Building Healthy Lifestyles: Physical Activity, Nutrition and Sleep

Updated: Nov 11


Over the coming weeks, I will be releasing a series of articles that will share more on each of the many parts that make up a healthy balanced life.


You can find the first blog post in the series here. It's called Building Healthy Lifestyles — Understanding You and Your Health and Wellbeing


Have you ever wondered what makes us healthy? And what makes for a healthy life?


Good health and wellbeing play's an important role in our daily life. Without it, our quality of life is compromised.


Health and wellbeing is about having energy for the things we love, and feeling that we have a sense of purpose and connection. It’s about experiencing a state of being in alignment (body, mind, spirit). Unfortunately, Not many of us experience this.


By understanding what impacts our health we begin to increase control over and improve our health because we are equipped to make healthy choices. We become more conscious and aware of what is and isn’t so good for us. We gain confidence in our ability to make good choices for ourselves. We are empowered to live a life with meaning and not just merely exist.


In this blog post, I highlight three of the most well-known, well-researched and common things that contribute to a healthy, thriving lifestyle.


One thing to note, is that everyone is unique, what we need will shift and change depending on the season of our life. My approach is always holistic and sometimes these tools may not actually be the best thing to help you thrive in the season of life you're in.


Of course, seeking advice from a healthcare professional if you are unsure is always a good idea.


Here we go...the top three most common health and wellness tools for a thriving life are:


Physical Activity


Physical activity is an important part of maintaining good physical and mental health. Regular physical activity has many health benefits and reduces the risk of many diseases.


Physical activity is any activity that involves moving our bodies, for example walking from the car into the shopping centre. Whereas, planned, structured and goal orientated movement is referred to as exercise.


We can all benefit from adding more physical activity to our day. We are flexible, strong and mobile when we engage in regular physical activity. This means we can enjoy leisure activities and safely perform work and home chores with ease.


Physical activity significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression, musculoskeletal problems, some cancers and unhealthy weight gain. It helps us maintain healthy blood pressure, body weight and manage our stress. It is also a great way to be social and create meaningful relationships with others.


According to the most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians, doing any physical activity is better than doing none. Be active on most, preferably all, days of the week. Include a combination of aerobic fitness, flexibility, and muscle strengthening exercises.


If you have been inactive, don’t be discouraged. Start by doing some, and gradually build up over time.


Find more information here:


Diet & Nutrition


Every time we eat is an opportunity to nourish our bodies.


Making healthy food choices and practicing mindful eating will provide our bodies with the proper combination of energy and nutrients.


Eating well lowers our risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and certain cancers.


So what makes for a healthy diet?


We’ve put together a few tips:


Moderate – Moderate how much food we eat. The quantity of food we eat can cause us to gain weight.


Adequate Nutrients – Our diet provides enough energy, nutrients and fibre to maintain health and essential body functions.


Balanced – Including a balanced combination of food from different food groups.


Varied – Eat a lot of different types of food each day.


Nutrient Rich –Eat nutrient rich food. Make each bite count and don’t waste it on food that doesn’t have any nutritional value.


It’s important to understand that the food we eat impacts every aspect of our being – physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual. What we eat affects how we feel about ourselves.


Find more information here:


Sleep


Sleep, we can’t live without it. So few of us pay any attention to the phenomenon of sleep. Perhaps, unless you are a new parent where sleep is comprised and you come to understand how sleep makes us feel alive and well. Sleep is so integral to our health and wellbeing and here’s why.


Sleep serves two main biological purposes;


· It conserves the body’s energy. When we sleep our core body temperature and the rate at which we use energy decreases. This is why we have more energy to perform activities throughout our waking hours.


· It restores us both physically and mentally. During sleep the body has time to stop thinking about daily tasks, learning is synthesised and memories are consolidated. This allows us to prepare for the next day.


Sleep maintains our physical health. It has beneficial impacts on most body systems. That’s why when we don’t get a good night’s sleep we feel tired and sluggish during the day. We don’t run at our optimum. We also become more vulnerable to a variety of health problems.


Some of the many benefits:

· Helps maintain our immune system.

· Reduces the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

· Contributes to a healthy metabolism and body weight.

· Contributes to healthy neurological functioning.

· Improves motor tasks.

· Promotes psychosocial health.


When we take care of and manage our physical health we respond better to the demands of our daily life. We build healthy relationships with others because we feel healthy and confident about our physical appearance. We feel energised and excited about life. We show up to our daily activities with vitality and a positive attitude. We reduce the risk of developing many chronic illnesses and diseases. We are more likely to live longer, happier and healthier. It’s about learning to take care of all aspects of our physical health and actively maintaining a balance as our lives continues to shift and change.


#buildinghealthylifestyles


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