods that make us feel good. After eating, listen to what your body tells you, you might be surprised what you find out.
Exercise - Movement has so many positive benefits for your health. Exercise is known to improve your mood, energy, flexibility, brain health, concentration, reduce stress and weight loss while also preventing future injuries just to name a few. Exercise can either be gentle or more intense. The important lesson is that you are moving in some way. Getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day will assist in your overall health journey.
Energy Levels - how do we feel when we wake up in the morning? How do we feel throughout the day and into the evening? Are there differences in how we feel based on the day or time of day? Are there differences based on the types of foods we eat? When we surround ourselves with people, do we feel energized or does it feel like work? Recognizing those people and things that bring our energy levels up vs. those that extract energy from us is extremely important. Pay attention to those people or things in your life and how they make you feel . If you see patterns of those people or things that bring your energy down, what changes can you make to enhance your life?
Living Your Best Life - What if you had only one year to live? What would you do in that year? Where would you go? Who would you spend your time with? Each day we have a new opportunity to live our lives better than the last. Why wait until we are at the end of our lives to enjoy it? Be thankful each day for what you have been given, what you have the opportunity to experience, and who you get to share your time with not only for a year, but for a lifetime. Not everything or everyone may last forever; however, they are important in the person whom you have become today. Enjoy the little moments, take risks, learn from your mistakes, and continue to live better than you did yesterday.
We are all unique, there is not a one-size fits all for what healthy looks like. What might work for one person might not FIT another person's lifestyle, image, or feelings. What does healthy feel like for you? What habits are standing in your way of living your best and healthiest life? For more information, visit us at www.fitmbsllc.com.