Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Step 7: Maintain Physical Well-Being

This is the easiest way to feel good. Exercise and you are pretty well guaranteed to feel better after. Exercise and eat well consistently and there you have it- a consistent means of feeling good. Make it a habit to eat well most of the time and engage in some form of physical activity on a regular basis. These two powerful tools are clear- you have the formula, you know the steps- all you need to do is take action and small steps so that eating well and exercising simply become a learned part of your lifestyle. There are many, many resources out there prescribing diets and certain workout regiments. But at the end of the day, what is important? The only thing that is important is that you feel good. It doesn't have to be as complicated as some make it out to be.

With regards to exercise, it's all about finding the form of physical exertion that works for you. As long as it makes you sweat then you're good to go! What is more important than the specific activity you do is how often you do it. Make a goal to commit to your physical activity on a consistent basis. The goal does not have to be massive, it just has to be doable. I, for example, commit to running at least 3 miles every other day. This is my base and totally doable. I usually end up running more and doing other things apart from my run, but the run is what happens no matter what.

These are the reasons why I believe that exercise is important:
  • To feel energized
  • To gain strength
  • To challenge yourself physically and mentally
  • To feel good
So if you are running, swimming, biking, doing yoga or lifting weights, do it regularly. Stick to a realistic goal as a base of certainty and be open to explore different ways of being active as well! I love being active in nature because it is a win-win. I benefit from the endorphins of physical exercise and the beauty of nature.

Now with regards to food, the first thing to keep in mind is that it is not necessary to be perfect in order to be healthy. Making healthy choices %80 of the time is great. I believe that diets don't work because they cause one to crave the foods that are being restricted. And what happens when you are not allowed to have something that you want? (especially when you see it but can't have it) You want it more! Dieting results in binge eating and often fails to support habits that last for life.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Food is a powerful tool for optimal wellness
  • Maintaining a balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods is the key
  •  Eat regular meals and snacks when you are hungry to recharge the body and mind
  • Consume lots of fruits and veggies
  • It's OK to have chocolate sometimes!
  • Eat unrefined and whole foods from each food group
  • Aim to include protein with every meal


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