Alright, so it is no secret that one of the biggest New Years Resolutions has to do with being more healthy. Whether that's quitting bad habits, losing a certain amount of weight, training for your first half marathon, the list goes on and on.
I for one absolutely LOVE the fact that so many folks want to get more healthy...however, I am saddened by the truth that most folks will "fall off the wagon" within the first few weeks. In fact I was talking to a friend the other day who is always at the gym year round, and they refer to the sudden influx of people at the gym in January as "The Resolutionists," most of whom fizzle out by February.
Hopefully this article well help give you a few tips to avoid becoming a "Resolutionist," and instead a "Personal Health Revolutionist."
First a disclaimer. This article will not go over specific workout routines, the latest diet fad (I think this year it is the Ketogenic Diet), or miracle cures.
In order to make the necessary changes to improving your health, there are THREE main areas of focus, each area as important as the next...and most folks will only hit on one or two of them:
I remember first really learning about this my Freshman year of high school as I was starting my first wrestling season. My coach said something along the lines of "What your put into your body determines what your body puts out for you." Later on when coaching lacrosse we simplified this to "Garbage in, Garbage out."
Our bodies take the food we ingest, break it down, then turn it into fuel. The problem is that if we put bad fuel in they don't work quite as well...it's like if you have ever left gas in your lawnmower over the winter what happens when you fire it up in the Spring? It sputters along spitting black smoke out, often times quitting on you.
I recently watched this short clip that has some good general guidelines for planning out your nutrition.
2. Psychological Health
This is probably the area that gets neglected most when it comes to thinking and resolving, to improve overall health. I would dare bet that as you're reading this you are thinking "oh he must be talking about people that have a 'condition'." Or how about this "It's all just in their head." Having grown up here in Cache Valley so many of us have that good ol' Western mentality that if we just 'buck up' we can push through anything. The truth of it is our brain isn't up there just 'thinking' about stuff, it is also controlling a bunch of chemicals and hormones that are coursing through our body. These chemicals and hormones not only affect the way we act and feel, but also influence how our heart and lungs work, our digestive processes, and how well our muscles work to move our bodies...they also have a significant effect on how the body experiences pain.
One of the biggest areas that you can have a direct impact is the way you deal with stress. Did you know, that when you are experiencing stress the chemical make-up of your blood is almost identical to when you are experiencing an adrenaline rush? The problem with this is that our bodies are built to function in that amped up state for only a few hours....but stress can cause that state to last from days to weeks, to months and even years; in turn this breaks the body down.
A good resource to get started is https://www.psychologytoday.com/
And if you would like to speak directly to a counselor link here
3. Physical Activity
The final area we'll discuss is physical activity or exercise. This is probably the topic that is the hardest to speak about in such a general sense such as this "3 tips" blog. The reason being is that every person is at a different stage of physical activity. So giving the same advice to a competitive crossfitter that I would to a new grandma who just wants to get to get down on the floor and play with their grandkid, just isn't going to make a lot of sense.
BUT, I think the biggest key is for you to take a few moments and do a self-evaluation of where you are at with your physical fitness, and discover the things that you are missing out on due to this fitness level. From there you can really start to make realistic AND ATTAINABLE goals.
After this self-assessment the next big thing is JUST TO START. It doesn't have to be much, if you are an office worker who hasn't done a full workout session a few months, go for a 10 or 15 minute walk around the building; if you've been stuck on the couch or bed due to chronic pain, start by doing 5 or 10 sit-to-stands; if you've been running the same route for the past couple years, switch it up or take a day off from that and do some lifting or 'core' work.
And if you're not sure where to even begin, get in touch with us for a free consultation.
The most important take-away from this entire article is that YOU need to address each of these three areas in order to improve your overall health.