When I used to think of the word healthy, I thought eating clean and running. So essentially food and exercise. That makes sense, right? Its kind of what we are told we need to do – eat right (what ever that might mean) and move more.
After years of being trainer, experimenting with myself and reading a ton on all things food and movement, my view of health has changed. I now see health in four dimensions.
1. Eating – I am not worried about food rules. Eat what you enjoy. What fuels you for your life. What makes your body feel good and what helps support your goals.
2. Movement – Do what makes you happy. Yes, I think EVERY ONE should strength train but at the end of the day if zumba, yoga, body pump, running makes your heart SING!! then do that.
Ok – here are the next trickier two.
3. Sleep. You need sleep. If ever there is a magic pill, this is it. It is our reset and renewal. It helps hormones stay in balance, helps us deal with stress, it can help in losing weight and being less depressed. 7-9 in a pitch dark room is the target. I know most people get way less than this on a regular basis. If you have to pick one of these dimensions to work on, SLEEP is it.
4. Stress management. Life is stressful. Kids, full time jobs, relationships, drama, perfectionism, the driving need to have to do EVERY THING and do it perfectly. There are many things that could be said here but I will simply put have a stress management strategy and tools that are in place and used regularly. Meditation, long slow walks, reading quietly, saying no to things that don’t make your heart sing, ending relationships that drain you of your life energy, etc. After you get your sleep better, then start with stress management. Eating and moving can be worked on later.
Healthy should feel like good sleep regularly, stable moods, healthy sex drive, a good appetite and energy to do the activities that you want to do. While life pulls us in many different directions, there should be a feeling of balance most of the times in all areas of life. Health feels like energy expenditure and energy renewal filled with relationships that nourish and energize.
Health is more than your pants size or the number on the scale. That is way too small. Think bigger. Think about health means feeling AMAZING in life.
Think about your life and how you stack up in these different areas. What do you already do really well? Where is your biggest opportunity? What one thing can you pick to do to improve your health?
Kara Silva is a mom to an awesome daughter and a happy wife to a fab husband. She is a CrossFit Coach (though working on more of an Olympic weightlifting focus now) a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She loves helping people move better, feel healthier and figure out what makes them happiest in life. Her blog, Zen Barbell, can be found HERE. Its about all things to have a strong body, present mind, and a healthy life. You can also find Kara on her Facebook page.