A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking with a group of women about healthy living at the Schilling Farms YMCA in Collierville. We talked about lifestyle and health choices that help us achieve ideal energy, wellness, and movement at every age and stage of our lives. We had such a great discussion, I wanted to share some key points with those who were not able to attend.
Just as there is no one definition of what “good health” means, there is no one destination where you achieve “wellness”. In a broad sense, health is a state of your body. This may mean the absence of illness or a certain body composition. On the other hand, wellness is a state of your well-being.
The goals for health and pathway to wellness are unique to each of us. However, there are smart lifestyle choices that are important for all of us to consider. Especially, if we desire to look, feel, and function our best throughout our lifespan.
1. Healthy Diet
We are not talking about going on a diet. We are talking about putting healthy food into our body, to get the results we want from our body. To achieve this, eat as much natural food as possible. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for meat, produce, and dairy products. Make sure each meal contains a healthy mix of lean proteins, healthy fats, smart carbohydrates, and lots of fiber.
2. Hydrate Often
Most of us have heard that our body is made up of 70% water. That means it requires constant hydration to function optimally. An easy equation to follow is your body weight divided by 2 in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, divided by 2 is 75. So you should aim to drink at least 75 ounces of water a day. Of course, that needs to increase on hot days, or when exercising.
3. Supplement Wisely
Despite a healthy, whole foods diet, many Americans are deficient in many vitamins and minerals. Due to the way food is grown, transported, and exposed to toxic chemicals, we aren’t getting the same nutrients in our food that we did 50 years ago. Three supplements I most often recommend are a good multivitamin, Omega 3 fatty acid, and probiotic. Here is a link to theproducts I use and personally recommend. . .
- CorePlex Multivitamin
- Probiotic Restore
4. Manage Stress
As women, we wear many hats. With each of those hats come added stress. Unfortunately, stress has significant health consequences including:
- increased risk for stroke
- higher incidence of heart attack
- digestive issues
- joint pain
Some stress we need to deal with or get rid of completely. However, we need to have stress management tools to use when those persistent unavoidable stresses hit. Something as simple as taking a few slow deep belly breathes lower your heart rate and stress response.
5. Sleep Consistently
There are obvious and less obvious implications to sleepless nights. Obviously, we are more productive and have more energy when we get a good night sleep. However, sleep also decreases stress, food cravings, aides in weight loss, improves memory, and lowers risk for many diseases. Aim for 7-9 hours a night based on your individual need.
6. Exercise Regularly
We all want to be able to do what we want and do it well into our retirement years. We don’t want to be limited by fear or pain. Movement is the medicine that will allow us to achieve this quality of life. The best exercise you can do is the one you love and works well with your lifestyle. Your weekly exercise program should include aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching.
If you don’t know where to start or have medical conditions that limit your ability to exercise you may need a monitored, customized plan. This leads me right to the last of the 7 strategies.
7. Get Help
You may be struggling in one or all of these areas. You know you can’t feel your best or move through life energetically if one of these areas is a weak link. Sometimes we require the help of a professional to get back on track, overcome pain, break through a plateau, and finally meet your goals.