Back to Basics
Take a moment, stop, breathe and think about what kind of health and well-being do you want for 2017?
This is a great time to do this now that we are in February– children are back at school, people are back at work and life is starting to be back in a routine.
Many also feel the urge to cleanse and remove unnecessary clutter from your home, office, body and mind too – especially coming into spring and to start the year fresh. This is only going to help you be more effective and work smarter rather than harder.
There is something truly magnetic and influential about seeing a leader or influential person in action who has vibrant health and vitality oozing from every part of their being.
It subconsciously sends messages of commitment, discipline, self-love, self-care, fitness to go the distance, longevity, action taking, goal getting, completion, it adds weight to the words they speak, it shows they lead from the front, are a positive example, they walk their talk and more.
Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult, stressful and all consuming. It can actually be fun, creative, simple and extremely fulfilling in ways that will surprise you! If you are already on this journey, you may be starting to discover this already.
Like most things, once you get going, finding what works for you, consistency kicks in, momentum builds and then you’re in the zone. Little road bumps here and there are no big deal; travelling for work or play, a cold or flu, the stresses of work, family or life or unexpected challenges, can all work in with your new healthy habits and routines, making up your lifestyle.
Whether you’re just starting out, getting back on track after holidays or currently going through a challenge, one of the strategies we teach our clients is getting back to basics.
This sounds so simple, yet that’s why it’s so powerful.
This is about getting back to the fundamental basics that your physical body needs to function well.
To understand this better, let’s get some context to how your body has been designed.
Your body has been designed to THRIVE, to be WELL. It has been intelligently designed to live in a state of homeostasis– meaning a state of BALANCE – and to give you signals when things are out of balance.
Our amazing bodies can really take a hit as well. They are incredibly resilient, and can withstand living in survival mode for quite a long time, but if this continues, eventually they can’t take it anymore. This is when people experience a health crisis and often wonder how it happened.
Don’t wait for a crisis.
Whether that be with your health, your relationships or your organisation. Effective leaders can often see the signals of a looming crisis before it happens. If they don’t know how to tackle it, they seek guidance.
Some signals that your physical health may be out of balance are:
– constantly tired
– relying on coffee to function
– brain fog or poor memory
– gaining weight
– have trouble losing weight
– skin issues
– joint pain
– anxiety and/or depression
– reflux and digestive irritability
– hormonal challenges
– trouble sleeping or lack of quality sleep
There are so many more, but these are the common ones.
The important thing here, is when your body is giving you these signals, don’t ignore them or let it get you down. Be thankful for the awareness and loving correction.
Even when life gets all too much and feels completely overwhelming, just do these important basics to support your body and it will support you. You’ll find getting back to these basics will help you manage whilst going through the valley or over the mountain. Then once you have the capacity to do more, you can.
Start to simplify and get back to basics.
Eat real food –
When we think about how we can make living a healthy lifestyle simple, we can often go down the path of convenience food, fast food, and food-like products which are often devoid of nutrients and place a massive burden on the body. These foods are foreign to our body and it has no idea how to process them. This puts the immune system on high alert and the body treats it like a poisen. This strategy actually makes our physical health much more complicated.
Making healthy eating simple means eating simply. Eating the foods that were designed for our body to be nourished, energised, cleansed, and repaired. Foods that the body recognises and can process and assimilate. Lots of clean, fresh fruit and vegetables, grass fed meats, wild caught fish, which contain healthy fats, quality protein and abundance of nutrients. Also avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. These are the foods the body thrives on.
Stay hydrated –
Water and oxygen are the only two things in life that without for just a short period of time we would die. Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University studied the effects of water balance and cognitive function. They discovered that mild dehydration — as little as losing 1 percent to 2 percent of body water — can impair cognitive performance. This further proves how vital proper hydration is.
Aim to drink between 2 to 3 litres of clean, filtered or spring water per day. Adding sea salt or himalayan salt to your water (and lemon or lime if you like) can help with absorption so you aren’t running to the bathroom every 30mins. Eating more fruit and veggies can also help to improve you hydration status, as well as exercise. Regular movement improves circulation and delivery of electrolytes and nutrients to the cells. Many times we feel hungry, we are actually in need of hydration. Try a glass or two of water first. Most people find drinking more water helps keep their digestive system moving and regular.
Move your body –
We encourage our clients to do some movement of any type a daily basis and then 2-4 times per week have a sweat session. If you are over 30 years of age, make sure to incorporate some weight baring movement to improve bone health and increase metabolism. Stretch and breathe deeply as well.
Some amazing research has come out recently that showed exercise can up-regulate the immune system and make it better at fighter cancer and disease. Research also shows that regular exercise will help you to sleep better, have more energy, improve your memory, increase self-confidence and productivity and live longer.
Get enough quality sleep –
Often overlooked by most people, sleep is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body healthy. In fact, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, a lapse in adequate sleep time, at least seven hours a night, can lead to a decreased attention span, depressed feelings and difficulty processing ideas. It can also lead to increased weight gain and increase your chances of getting sick.
To help improve your sleep try to incorporate some or all of these into your routine; ensure your bedroom is cool and dark, maintain a regular sleep schedule and aim to be asleep by 10pm (the most beneficial hours are between 10 and 12), no tech 1 hour before bed to stop the stimulation, relax and unwind with a book, journalling, chamomile tea, essential oils, a bath. Some people need more sleep than others. To test this, how many hours would you sleep for without the use of an alarm? There is your answer to how much you regularly need. Personally my magic number is 9 hours.
Schedule Joy activities –
This could be exercise related, reading a book, listening to a podcast, going to the beach or park, get a massage, take a bath, family time, social time, prayer time, whatever leaves you with a happy heart. It’s as important than the rest of the basic areas yet we often overlook it. This will dramatically counteract the affects of stress on your body. Looking at your daily or weekly calendar and schedule these things in, just like you would anything else of importance, e.g. like a business meeting. Be present in the moment and enjoy it, you can pick up your to do list afterwards.
In all of these basic areas we already have certain routines and habits that have become our lifestyle. When you start to alter these, often in small ways, it gradually, sometimes dramatically, affects how you live day to day, week to week and year to year.
These habits and routines will be different for everyone because we all lead different lives. That is why health cannot be a one size fits all approach. You need to get creative, find what works for you and enjoy the process along the way. Ultimately your body will support you to move forward, multiply your influence and build a lasting legacy.
Most of us know what to do – but are we doing what we know? Sometimes we need a coach for encouragement and accountability, plus a coach can often see things that we can’t because we are in it. If that is you, get in touch with us so we can chat about whether our Healthy Lifestyle Coaching could be a fit for you. Then we can help ensure you get the results you want. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
picture: The Photo Forest