When we talk with our members about their health, they talk about everything from their family, to their work environment, nutrition, mental health, seasonal effects and the list goes on. The takeaway is that it’s never just about one thing. Fitness is one piece of a larger healthy lifestyle puzzle.
In order to be healthy we have to take a full scope approach to our lives and inject health into every region. You can’t work out for 2 hours, go home and drink soda, eat a bag of chips and expect to feel great. To the same point, you can’t have a job that maxes out your stress levels, and then expect to feel energized when you go home.
So what can you do to start feeling less stressed, more energized, and have an overall more positive approach to life? Start with these 4 puzzle pieces; we’ll call them the corner pieces.
You have to pay attention to what you put in your body. There is no shortcut to this. Eat crap and you will feel like crap. You’d never expect to run a car on fuel that doesn’t belong without it breaking down, so why would you think your body is any different? You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to care about yourself. Think of your food and nutrition as fuel, and then ask yourself, “Will this food make me better?” If the answer is no, then maybe it needs to be replaced by a yes. If you want a healthy life, start with real food. Fuel your body to run on all cylinders.
You have to move. Our bodies were made to move, and for thousands of years we did nothing but move. From hunting and gathering, to farming and manual labor. At the very least 50 years ago we had to walk and push to mow our lawns. The modern error makes it easy to sit and sit…and sit. While our fingers may be working hard on phones and remotes, the rest of our body is checking out.
Read 1000 articles and you get the same result; if you want to feel better, you must get your blood flowing and use the body you were given. Go for a walk, clean, rake, hike, workout—it really doesn’t matter as long as you start moving. Feel anxious? Move. Feel tired? Move. Feel uninspired? Move! You get one life and only one vessel to navigate this life. Use it or lose it!
People now more than ever are disconnected. The smaller the world gets with tech, the smaller our worlds get to the point where we hardly look up. Sure, we get lots of likes, but we don’t share as many laughs together. This 80 year Harvard study came to the conclusion that “Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed.” Again this is a crucial piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. And if we are not happy, it’s going to be hard to make healthy lifestyle choices. Reconnect with people, new friends, old friends, or just a community that shares your thoughts and passions.
It seems imperative that we have a focus for our day, week or year. With so many directions to go in life, it can be utterly overwhelming and stop us in our tracks. If we take the time to pick a focus, a purpose or a vision we are working towards, it gives us our bearings. Fuel and movement certainly helps if you know where you’re going. If you want to live a healthy life, your focus can help give you just the drive you need to make good daily choices that lead to good life choices.
Everyone’s puzzle is a bit different but once you start putting those healthy pieces together the full picture always comes into view.
For more tips on how to get your corner pieces in place, check out Effective Goal Setting.