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Health… It’s more than just Nutrition and Physical Activity
“Embrace your Ikigai”
Someone recently asked me, “What do I need to eat and how do I need to move to be the healthiest I have ever been?”
In order to be “your healthiest you,”… eat whole foods and workout 5 times a week. This might seem so simple. The reality, however, is that health is so much more complicated than those two directions. Yes, if you eat right and move your body, you will have better physical health, but what about emotional and spiritual health? So, ask yourself this question, “How do you want to live as you age?”
I am fascinated with Blue Zones. Blue zones are those places around the world where people live longer and are healthier than anywhere else on earth. I often tell my family that I will live in a Blue Zone one day, but until then how can I be the healthiest I can be? I have created my own tool box for health by researching how the people of the Blue Zones live and although my environment will not be exactly like a Blue Zone, I try my best to learn from their amazing health habits, thus, creating my own Blue Zone.
Here are the my top Health Habits that are in my Tool Box
- Know your purpose :Having a purpose in life is a proven link to living longer. Having a purpose for living healthy also allows you to connect to something bigger than just fitting in your skinny jeans (although I hear ya here). In Japan they say ” Embrace your Ikigai”. Ikigai is your reason to get up every morning.
- Eat more plants…Duh: I recently told a friend of mine this when she was asking about a Vegan lifestyle. I did not even realize I left her a voice mail that said, “Plants are good…duh” until she called me back laughing. As funny as the comment was, it has so much truth. It’s a simple as eating your plants!
- Move More: This is not just your 30 minutes of cross fit, yoga or running (although all great), but this is talking about moving naturally throughout your day. So taking a walking meeting, doing housework or gardening. Try and add more natural movement daily.
- Nurture your spirituality or religion: Connecting to something bigger than yourself has shown to increase happiness thus increasing your overall health.
- Have Stress relieving habits: Figure out how to manage stress on a daily basis. For me it’s a long chat with friends, dinner with husband, playing with kids, Epsom salt bath or a good book.
- Make Sunday a meal Organizer Day: I am a busy mom and I like to take my sundays to have fun with the family, but i also take a moment of Sundays to plan out my week in three meal increments. I like to do three meals mainly because something always comes up or what I thought I wanted has now changed. Taking just an hour to shop and prep can have a big impact!
- Sleep: Those of you who know me know this is my struggle. I am a night owl and love the calm of darkness and night, however, I know how my body suffers when I do not sleep so I make a conscious effort to get to bed on the weeknights at a reasonable hour. People who sleep 6 hours of less per night are 30% less happy. So get your zzzzzzzzs.
- Limit Consumption of meat, Diary, and Sugar: This is a biggie. Although I consume meat, I always purchase organic pasture raised options and I do not consume meal for every meal and sometimes not even daily. Diary and Sugar both can reek havoc on your health, instead focus on adding in more veggies, fruits, nuts, and fish.
- Make Time for Friends: Find friends who make you laugh and who are good for the soul. I know I have a great group of friends that truly lift me up when I am feeling blue and who honestly just make life fun! So do not forget to have fun!
- Get involved in your Community: Whether it is with your church or children school or at a local soup kitchen, find ways to volunteer and connect within your community. Connection with other humans is key to over health
Word of advice, do not try and implement all these tools. Also these are just my suggestion after researching what works for total health , but there are many more tools that you can have in your health tool box. Start making your list today!
“Living longer and feeling better is the sum of a few small easy choices you can incorporate into everyday life.”—Dan Buettner
If you can need help implementing any of these habits or designing your own health tool box, please contact me! I would love to help!