Those desserts are so unhealthy…Wow she’s so healthy, I wish I could be like her….My New Years Resolution is to become healthier…I’ve been so unhealthy lately…
Most people have probably thought, heard, or said some variation of the above things. But, there’s just one little problem: what exactly is “healthy”? In between social media, magazines and today’s society, the image of healthy has gotten quite distorted. It seems that numbers on a scale, dress sizes or a certain body image defines who is and isn’t healthy. Now I’ll be completely honest, I’ve gotten wrapped up in that argument way too many times: believing, thinking and feeling that healthy was a number, a size, an image. But, repeat after me: it’s not! HEALTHY IS NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL! I think this is one of the hardest things to understand for anyone trying to be healthy. (Heck, it still trips me up some days.) Healthy doesn’t mean you have to size quadruple 0, or that you must workout 8 days a week, and eat nothing but kale. Healthy means making great choices when it comes to eating, exercise, sleep, stress management and drinking water. It involves your mind, body and spirit; it means listening to your body and taking care of yourself. Now, sure swapping your chips for vegetables as a snack is a good thing and getting some exercise and movement in every week is beneficial to you and your body…but there is no specific formula. It’s all about being yourself and finding the beauty in your own healthy ways.
That being said, there are a few key components to keeping up with your health.
Water: Water is so important to our bodies–considering they consist of 60% water–and it is key to our health to stay hydrated. Most health authorities suggest drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Sleep: Sleep can positively affect your metabolism, learning, memory, mood, immune function and many other health aspects. The amount of desired sleep can depend on age, but it is generally recommended that you get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Stress Management: Although stress is inevitable, finding ways to manage the stress is important. Journaling, meditation, taking deep breaths, soaking in a bath, doing yoga and working out are all good examples of ways to destress. Explore different options to find what works best for you–again it’s not a one way fits all.
Exercise: Exercise boosts our metabolism, immune system and overall health as well as leaving our bodies feeling happier and healthier. It doesn’t even have to be a super-intense workout: a light jog or a nightly walk can do the trick.
Eating: Make good-for-you food choices the majority of the time, but still find room to enjoy a small treat here and there. Try to stay away from processed foods (anything packaged) and head towards fruits, vegetables and lean proteins (eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese stick, turkey, chicken, etc.) Cooking your own meals, if possible, is a good way to ensure you are making better food choices too.
With these 5 components, you can tailor your choices to fit your life. We can’t all workout 7 days a week and eat amazingly clean, but we all can live a healthy lifestyle by making great choices for ourselves. Choose to be healthy because you love yourself and your body and want to take care of it. Whatever choices you make, choose them because they make you happy. That is exactly what healthy living is and what being Beyoutifully Healthy is all about.
What are your thoughts? What does healthy living mean for you?