Our heads spin simply thinking about all the information we are presented every day about “how to live a healthy lifestyle.” Eat this, not that; restrictions, measurements… it is just too much. And more often than not, it’s just not healthy, nor is it sustainable.
Take 5! Basics
Discover YOUR Balance...
At Balanced Wellness, we want you to find your balance. Starting with the Take 5! basics is a significant step in that direction. These elements are key to a sustainable lifestyle, and they address three important factors: movement, mindset, and nutrition.
The Take 5! Program encourages long-term, successful behavior change. It’s designed to make healthy choices easier. You don’t have to do anything drastic, simply prioritize consistency! The principles are as follows:
Create habits to support a growth mindset. Also referred to as increased mindfulness, awareness, or consciousness, living with a growth mindset ties together who you are now to who you can be in the future. What are your goals? Why are these goals important to you? How do they influence who you are, in the past, present, and future? Then how you answer is all about your mindset.
For example, rather than setting a weight loss goal because you don’t want to feel bloated and overweight anymore, what can your goal provide for you as you reach for it and then accomplish it? Losing weight might mean seeing a specific size on your jeans you’ve always wanted to see, having the energy to play in the backyard with your kids, etc. Visualize the healthy outcome and use THAT to propel you forward!
Busy lives and stress tend to push us toward more of a default mode. Living in the present can lead you to make choices with growth in mind, as long as you perceive every “missed” chance as an opportunity, rather than a failure!
Exercise regularly at a moderate to vigorous intensity. The power trio of strength, cardio, and flexibility support your heart, brain, and other organs, as well as your bones, tendons, ligaments, and absolutely everything else in your body. While moderate to vigorous exercise is recommended, remember to start small if you’re starting from a primarily sedentary routine. Talk with your doctor, as well as a wellness coach or personal trainer, about where to begin. The pressure is not on you to create a regimen. Your job is to start the conversation, consider the recommendations outlined by the professionals, and then get moving!
Walking is severely underrated and underappreciated as a tool for better health. Overall you should aim for 10,000 steps per day, but if you currently take about 3,000 steps a day, set your sights on 4,000. Let it be a process! Your process may include an exercise class a few days a week, walking your dog more consistently, or going to the bathroom on the other side of the building at work. Brainstorm one way you can move more starting tomorrow!
All the wellness coaches here at Balanced Wellness have multiple fitness certifications. Let’s have a conversation today!
Drink water! We can go through the many reasons why drinking water is important. Instead, let’s keep it simple and remember that water isn’t only important, it is VITAL for life. Everything about your day is impacted when you don’t drink enough water… meaning everything about your day is impacted when you do!
A great goal is to consume half your body weight in ounces. Initially it may seem unrealistic or unattainable, but look at the Mayo Clinic's fantastic ideas on how to meet your water needs. Our two favorites are: 1) challenge a friend and 2) alternate your drinks. Competition and a realistic approach accelerate the journey without leaving you feeling restricted.
Increase your fruits and vegetables to HALF your plate at every meal. Every “diet” recognizes the importance of fruits and vegetables. These types of foods provide some nutrients that others simply can’t. This list of strategies from Harvard is full of fun, tasty ideas to bring in more color and crunch to your day!
Even though fruits and vegetables are mainly carbohydrates- the dreaded “C” word- all carbohydrates are not created equally. Sugar and starch are tasty, addictive even, and we have a tendency to consume too much of a good thing. When diet plans encourage a “low carb” lifestyle, they’re really talking about low sugar and starch. Fruits and vegetables are the healthy carbs that provide so many nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants…really more than we could ever imagine. By incorporating more fruits and vegetables (especially those deep in color), you give your body more health benefits!
Make whole foods the star of the show. Think of it this way… our bodies are made up of natural ingredients, so why shouldn’t the food we feed it be natural, too? We are what we eat, LITERALLY, so strive to reach for whole foods the majority of the time. These foods are generally characterized as not having been processed, refined, or had ingredients added to them – thus, no food label is actually necessary. Most of the foods located in the perimeter of your grocery store are considered whole foods. Shopping at local farmers’ markets provides less temptation, support through the farmers’ knowledge, and the benefit of in-season produce. The Marshfield Clinic put together some great information to get you started. Our favorite tip on their site is “buy pre-cut.” Time is valuable, and if it is what keeps you from adding veggies to your plate, seek out those containers of pre-cut at the store.
Together, these five basics support every health journey – a journey that will impact your today but also your tomorrows. Fuel your body. Strengthen your body. Support your body.
In celebration of National Nutrition Month 2023, register to be selected for a free webinar, small group coaching or cooking demonstration.