When it comes to overall health, diet and exercise play big roles. Our society is built around fast foods and a sedentary lifestyle. To improve health, we need to change our approach to everyday life. With drive-thrus on every corner and at every exit and boxed food claiming to be an easy, balanced meal, we are putting things in our body that provide little to no nutritional value. Yes, we are consuming calories, but not all calories are treated the same by our bodies. If we are not fueling our bodies right, we lack the energy to get up and move. This makes it easy to perpetuate the sedentary lifestyle we have become accustomed to.
Holistic health is an approach to life that focuses on the body as a whole. This approach encourages people to take responsibility for the health and well-being by making better choices. When you start taking responsibility for your actions and how they affect your well-being, you stop making excuses and start taking action. Instead of taking a pill to increase your mood, consider changing your eating habits and incorporating daily exercises into your life first.
Revamping your diet should always start with education. If you don’t understand different foods and their health benefits, how can you be expected to make good choices? Learn to read labels and recognize hidden ingredients that are harmful to your health. Try to stick with real, whole foods that don’t have a label. Fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds only have one ingredient. This simplifies things a lot.
Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. When your plate is filled with vibrant colors from whole foods, you know you are getting a lot of health benefits from many different sources. Eat plant or animal provides a unique set of nutrients. You want to take advantage of what all these different foods have to offer. All of these macro and micro nutrients provide your body with energy and help build and regenerate tissue, bone, muscle, fat and blood.
Start eating more organic and natural foods. Visit a local farmers’ market. There is nothing like purchasing food directly from the individuals who painstakingly grew it. It instills an appreciation for your food. Greens supplements are another way to incorporate more vitamins and minerals in your diet. They are like multivitamins on steroids because they pack an added nutrient punch. Many green supplements are loaded with probiotics, antioxidants and other healthy, hard to get nutrients.
Exercise doesn’t require you get in marathon shape or work your body until it drops. It is about moving your body. Holistic exercise employs workout techniques that help keep the body fit while maintaining a spiritual balance.
- Walking – Going for a walk is an underrated form of exercise. It is easy on the body and great for the mind. When you have been working all day at your desk, hunched over and focused, taking a break for a short walk can really help you relax and stretch your limbs. It is a great way to rejuvenate the body without the pounding on the limbs and joints associated with running. Nature walks are even better. Studies show that walks through nature decrease depression, improve mental health, increase well-being and lower stress.
- Yoga – Yoga is a healthy and balanced form of exercise. It stretches your muscles and relaxes your mind. This form of exercise has many different experience levels and is easy to get started. You don’t even need to join the gym. Study a couple of moves or find a free video online. As you get better, you can experiment with more advanced postures. While practicing, you can feel the tension melt away. It is a great way to start and end the day.
- Calisthenics – This form of exercise doesn’t require any kind of equipment. It is simply body weight exercises: air squats, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks, etc. These are great because you can do them anywhere. You don’t even have to give up your evening television shows. Move your body in front of the TV. Click here to see a comprehensive calisthenics guide from AthleticMuscle.
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be hard. It is about taking responsibility for your own health and well-being. Eat organic, natural, whole foods. Move your body regularly. By incorporating simple changes in your everyday, you will reap immense benefits that go beyond mere physical health.