This last week of the year most are beginning to think about the New Year’s resolutions. It is common to hear about health related goals, such as lose weight, not eat sugar or carbs, exercise more etc. etc.
Healthy goals are wonderful all year long and if the beginning of a new year is motivation to get started so be it. Although there is more to healthy goals than just the number on the scale. Weight is only one of the risk factors in many chronic diseases. Think about the overall lifestyle. What makes the lifestyle healthy? There are physical, mental and spiritual parts of a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s start with the physical. Physical movement is a critical part of your healthy lifestyle. Make plans to move more than you do now. It can be increasing your daily steps, exercising more or training for an athletic event such as a 5K, 10K or half-marathon. Make meal planning and cooking at home a priority. The physical aspect also includes your weight. Without focusing solely on it, by increasing your physical activity and eating at home more often will eventually lead to weight control.
The mental aspect involves mindfulness. Pay attention to the activities you choose. Does it give you joy? If you love biking choose a spin class. If you love to spend time with friends, go for a walk with a friend. Enjoy every aspect of meal planning, including shopping for food, preparing the food and eating it together. Bring mindfulness to the table to increase the satisfaction. Leave the electronic gadgets off the table.
Last but not least, the spiritual aspect. What makes you happy? Why do you want to pay attention to your health? A lot of times the answers to these questions will help you focus on the purposeful life. Spending time with your loved ones, being there to enjoy your children or grandchildren or being able to serve your community; anything that speaks to your inner core completes the healthy lifestyle!
So think beyond the number on the scale and think “healthy lifestyle”!