Many people think they can tell if someone is “healthy” just by looking at them. The truth is a lot more complex – “healthy” can mean different things to different people! How can you be “healthy” if you can’t even define what it means? It’s most important to figure out what being healthy means to you! What are your personal health goals?
For some people healthy means the strength to carry their grocery bags, the energy to make it through the day, the peace in their minds to be able to focus on a task. When we read a lot of the health and wellness blogs out there we may start to believe that getting healthy is an expensive and time-consuming venture – but it doesn’t have to be!
Don’t be discouraged!
A healthy life is something you can work towards
and it does not require lots of money or time.
You just need some reasonable goals and a plan to get there!
Reasonable, Measurable Goals
What do You want from life? You don’t have to look like a model from the latest health magazine – you just need to meet your goals one at a time! Here is a list of goals – all are great goals, but you’re not meant to choose them all! Choose 1-3 things you want to work on and go from there! (these are all physical goals but you may choose an emotional or social goal to work towards!)
- be able to play with my children or grandchildren
- be able to carry my groceries myself
- have more energy
- better quality of sleep
- lose weight
- protect myself the best I can from diabetes/cancer/heart disease/liver disease (or other illness)
How will you know when you succeed? Your goals need to be measurable so you know that you are getting better and so you’ll know when you have succeeded! Make sure your goals are possible in your lifestyle and that they can be measured!
Most Physical Goals Have Similar Paths to Success
If you do any amount of research you will find that most of the time these goals overlap – that’s a bonus! As an example, this means that when you get stronger you’ll be able to play longer with your children or grandchildren, you may lose weight and you will sleep better!
The Basic Path to Health
DIET: It doesn’t have to be a dirty word! It can be helpful to reframe your relationship with food – don’t just see it as something to satisfy, but to nourish your body and give it the fuel it needs to function at its best. Changing your diet can be overwhelming, and requires a lot of planning and commitment. How badly do you want this? It will make a difference and it will be worth it. You can do this, but make small changes at a time! Here are a few methods to help in your journey to healthier eating – don’t plan to do it all – that is the path to failure.
- eat slowly and taste your food – sit at a table and not in front of a screen
- add 1 fruit or vegetable to every meal or snack. People who eat 6-8 fruits and vegetables lower their risk of cancer significantly, increase their fiber to aid digestion, get more nutrition, have more energy, and are more likely to lose weight.
- choose to eat one vegetable meal per day – maybe have a salad lunch each day – or vegetable soup. It’s important not to forget your protein – a handful of nuts, lentils, barley, quinoa are all great vegetarian sources of protein and fiber
- choose whole grain bread, rice, or pasta instead of white – there are more nutrients, more fiber, and more protein in whole grains than in processed grains
- pass on the processed foods – those freezer meals, cold cuts… they have extra salt, fat, and toxins in them. Eat real food the way nature intended
- don’t drink sugar – skip the juice, pop and alcohol and choose water more often
- skip the deep-fried foods more often. Extra fat is bad for your heart, liver, and weight. In fact, fried foods are linked to earlier death!
- drink water – lots of water!
EXERCISE: Another dirty word? It doesn’t mean what you think! The media has told you you need a gym membership and a trainer, but exercise just means moving your body. Do what makes you happy!
- choose to run with your kids or grandkids for just a few seconds
- take the stairs instead of the elevator
- park a block or two away and walk a bit
- ride a bike
- get up from your chair every hour and walk around – do some jumping jacks or walk up and down stairs to get your body moving and blood flowing
- try one of those 15 min YouTube workouts – you might only make it 3 min the first time but don’t be discouraged. Three minutes is better than 0 minutes.
How to Make it Really Work
These all sound like great ideas but you may be thinking “I’ll never be able to do that!”
To increase your chances of success:
- Just choose one thing to change and when that becomes a normal part of your routine, you can change something else. What’s one thing can you do that with the least effort will make the most difference?
- Say no at the grocery store so you don’t have to say no at home! You’ll win easier there.
- Find a buddy – find a friend to do it with you so you can hold each other accountable. This is best if it is someone in your home but it can be anyone. If you know someone else is doing it too and will be asking you if you’re staying on track you are more likely to make better choices.
Wellness. It isn’t a product. It isn’t a supplement. Wellness is a Lifestyle! Choose Wellness Today!
Although moderate physical activity such as brisk walking is safe for most people, health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program. If you would like to consult with a doctor, Sabe Wellness offers free (with a MB healthcard) appointments over the phone. www.SabeWellness.ca