We all know that being healthy is important.
But, what does that mean? How do you know if you are healthy? How do you measure health and are you measuring up?
Healthy for one person is different for another. One person person may think a measure of good health is following a strict diet, another may assess their health by their physical abilities or be completely satisfied with their physicians all clear diagnosis.
I don't think it really matters, what grade you give yourself and on what metrics, but what is important is that you do think about it.
Here are 4 Must Haves For Health, that I think are important:
1 - Sleep
This is so important. I think we all know that person that boasts about getting away with only a few hours of sleep a night, well maybe but why would you put that kind of stress on your body? Without adequate sleep our brains don't function properly, our digestion is affected, how we cope is impaired and our entire body is running sub optimally. If you are not a good sleeper, this would be my first priority. There are many techniques to help with sleep. Here a few for you to try.
- All screens off 1-2 hours before lights out
- Set and strictly adhere to a schedule, same wake up and go to bed times, even on weekends (this one really works for me)
- Cool and dark sleeping environment can help you fall asleep and stay asleep
- Stress can disrupt your sleep, so find ways to manage your stress
- If you are really struggling, reach out to a professional for help, there is no need to be sleep deprived.
2 - Nutrition
This is also very important and very personal but all health care professionals can agree that eating a variety and an abundance of plants is good for your health. If your plate is a bit lean on the veggies then I recommend added one or two extra servings onto your breakfast, lunch and dinner plate.
At a loss for what to eat? or need help planning? Here are some ideas:
- Commit to learning a new recipe every month to grow your meal repertoire and try new vegetables
- Ask friends or family what their favourite dishes are and ask for the recipe or teach you how to prepare them
- Join one of my meal plan programs, takes all the planning and guessing out of equation
3 - Movement
Our bodies are meant to move. According to the WHO, 1 in 4 adults do not meet their physical activity recommendations. If you are not getting a minimum of 30 minutes of movement per day or a minimum of 5,000 steps you are not moving enough. Walking is the easiest, most accessible and is low impact, but any movement will do. Here are some ideas for you.
- Set a timer to move every 2 hours, a small amount of movement throughout the day can add up to a lot at the end of it.
- Extra movement throughout the day can help relieve stress, help with achy joints from sitting too long and can give your brain a bit of a break from work.
- People who are insufficiently active have a 20-30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.
4 - Have Fun
I truly believe that having fun is essential to our health. Life can be tough and stressful, I know, but laugh, smile, and have fun. Here are some ideas.
- Connection - you feel a sense of connection when you share with others
- Playfulness - you don't have to play a game, but be playful
- Smile / Laugh - try to do this at least once an hour, it will be contagious
Well, these are my basics for health. If you are one that feels that you have the basic down, than I challenge you to determine what you can do to improve 'your healthy' state. Some examples of this could be, Start a new sport? Sign up for a race? Improve your time on your next run or ride? Go for a family hike? Lower your cholesterol? Cut down on your alcohol intake? Reduce your red meat intake?
Whatever you decide, it is up to you, but share with a friend, they may do it too, or don't, totally up to you....but i challenge you to take an honest and serious look at how you can be as healthy as you can be.
If you need any help please reach out to me, as I would be happy to assist you.
In Good Health, Wellness, and Love,
Donna Rivard - Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Wellness By The Water