Illuminating Wellness: Healthy

This is part of a series we’ve lovingly dubbed “Illuminating Wellness”. It seems there is always some new term popping up in the wellness community…

This is part of a series we’ve lovingly dubbed “Illuminating Wellness”. It seems there is always some new term popping up in the wellness community (and our Pinterest boards). So, let’s lay out what they mean, and most importantly, how you can actually apply them to your own day-to-day routine. Let’s talk about: Healthy.

Illuminating Wellness: Let's Talk About the Buzzword "Healthy" | thefreewoman.com

The word “healthy” isn’t exactly a buzzword, however, the way many of us use it, it has taken on a meaning of its own. A meaning that very much gives it buzzword status.

What does healthy mean to you? Many in our culture assume it means being thin, slender, strong, muscular, dewy-skinned and even able bodied.

When we take a closer look at the definition of “healthy” we will not find a definition that reflects a similar sentiment. According to Dictionary.com, “healthy” used as an adjective means “possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality” and “health” used as a noun means “soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment”.

Note that there is no mention of weight, caloric intake, a qualifying strength test, fitness test or any other physical appearance factor mentioned. This is because health goes deeper than the surface level of outward appearance.

Practicing healthy habits is a means of preventing disease or ailment. It is a way to ensure you can feel the best you can each day. And that can look like different things for different people. For example, running might be a great way for one person to gain health, and detrimental to another.

The point I want to make here is that we need to stop measuring out how we will obtain health goals whether it be by counting calories, miles traveled or weight lost. Instead, we need to learn to focus on habits that help us maintain, improve or gain a state of health, i.e. lack of disease/ailment. The truth is, health is determined by so much more than physical appearance. It’s a combination of mental, emotional and physical wellness.

And it is important to remember because it is so often forgotten, that as women there are so many factors that influence one’s weight such as salt intake, menstrual cycle, and stress levels.

The proof is in the science, if you truly want to focus on building habits that promote your health, a regular fitness routine paired with nutritious meals will get you there rather than simply measuring weight.

Put yourself on the right track to gaining health by building nourishing habits:

Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes five days of the week.

This doesn’t have to be grueling it can be as easy as taking a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood. It can even be as simple dancing around your living room or a pilates class down the street. In fact, finding a means of exercise you find comfortable and enjoyable will set you up for success. Because when you use movement to gain improvement and well-being and not as a means of punishment you’ll look forward to doing it.

Find well-balanced recipes.

In your meal plan for the week, include lots of veggies as well as protein, fats, and carbs. Explore your farmers market and the aisles of your grocery store. Experiment with new foods and new ways of cooking old favorites. If you want to be adventurous you can check out some cookbooks from the library or explore some recipe databases. However, just like with exercise, this doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s okay to start small.

Taking baby steps to building these nourishing habits helps you create a routine that is more likely to last than a 30-day overhaul (or fad). Deep down, that’s what we are all looking for when we seek out changes to our lifestyle in the name of gaining health.

What nourishing habits are you implementing into your daily life? Share below!

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