If you still think “being healthy” is based on a number, think again. Long gone are the days of people desperately fighting against their scale. We are welcoming in a new dawn of truly understanding what healthy means and how it is expressed differently for everyone. Because believe it or not healthy is not based on how you look; it’s based on how you feel.
Being healthy is not just about being physically fit but being emotionally strong and mentally free. That being said, targeting health is going to be different from past solutions that focused solely on physical appearance. That does not mean we throw exercising out the window. Movement is still important in physical as well as mental health. In fact, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are 25% less likely to develop depression or any anxiety disorder over the course of five years. However, it’s important to recognize that movement can be accomplished in many different ways. If you love to run, then book your half marathon. If you love to rock climb or swim, do that instead. Personalize your movement.
Along with physical activity, the food we eat plays a significant role in our health. Stick to the foods that your grandma knows. Science and society constantly tell us about new dietary changes. Over time we have villainized just about every single food group including the ones we once swore by. Fruits, fats, potatoes, eggs, you name it we’ve blamed it! It can be challenging if we hitch our bandwagon to every new healthy-eating whim that comes along. Keep it simple and stick to the basics. On average, American diets exceed the recommended limits of calories from added sugars, refined sugar, refined grains, sodium and saturated fat. Limit your processed food consumption and choose things that are natural.
Another aspect of health is realistic goal setting. Although nobody does this perfectly and many people don’t tie it to health, setting goals is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. People who set goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. If goal setting is difficult for you, set small easy ones and build off of them. Set a goal to read one page from a book each day. That’s easy enough to reach and most likely you will end up reading more than just the one page. In the end, it doesn’t matter that it was small; it matters that it was achieved.