What does “being healthy” mean?

Let’s break down a little more of what “healthy” actually means. The holidays are around the corner and so is the new year. Although I don’t always love the idea of new years resolutions we know that many people set these goals for themselves. For many people the new year seems like a fresh start. Year after year individuals set the goal to live “healthier” as their new years resolution.

Have you ever been to a gym during the month of January? If you have you likely know the gym is packed and filled with new faces. Why? New year, new me, and new year resolutions. Unfortunately, though if you’ve been to the gym in January and continue to go to the same gym you will quickly notice by about March the gym is less crowded. People start falling back into old habits and don’t keep that new year resolution going. Maybe you’ve noticed this or maybe you have been in this exact position yourself.

If you have a goal to be healthier in 2021 let’s start taking some steps now while you have a month to prepare to set yourself up for success. This could be the year you finally achieve that new year resolution. Let’s start by breaking down what healthy actually means. I also encourage you to check out this blog post on setting healthy goals for yourself. You will learn how to set goals you can actually achieve and learn why just saying you want to be “healthier” might not be the place to start.

What is healthy?

What does the term healthy really mean? Many people have this goal to be healthier, but what does that mean? If you search the definition of healthy you’ll find that it means to live in good health. We all want good health right? Let’s think what does good health mean? I think of being well instead of “sick”. When we think of healthy we typically think of physical health. It’s important to realize though that health includes physical health and mental health. When we think of someone being healthy you probably instantly think of people working out and eating “healthy” food. There are actually more factors of health other than eating well and exercising.

How to be healthy with food?

Recognize that food equals food for your body. Food is not something you should punish yourself with and you shouldn’t punish yourself with fitness for eating this or that. Reality is that our bodies thrive off of nutritious food and it is necessary for our bodies to function properly.

How to have a healthy work life balance?

Living a healthy work life balance can be critical to your health. This can also be quite challenging. You might be tempted to work long hours or just “quickly” check your work email in the evening. Some recommendations are to have healthy work and home boundaries. These might include setting set hours of time during the day to work. Try avoiding having your work email on your phone and if it is necessary for your job considering logging in and out of that app each day. Take a few 2-5 minute breaks each day to walk away from the computer or even go for a short walk.

How to have a relationship with fitness?

Having a healthy relationship with fitness is a key proponent to living a healthy lifestyle. Think about if you have ever worked out or heard of people working out as punishment. Maybe you’re wondering what I mean by that. Have you ever told yourself you have to workout or run X number of miles because you ate that cupcake, or pizza, or you went out for drinks with friends? That’s an example of punishing yourself for doing something. You will start to have an unhealthy or negative relationship with fitness if you view it as a way of “making up” for these “bad” things you ate.

Having a healthy relationship with fitness would instead look like having a solid consistent fitness routine. This routine would incorporate activities you enjoy doing and even some rest days. Your fitness routine might include 5 days of working out with a combination of cardio and strength training then 2 rest days. Your routine might even have “active” rest days. These are when you still are active, but not quite as demanding on your body. An active day might look like a casual day out paddle boarding with family, a leisure bike ride, or a slow morning walk to start your day. Regardless of your fitness routine it’s important to recognize that your body needs both movement and rest.

I encourage you to consider these different factors before trying to be “healthier” this new year. Trying setting 3 specific measurable goals for yourself instead on how you intend to be healthier. It might start with choosing nutritious snacks, drinking more water, or working out 3 times a week. Regardless of what healthier means for you try to really pin point that goal you are trying to achieve to start working towards the best version of you.

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