Read time - 02:59
I am a budding Yogini and Pilate Master. Well, not quiet. That's a statement I read somewhere on Instagram. Anyhow. I do practice yoga and pilates for health and leisure purposes at least 3 to 4 times a week. Some days I am at the garden doing headstands and some days I am at the gym doing wall squats. And nope, I do not post these on my Instagram account of 850 followers. I do these because they are congruent with my blue print of healthy living.
Healthy living means different things to different people.
It takes into account more than just diet and exercise. Depending on where you are in the world it also takes into account your socio-economic status, cultural and philosophical beliefs as well as your mental health.
Let's delve into what it all entails. We'll start with the body.
Great philosophers and great businessmen have, throughout history reiterate the importance of having a healthy body. ''What good are all the riches of the world if you do not have a great body to enjoy them in? Self-preservation is love they'd say.''
This is because a healthy body sets the standard of day-to-day well-being and determines how well you'll age.
According to research, having a great body also means having the right weight. You can check this against your BMI. A fit and healthy body enables you to be fully functional and perform at your peak. But this won't come into play without good nutrition.
In South Africa, the minimum wage is R3 500 per month and the costs of a nutritious basket of food for a household of four is R3 123 ergo maintaining a daily intake of 2000 calories per day as recommend for an adult will be difficult. But assuming you live above the poverty line and can afford to eat healthily like my boss - who snacks on Woolworths almonds nuts which cost around R175 per 500g then you are fine.
Nutrition plays a pivotal part in our overall wellbeing. It is not about strict limitations on certain foods or staying unrealistically thin and depriving yourself of the foods you love. It's about vitality - having more energy and boosting your mood.
The Harvard School of Public Health published 'The Healthy Eating Plate.'
It offers a more specific and accurate recommendations for following a healthy diet. You can use it as a start.
Healthy living is holistic and cannot be achieved without the right mind state. Having a fit body and eating nutritious foods is just one part of it. In fact, you can have a great body, pay premium gym memberships, drinks smoothies all morning and still lead a dreary life. Why? Because your mind is not in the right state and that is where mental health comes in.
According to new studies of positive psychology – having a positive attitude can boost your energy, increase your life span and help you become better during hardships. All this starts with the small talk within and only you can fine-tune it.
You can gauge if you have a healthy mind state if the following reverberates with you: you have self-confidence and esteem, a sense of meaning and purpose in your activities and relationships, a sense of contentment and zest for life.
A strong mental health is not the absence of problems but rather of having and exuding more positive characteristics.
The reason I do yoga and pilates is because it's holistic. I can switch between meditation and core, between speaking great things into the ethos and toning my abs.
Someone once said human beings are genetically wired to seek love, this being a 'god' or a super being of some sort that is above us as 'humans' either through religion, spirituality or whatever fancy term relevant to your generation and culture. This part of your life needs to be nursed as it plays a great role is your overall healthy living journey.
As mentioned before, healthy living encompasses more than Kauai smoothies and cutting off carbohydrates. It's more than having a Nike app on your Apple watch and being rewarded by Vitality or Multiply for walking 10k steps a day. It's holistic. It takes your work environment and home settings into account. It takes your dreams into account, your mind state, finances and spirituality. Best of all, it requires maintains and hard work. Its not for the faint hearted, so go ahead and prioritise it!