Updated: Apr 19
A Holistic Approach to Staying Healthy in 2019
There is no one single way to stay healthy. Health incorporates the mind and body, your emotions, and your physical and spiritual well-being.
Here I suggest ways in which we can stay healthy in 2019 by looking at the bigger picture.
Exercise: By moving and challenging our body – muscles and cardiovascular system, we can see significant improvements to our health. Exercise options are broad, from walking, swimming, yoga, strength training and more. Exercise can make us feel happier and reduce the risk of low feeling and depression and anxiety. This is the main reason I choose to exercise each day, as it simply makes me feel better. The result is immediate and powerful, and becomes quite addictive.
Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise each day.
Sleep: We all know what it feels like to feel groggy and irritated after a bad night’s sleep. Many of us are suffering from poor sleep all too often, with late nights and early mornings and hectic lifestyles causing anxiety and making that deep, long and quality sleep harder and harder to get hold of. Poor sleep can results in feelings of low mood, depression and lack of focus. Sleeping enough is good for your immune system, and a lack of sleep can therefore lead to illness and disease. Sleep also control a hormone which affects appetite, so poor sleep can lead to weight gain by over-eating. Poor sleeping patterns are linked to many health issues. I find exercise helps me to sleep so this is another great reason to get in your workout or brisk walk.
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Meditation: There are many different ways to meditate. These can include walking meditation, and other forms of moving meditation such as Tai Chi and Yoga, candle focused meditation and mantra based meditation. You do not need long each day to spend on meditation, start with 5 minutes and as you get used to it, you can work to increase this. Benefits include stress management, better immune health, better sleep, focus and general well-being. Just like sleep and exercise, the health benefits are immense and cannot all be listed here. I have used an app called Headspace but there are many forms of guided meditation out there to help to get you started.
Aim for 5-10 minutes each day, and increase this length of time, when you’re ready.
Nutrition: Nutrition is key to feeling energetic, strong and mantaining good health. Diets should contain a large variety of foods. Your diet should consist of plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes and grains. You should be consuming enough calories for your goals with a good balance between proteins, fats and macros. You should also ensure you stay healthily hydrated throughout the day. As a vegan personal trainer I believe that a vegan diet is the healthiest approach but as with any diet, it requires research and guidance to ensure you’re taking in all the necessary nutrients. Thankfully, today, a vegan diet is easier to follow than ever before so there’s no reason to miss out on your favourite foods. Consider speaking to a nutritionist for in-depth personalised support, or speaking to another fitness professional who can support you with general guidance around good principles in nutrition.
Aim to have the right amount of calories, a balanced diet, with a nutrient dense profile. Aim to cut out animal products.
Being healthy is so much more than a workout in the gym or with a personal trainer (though that is a very big part of it) or going for a run.
It’s about looking after your body by giving it the right nutrients, using your muscles and heart to prevent atrophy. It’s about sleeping enough to rest and revitalise. It’s about looking after your mental health by taking breaks from smart phones and having great social connections. It’s about meditating to take away all that mind chatter so you can feel more focused, aware and in control of your thought processes.
Being healthy is all about balance and being compassionate to yourself.
Take time out and think about what being healthy means to you, and how you can be a better and healthier version of yourself in 2019.