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. We at Balanced Wellness want you to find YOUR balance, which might mean taking a “time out” to consider the mainstays of everything that’s out there. Thankfully, that’s already been done…no reason to make our heads spin any more than they already do. So, let’s get back to the basics with five key elements, all supporting your health journey through nutrition, movement, and mindset.
We do this through the Take 5! Program which encourages behavior change designed to cultivate not only short-term success, but also success in the long-term. We all make choices every day and knowing how to make healthy choices most of the time offers greater results. It isn’t always easy, but with the right tools and support, it can be simple. The principles are as follows:
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, AND everything about your day is impacted when you drink ENOUGH! The Mayo Clinic has some fantastic ideas on how to meet your water needs with my two favorite being: 1) challenge a friend and 2) alternate your drinks. Competition and a realistic approach benefit the process without leaving us feeling restricted.
Increase your fruits and vegetables to HALF your plate at EVERY meal and snack. Whether you’re looking at a plan based on low-carb/high protein, intermittent fasting, vegan, etc., every “diet” recognizes the importance of fruits and vegetables. These types of foods provide nutrients that starch, fat, and protein simply CANNOT. This list of strategies from Harvard is full of fun, tasty ideas to bring in more color, crunch, and nutrients to your day!
Whole foods are the star of the show! I like to 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 reach for whole foods the majority of the time. These foods are generally characterized as foods that have not 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 or support your journey to the next level! My 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!
Move regularly via moderate to vigorous exercise. The power trio of strength, cardio, and flexibility not only create a healthier you NOW, but it works to create a healthier FUTURE you by supporting 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 and simple. Talk with your doctor, as well as a wellness coach or personal trainer, about where to start. 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!! All the wellness coaches here at Balanced Wellness have multiple fitness certifications. Let’s have a conversation today!
Create habits to support mindfulness. Another word for mindfulness, especially when it comes to healthy habits, is consciousness. Busy lives and stress tend to push us toward more of a “life by default.” Living more aware as to why we do the things we do sets us up for greater success – yes, by simply becoming more aware. Here is a reminder of how it’s all connected from our Habits of the Heart blog.
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.