Hey hey hey. Guess what….April 7th (just a few days ago) was WORLD HEALTH DAY! Sounds like a pretty great day right? Well the good people over at Cotopaxi created a graphic to share along side some of my own health hacks I do to live a healthy lifestyle every day. If you haven’t heard about/don’t know about Cotopaxi…they’re an amazing company…check out their site to find out what they’re all about! Also, check out their awesome backpacks here.
So…how do I stay healthy every single day? First of all, living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just food and exercise. There is so much more to it than that. It’s about physical health yes, but it’s also about emotional, spiritual and social health. So some things I do every day to stay healthy…
1. Being Physically Active
No, I don’t go to the gym or go for a run or put in a super intense workout every day, but I do try to be physically active every day. Even in small ways. I try to “workout” about 5 days a week and I usually have 2 “rest days”. Even on my rest days I do the simple things…take the stairs, go for a walk, park far away (except in the winter…yeah right, not in the cold!). Exercise and physical activity not only helps you maintain a healthy weight but it also helps your mental health. People that are more physically active tend to be happier. Truth. Exercise has been found to reduce depression and anxiety.
Source: Exercise for Mental Health (Ashish)
2. Taking Time for Myself
This is important, and something I often struggle with. My life over the past year or so has been insanely busy with school, work, blogging, starting a new business and trying to have some semblance of a social life. However, I have to remind myself to slow down and let things go sometimes. Yes, even if I don’t get something done today…I’ll figure it out and it will get done…eventually. It’s so important to take time to just relax and “turn off” sometimes. Whether that means meditating, just listening to music/watching tv, journaling or just hanging out with friends…it’s vital to just have some downtime. If you don’t, you’ll eventually hit your breaking point…and take it from someone who knows…it will be worse than if you’d just taken some time to relax earlier on. You’ve probably heard the saying along the lines of “If you don’t take the time now to be well, you most assuredly will take the time later on to be ill” I think this applies incredibly well to mental and emotional health as well. So…take some time for yourself, it’s not a bad thing, it’s necessary!
3. Taking Time for Spiritual Learning and Growth
I believe that spirituality is a huge part of health. I am very religious and a huge part of my mental and emotional health is finding time each day to be spiritually nourished. Reading scriptures, pondering/meditating and praying are a major factor in my health. When these things are lacking in my life I find that I have more stress and anxiety, but when I am focusing more on the spiritual aspects of my life I am more at peace…and I honestly find that I am more motivated to take care of myself in other ways. Having spiritual strength helps me to know that I can do anything with God’s help…no matter what it is (work, school, physical, social…etc)
4. Eating Right and Nourishing My Body
Of course, as a dietitian, I couldn’t forget this one. This is literally what I think about all day (it’s kind of my job…!) and I love it. What we eat has such a huge impact on us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. As a dietitian working in a clinical setting at a hospital I can assure you that many of the patients I see are in the hospital due to years of making unhealthy choices. Now of course, there are people who are there for reasons beyond their control, but many of the patients I see could avoid a lot of pain and suffering by just making healthier choices (in all aspects of life…food, exercise, mentally, etc). Eating well and fueling your body with healthy foods will help you maintain a healthy weight, aid in avoiding obesity related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes (among MANY others), give you more energy and help you feel better overall. Think about it, you can’t tell me you don’t feel better on days that you’re fueling your body with healthy foods. And they CAN taste good. I promise. Sometimes people complain to me that healthy foods don’t taste good, that’s just not true. There are so many ways to eat healthy and still enjoy it…um check out the recipe section of my blog for LOTS of healthy food ideas (even desserts!). Of course it’s okay to indulge (um…chocolate is important for my mental health 😉 …for real) but let it be just that, an occasional indulgence, not the “usual”
Check out Cotopaxi’s tips for living a healthy lifestyle every day below…and HAPPY (belated) WORLD HEALTH DAY!