How to Get Healthy
We hear and see thousands of messages daily about how to get healthy and improve your health and wellness. The noise is loud and it is hard to figure out who to trust. Ultimately, starting to get healthy is a combination of small and intentional decisions, that include nutrition, exercise habits, hydration, positive self-talk, and sleep habits. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to health and wellness but there are some key points that I have found to be beneficial when trying to make positive changes towards a healthier lifestyle.
Please stop eating processed foods and start eating REAL FOOD. 42% of Americans are obese and I blame the food industry. For too many years, our food industry has confused consumers with marketing labels like low-fat or healthy and natural, on foods that are full of additives, processed carbs, and sugar. We need to eat plants and a lot more of them. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Fill the biggest part of your grocery cart with fruits and veggies and lean proteins. Once you get home, divide and prepare your food so it is used and does not spoil. Buy packaged food with six or fewer ingredients and if the ingredients are unrecognizable or you can’t pronounce them, put the package back on the shelf. Additives and food dyes? Avoid them. Refined Sugar? Stay away. If you read my blog on Sugar Addiction, you now understand why. Organic? For sure, if it’s in the budget (it’s okay if it is just a regular veggie). Non-GMO? Absolutely. Be on the lookout for non-GMO corn, corn chips, soy, and soy-based products. Those veggies have the highest amount of GMOs in the U.S. Simply put, eat like our ancestors.
How many times should I eat?
Today I focus on what you are eating when you are hungry. Rather than filling your meals and snacks with non-nutritions foods, balance your nutrition with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats from plants and animals. If you are starting a nutrition plan on your own, fill ¾ of your plate with plant-based nutrition (including fat) then the other ¼ of your plate with lean protein. Eating three meals a day is common with one snack if needed. If you are eating the right amount of healthy fat from your body, you will be less hungry and can skip the morning or afternoon snack. Often we snack out of habit.
If you have kids, please do the same for them. Kids need to learn how to have a positive relationship with healthy foods. Everyone needs a cheat meal every now and then but if your entire diet looks like a cheat meal, it’s time to reevaluate and make some changes to the way you treat your body and mind.
How to get healthy with exercise & movement
Our joints and muscles and bones need regular exercise and movement experiencing a full range of motion in all planes of motion for joint mobility and long-term functionality.
How to get healthy as a beginner.
The best way to start as a beginner is simply to put on a pair of tennis shoes and go outside for a walk. Plan for a 15-20 minute walk every other day for a week. Once you can accomplish that first week, then add either distance (or minutes) to your walk or increase the frequency from every other day to daily. After a month of walking, jog every third minute, for 60 seconds. It will take your heart-rate from constant bpm to a heightened heart-rate and your body will experience the positive effects of low impact interval training at your comfortable, starter pace.
Getting back into fitness.
Find an instructor or a trainer you trust and like. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, find a mid-level, group fitness class that combines cardio and strength training. Always tell the instructor if you are just starting or coming back to fitness after a break so he or she can offer modifications to help you feel successful in class. Plan and write your fitness schedule for the upcoming week on Sunday for a no-excuses plan of attack!
Self Myofascial Release and Stretching.
These practices are incredibly important to improve your range of motion, prevent injury, and help your performance while exercising. Often men and women leave class during the cool down and stretch but that time is the best to perform static and ballistic stretches often finding a deeper stretch while the muscles are warm from class. We all need it. As for foam rolling to release tight fascia, here is an excellent article with videos from Runners World. Please don’t skip this part of your body movement.
How to get healthy with your sleep
You need quality sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Adults ages 18-64, need 7-9 hours of sleep per night for rest, recovery, happiness, and even weight loss. It’s true. Sleeping helps our body to maintain constant body weight or lose fat and helps our muscles to recover and build strength. Sleep also allows for a better mood, sharper brain function, better performance in sports, and in workouts. Want to improve your sleep? Logan Schwartz, Austin Vitality Coach, says to skip the electronic screens at night to limit the blue light exposure. That seemingly harmless light suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Grab a tea and a good book and wind down the old fashioned way.
60% of our body is made up of water and consuming water is a must. H2O maintains the balance of our bodily fluids which is required for digestion and nutrient absorption. Water flushes our system and detoxifies our bodies. Get healthy and enjoy better skin, hair, nails are other benefits experienced with increased water intake.
Water also helps our body to feel satisfied during habitual hungry times of the day like 10 am and 3 pm. When determining water intake, divide your body weight in half and consume that amount of water in ounces daily.
There are specific mindset and soul work practices you should adopt and practice daily to improve self-confidence. When we feel confident, humans are more likely to continue positive behavior change. soul work, our term for self-care, can include meditation, deep breathing, prayer, journaling among other types of stress-relieving strategies. When a person has a consistent grounding practice, they have lower levels of the street hormone, cortisol, and are able to better lose weight and sleep more soundly at night.
How to get healthy the simple way? It is simple. The way that Americans behave today is so much different than the past and simplifying life and food may be all we need to move forward towards positive change. Health and wellness are available for anyone who wants to make changes to their lives. I challenge you to adopt a new, healthful habit into your day. When you start to feel better, as I know you will, please share your findings with your children, friends, and family so we can start preventing this life-style disease epidemic and start promoting intentional wellness as a community.
Would you like one-on-one coaching from the Wellthy Soul Care Team? Complete the Wellthy Soul Inquiry Form here and a member of the Wellthy Soul team will be in touch to give you more information very soon.