I think it is incredibly important to take care of ourselves every day, but especially now in the current world we live in (due to Covid). Most of us are living completely different lives as we figure out how to stay safe and keep our families healthy. What we eat, how we move, and how we rest are all important to our overall health, and all of these working together will help us feel our absolute best.
Exercise and nutrition will take us a long long way, but I don’t think either one has to be difficult. There is way too much information on the internet and sometimes it’s hard to break through all the noise to find what is actually true. There is no single right way to do anything, so it comes down to finding what works for you and your family and your schedule. What works for you might not work for your friend, or for your neighbor, or for your sister- but if it works for you, that’s what matters. Maybe you’ve tried that one diet your co-worker told you about, but then you quit after just three days because you were hungry and it felt too hard. That just means it wasn’t the right way for you.
Staying healthy comes down to this: 1. finding ways to be active and 2. eating good food from the Earth. These will help you feel happy and more in control of your life, which can have a huge effect if you have, what feels like, a hundred responsibilities. If you feel overwhelmed, and like you are putting more effort into the lives of those around you than you are giving to yourself, you might want to think about re-prioritizing. Giving a little extra time FOR YOU during the day will create the space you need to feel recharged and ready to take on the needs of your family- without feeling stressed or tired.
Exercise and movement is not all about losing weight, but being able to move freely, without pain or restrictions. You should be able to pick up your small children with ease. Mopping the floor shouldn’t be that hard and you should be able to grab a bowl from the top shelf or squat down to tie your shoe without pulling a muscle. All of these daily tasks can be performed more smoothly when your muscles get a chance to grow stronger with just a little bit of resistance (strength) training.
You won’t look like a body builder when you lift weights, unless you’re actively trying to do that (it takes A LOT of time in a gym!), but it will make you stronger, more flexible, and more confident in your every day life. When you take care of your body, it naturally finds the weight and shape it is comfortable at. We don’t have to be a size two to be happy, and we don’t have to starve ourselves to get to the “right” number on the scale. That number doesn’t actually exist. What matters is how you feel in in your body and mind. No number on the scale is going to make you feel happy if you still don’t feel well.
It isn’t difficult to add just enough movement and a few vegetables into your day to notice a difference in the way your feel. Try adding one more serving of vegetables to a meal. Stretch for a couple minutes in the morning when you wake up. Start small, notice how you feel, add more time and effort as you go. When we go too hard too fast we set ourselves up for failure unless we’re completely prepared for every obstacle. Possible, but much more difficult than starting from zero and taking one step at a time.
What small step will you take towards healthy today?