Over the past year, I’ve talked about health with just about anyone that will listen.
Health: (noun) the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor
While this is Webster’s definition, true health means something different for each of us, and there are many ways to get there. What I’ve noticed though, is that the most fit people I know, weave health into their every day. For them, health isn’t something to check off of a list, it’s something to live.
So what does that look like? How do you weave health into your every day?
Here are five practices to help:
1) Move More. This isn’t just about parking further away at the store, or taking the stairs. Search your day for opportunities to move. How can you sneak it in? Exercise at lunch (who needs an hour to eat?? Go for a run or walk, and eat at your desk). Walk down the hall instead of sending that email. Bike to work. Take your calls on the move. Stand during the meeting. Just because everyone else is sitting, doesn’t mean you have to. Move every chance you get.
2) Make it enjoyable. Let’s be honest, if you hate it, you’re not going to do it. So how do you make movement enjoyable? Download a podcast, and listen while you walk the dog. Make a playlist. Recruit a friend. Buy an outfit that makes you feel great. Exercise outdoors, in a beautiful spot. Do something to make your movement a source of pleasure.
3) Make it a mindful practice. Exercise to tune in, not out. Pay attention to what it feels like. How do your feet strike the ground? How are you breathing? Are you holding tension? What are you thinking? Read this recent article from the NY Times about the link between mindfulness and satisfaction during exercise. As much as you can, be present as you move.
4) Fuel your body to move. After you eat, notice how you feel. Do you feel heavy? Are you tired? Still hungry? Or do you feel like you could go for a walk or a run? How does what you’ve eaten serve you? We eat for many reasons – pleasure, celebration, boredom, comfort, etc. – but the primary reason to eat is fuel. Pay attention, and fuel to move.
5) Preventative practice. In order to BE healthy, to maintain your health, you want to take care of your body right now. After all, as someone once said, “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” Practice preventative care. Massages. Essential Oils. Whole foods. Exercise. Stretching. Foam Rolling. Love. Dark Chocolate. What will you do to take care of you?
Remember, you don’t have to overhaul your life all in one day. Start small.
What one thing will you do to weave health into your every day?