Health and Well-Being

If there was a pill you could take that prevented cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, gallstones, diverticulitis, improved your strength and balance, lowered your blood lipid profile,  gave you stronger bones, helped form new capillaries to our heart, improved blood flow to your brain (helping you think more clearly), improved your attention span, lifted your mood, helped to regulate arthritis and appetite, stimulated your immune system and helped you sleep more soundly at night, would you take it? Of course you would. The pill, as you may have already guessed, is exercise combined with a healthy diet. What is it though, that keeps us from taking the pill? With all those benefits on offer, what keeps us from exercising a little bit more and eating a well-balanced and nourishing diet? Yes, we are time-poor. Yes, some of us feel as if we are rushing more and more and getting less and less accomplished. Time can be taken up conquering the necessities of life – be it work, children, study or training. And somehow, in all of this, we can put self-care on the back burner. If this is you, my encouragement is for you to take small steps to reclaim health and vitality in your life through a little bit of exercise and having a healthy relationship with food. I don’t think that fad diets or radical exercise regimes are the way to go. For exercise, simply walk more, stand more, sit less and look for ways to move your body as often as you can. Go for a walk with friends, revisit the fun of movement that you might have felt in your youth. Join a dance class, swim at the beach, compete in a fun run, plan a trip that involves climbing a mountain – reclaim moving more and  not as a chore or a duty, but as a way to restore your vitality. Eat a wide range of fresh, unprocessed food in as many different colours as you can. Enjoy good, fresh food with family and friends. Food rules and strict regimes nearly always result in breaking the rules and regimes which can leave you feeling frustrated and as if you’ve failed. Ditch the hard rules and a wide variety of fresh food. Your body will love you for it!

For wonderful advice on eating a healthy and balanced diet, I recommend the Get Lean program created by Dr. Joanna McMillan.