It’s an age-old question: what exactly does healthy mean? Is it a pant size, the number on a scale, a certain diet or workout? The truth is there’s no straight answer because health is something that’s extremely personal. What healthy looks like for one person might not be so healthy for another. One thing we can tell you though, is that healthy is not a quick fix. Healthy is a lifestyle and one of balance and moderation.
This time of year the pressure to “get healthy” is at an all-time high. While we encourage setting positive habits and making better choices, it’s important to always do what feels best for you. Although there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all picture of health, there are some things we all should do to treat our bodies right. By keeping these things in check you’ll be heading in the right direction on your health journey. Check them out below:
1) Prioritize Sleep
Did you know the quality of your sleep is actually more important than what you eat? When you don’t get adequate rest you’re more susceptible to weight gain, fatigue, illness, injury, and more. Plus, when you’re tired you lack the motivation to make healthy choices. Prioritize sleep and you’ll see an overall increase in your well-being. Everyone’s ideal number of hours is different, but aim to get between 7-9 each night.
2) Stay Hydrated
The average adult body is made up of about 60% water. Hydration is key to regulating body temperature, aiding in digestion, and keeping your body functioning properly. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and increase your intake when you’re sweating or losing fluids through illness. Keep in mind foods with a high water content, like cucumbers and watermelon, can aid in hydration as well.
3) Get moving
No matter what type of physical activity you enjoy, get moving! Whether it’s running, taking a spin class, lifting weights, or going for a walk, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of movement each day. And don’t forget to be cognizant of how much time you spend sitting. According to Mayo Clinic, the more hours you sit, the higher your risk of metabolic problems. Even if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day, make sure to get up periodically to walk to the bathroom or make a trip to the kitchen to get a glass of water.
4) Take Rest Days
Just as physical activity is important, rest days are crucial for recovery and to prevent overtraining. Giving your body a day off allows muscles to reconstruct, making you bigger and stronger. That’s right, increased strength and muscle gains happen during periods of rest, not in the gym! Plan for at least one rest day each week—or more if you need it—and make sure to listen to your body. If you wake up feeling super sore, maybe you scrap your intense workout plans and take it easy with some yoga or light stretching. Didn’t get enough sleep last night or feeling under the weather? Take the day off. You’re not doing yourself any favors by pushing your body beyond its limits.
5) Be In Touch With Your Feelings
Health isn’t just physical, but mental too. Our emotions, thoughts, and feelings have a huge impact on our overall well-being. In fact, stress, sadness, and anxiety can wreak havoc on the body and even manifest as physical symptoms. Make sure to check in with yourself daily and always put self-care first. Find ways of managing stress and negative feelings that work best for you and don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or professionals for help if you need it.
6) Focus On Quality, Not Quantity
There are more diets out there today than we can keep up with, but the best diet is the one that makes you feel best. Eat to fuel your body all while focusing on the quality of the food you’re consuming, not the quantity. As with everything else when it comes to health, balance and moderation is key. Try for an 80:20 approach, eating a variety of high quality, whole foods 80% of the time and treating yourself to other items you love 20% of the time.
Are you resolving to improve your health this year? Join us on Instagram all month long for our #stickwithspibelt challenge. We’ll be sharing inspiration, motivation, tips, and even hosting some fun giveaways to help you stick to your goals and make your 2018 resolution a reality!