Holistic Health (It’s Not Just Yoga And Mindfulness!)
Let’s start by defining what this actually means.
I think we can all agree that life is about balance. There’s no point in training hard seven days a week if you pay no attention at all to any other aspects of your life, like what you eat, how you sleep and how you manage your stress levels. If optimal health is your pursuit, you probably need to be considering all of the above. I like to think of life as a wheel, where everything needs to be working in tandem to allow the wheel to move smoothly.
One of the most frequently discussed topics nowadays is our mental health. If this isn’t in a great state then we are going to find our other aspects of living a holistic life quite challenging. What do I mean by that? Well, if you’re not feeling great mentally, it’s possible that you don’t have the motivation to train well, or even enjoy your training. Both anxiety and depression can also often lead to poor eating habits. This could be under eating as much as overeating or just not making the best food choices as preparing good, wholesome meals may be low on your agenda.
And we all know how much our sleep can be affected if we have things on our mind. Poor sleep leads to feelings of lethargy, irritability, and frustration the following day.
It’s no wonder that if we’re feeling like this, it can seem hard to motivate ourselves to get up, make a healthy breakfast and even get moving. And when we feel like this, we often even start to dislike ourselves. In many cases, this can then lead to making even poorer choices in terms of food and exercise. And because we develop this habit, we start to lose focus on what we actually want. And so the cycle starts.
But what can we do about it?
Well, as a nutritionist who has worked with thousands of people over the years, personally I would start with our diet. It is such a key part of healthy living.
Although all food serves a purpose to give us energy and enjoyment, it is so much more than that! A good, varied, wholesome diet fills us with amazing nutrients that help us to live and function better. In very basic terms, protein is what makes our cells grow and repair themselves. It’s used to build muscle and white cells which are vital for a healthy immune system. Fats are amazing for our cell health and also keep us warm. It’s also vital to help us absorb key vitamins. Our bodies also use it as a source of energy. Carbohydrates are our main source energy and are also vital in feeding our brains.
Again, like I said earlier, we need to consider balance in our diet as well as our life! So by eating a great balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, you’re giving your body the best opportunity to run optimally. And I haven’t even begun to tell you about the importance of fruits and vegetables in our diet. Not only do they look absolutely beautiful on our plates, adding colour and texture to a meal, but they contain key vitamins and minerals which help us live better.
So when you look in the mirror and see glowing skin, healthy hair and defined muscles, this isn’t luck! And when you’re living your life, with no ailments and you feel great, remind yourself that a big part of this is because you’ve fuelled your body well and it’s responding to this by firing on all cylinders.
If you feel good and have loads of energy, you’ll definitely lose that sluggish feeling where you can’t be bothered to go out for a walk, or you lack the motivation to go to the gym. And if you’ve had a great sleep, the chances of you having an awesome day rather than a tired and irritable one, are much higher. And if you feel good, are well nourished and rested, you’ll be more likely to deal with any stresses or obstacles that come into your path.
So, if you see the word holistic, don’t just think yoga and mindfulness (although these are awesome things to do and be aware of) but try and think of the bigger picture – the chances are, you’ll have a better day and a healthier life.