The Road to Your Healthy Self

back-view-backlit-city-847483.jpg

Being healthy has many dimensions. It’s a process and doesn’t happen overnight. First and foremost, you have to be in the right mind-set in order to achieve and maintain a healthy body and mind. It’s not just about losing weight and looking fit, but it’s about feeling healthy as well. There are many “get-slim fast” diets, like the lemonade diet, which has absolutely no nutritional value nor does it keep your weight off for longer than a week. So, if you want to loose the weight and keep it off, read on for a few tips to get you started The three main components consist of:

  • Stay Active

This may seem so obvious, yet a lot of people avoid hitting the gym, because

a) they are too tired b) they are too busy c) they have better things to do.

But what these people don’t realize is that exercising is like taking the medicine your doctor prescribed – it’s essential to your overall health. Your body needs to be in constant motion throughout the day in order to fuel the body. So if you feel like you don’t have the energy to hit the gym, do a few quick exercises at home, but do something. The key is find something you actually ENJOY: love dancing? take a zumba class or go to a salsa social. Love the peace a yoga class can bring, carve out the time to go or do a few poses at home. Chances are you’ll be refreshed and energized afterwards.  Your body will be refueled, your muscles will roar and you’ll feel great about yourself. Try doing a few quick exercises at work to regain your energy. Exercise gets your heart pumping and can help give you more energy to make it through your day. 

  • Eat Right

When it comes to food, moderation is key. It’s better to eat throughout the day than overindulge with large meal three times a day. If you keep healthy snacks near you between breakfast and lunch, you are more likely to eat less for lunch and dinner. And of course by snacking I don’t mean chips, cookies or donuts, but what I mean is nuts, carrots with hummus, apples etc. Also, can’t stress this one enough: drink plenty of H20. By drinking an ample amount of water you will avoid dehydration which can cause feelings of fatigue. The key is having the best water filtration system. 

Another important component of eating right is personalization. “There’s no one-size-fits-all diet plan,” says Tara Gidus, RD, an Orlando-based nutritionist. “It’s important to try different approaches and see what works for you,” says Rena Wing, PhD, cofounder of the National Weight Control Registry.

  • Maintain a Happy Spirit

Consider the “mind/body connection”, which means your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. Your stress level, anxiety or sadness affects your mood, hence affects your overall health of your body. If you feel good and happy, then you usually also look great. So, besides the two very important components of staying fit and eating right, you have to:

  • Think positively

  • Smile more often

  • Don’t let the little things get to you, because the only person you’ll be hurting in the process of these emotions is yourself.

Poor emotional health can also weaken your body's immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections.

Part of being healthy is to start improving your mental health. The following are some helpful tips from the Family Doctor

Express your feelings in appropriate ways. If feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety are causing physical problems, keeping these feelings inside can make you feel worse. It’s OK to let your loved ones know when something is bothering you. However, keep in mind that your family and friends may not be able to help you deal with your feelings appropriately. At these times, ask someone outside the situation--such as your family doctor or a therapist for advice and support to help you improve your emotional health.

Live a balanced life. Try not to obsess about the problems at work, school or home that lead to negative feelings. This doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy when you feel stressed, anxious or upset. It’s important to deal with these negative feelings, but try to focus on the positive things in your life too. You may want to use a journal to keep track of things that make you feel happy or peaceful. Some research has shown that having a positive outlook can improve your quality of life and give your health a boost. You may also need to find ways to let go of some things in your life that make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Make time for things you enjoy.

Develop resilience. People with resilience are able to cope with stress in a healthy way. Resilience can be learned and strengthened with different strategies. These include having social support, keeping a positive view of yourself, accepting change, and keeping things in perspective.

Calm your mind and body. Relaxation methods, such as meditation, are useful ways to bring your emotions into balance. Meditation is a form of guided thought. It can take many forms. For example, you may do it by exercising, stretching or breathing deeply.