…and sound of mind I suppose.
(if in doubt have a power, energising, green juice!)
How does one stay healthy, when there are many conflicting views on how to go about achieving a healthy lifestyle. What does this term ‘healthy’ actually mean? Do we take the medical, scientific notion that being healthy consists of promoting a diet full of nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Or do we take the more philosophical notion, that being healthy can be a state of mind. Being in a place where our mind is free from stress, and can focus on things that make us happy. Is being healthy living a life full of perspective and openness? When I typed staying healthy into google, the main response I got was this:
“Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally too. If you’re eating the right food and keeping fit, your body will be strong and help you to cope with stress and also fight illness. Eating well and taking regular exercise when you are a teenager will also help you stay in good health later in life.”
(From the childline website)
This emphasises the foundations of staying healthy. From a physiological perspective you need to eat well and be physically active. It is fundamental for us as humans to be active, to be doing things and supporting these activities through nutritious foods. Maybe the concept of healthy is subjective to each individual and the needs they have. I’m not qualified to make judgements or bandy round advice on how to stay fit and healthy. All I can comment on is what works for me and my life.
Of course if you have underlying health issues that have been identified, then of course keeping up with a regular fitness programme, eating a wider range of whole foods and seeking advice and support where possible, is mostly likely going to keep you healthy and live a fuller, longer life.
However, for the rest of us, the ones that plod along, succumb to regular colds and flus, and have a general feeling of being run down, how do we stay healthy? The ones that eat okay but not all the time, and workout when the feeling arises, how do we begin to connect to this concept of ‘staying healthy’? Personally, I start with thinking about what I want out of life. The things I want to succeed in. And that’s being able to perform at a high level in my job, and be able to do the things I enjoy when not working. Like practising yoga, seeing friends, and visiting new places. If I constantly don’t feel well then I can’t do those things that make me happy. Over the past few months I have been so unwell that I’ve missed out on that stuff and it makes me sad. Even now, if I do too much my body begins to feel fatigued and stressed out, and I can feel those old feelings of lack lustre arise again. My skin and mental well-being begins to take its toll also.
I deem myself to be a pretty healthy person (workout regularly and eat a nutritious diet roughly 80% of the time). Clearly my body was telling another story. So, I took it upon myself to treat it to some self love. I spoke about this in a previous post. And my body was totally grateful for that ‘me’ time. I began taking regular doses of Vit C (1000mg) and Zinc. I began changing my food habits back to how they used to be – lots of veg and fruit, limiting the amount of sugars I was intaking. It’s crazy to think how much refined sugar can have an impact on our lives. And I started practising gentle yin, restorative yoga poses, to help ease out tension and toxins that had built up over time. Basically I tuned into my body and let it do what it needed to do. Otherwise, you persist in this vicious cycle of nastiness.
For me, this is how I go about promoting a healthy lifestyle. Knowing when I need to recharge, take stock and modify my behaviours. I enjoy feeling good about myself. I try not to limit anything but focus on surrounding myself with goodness, whether that’s foods, people or thoughts. And with this I gain a sound piece of mind. I find a clarity and clearness. My mind is able to be still and quiet. And I can focus on the things that are important. Sometimes, struggles come my way, which effect my sleeping habits, which in turn can affect my food choices and exercising patterns, but I don’t let it get me down anymore. I try to see it as having a balance, and try to connect with what’s causing those problems. Usually it’s feeling overworked and tired. It’s about noticing signs and symptoms, and then working out how to solve those issues.
I follow Food Matters and find that they’re idea of being healthy and how we can achieve that ideal, extremely motivating and inspiring. They break it down so it becomes such a simple process. Making those small changes, which will help change our attitudes towards the kind of life we should, or even want to be living. Maybe, that’s what ‘healthy’ means. Having an attitude towards life, an energy that omits positivity and encourages you to be the best version of yourself.
I’m going to stop here, as I could waffle on for ages without making much sense. But I hope you get the sense that what we deem to be healthy can have many different meanings. And it is up to us to make those changes. We have a responsibility to take care of our bodies and our minds so we can live a full and exciting life.