The Three Musketeers
Health. Fitness. Life. These are all different, yet forms a whole unit of a healthy lifestyle. When these three are working in balance, we obtain an incredible, fit, healthy mind, body, spirit and lifestyle. However, when working against each other, or let’s say one or two of them are out of alignment, while the other one is on high gear, it can cause inner chaos, stress, conflict, crisis, even worse, send our lives spiralling out of control. And then we start to ask ourselves “What’s up?” “What’s going on?”
Different yet carrying equal weight!
Mais attends un moment, aren’t life, health and fitness the same thing?
Oh well…let’s take a look
- Life — job, family, friends, social life, you know, that kind of thing.
- Fitness — physical exercise, e.g. strength/resistance, endurance training and cardio, and let’s not forget nutrition fits into this category too.
- Health — our physical body and mind (weight, metabolism, mental, emotional, cardiorespiratory, you get the gist.). Our overall well-being.
Now, all work in balance and, each of them can overlap and contribute positively to each other. When we’re fit, we have good health, good health means good life. If however, we pay a lot more attention to one, the other two will suffer.
Let’s say, for example, we pay tremendous attention to fitness, our family and friendships may bear the brunt (life). And if we don’t give ourselves at least one day a week to unwind and to recover, we may get injured due to fatigue, in this case, our health suffers. I often find myself paying a bit more attention to fitness, even though I haven’t had any injury, yes I do get fatigued and run down (health), and angry for no apparent reason (mental health), and guess what, my kids end up on the receiving end (life). On the other hand, our health and fitness can suffer if we pay too much attention to life.
Life is continuously changing; therefore our health and fitness also require a constant tweak to maintain a certain level of stability. For example, our family may need a little more of our attention, to balance this out, we do the best we can with our fitness and health. Other times we may find that we can give more attention to our fitness and health, and by doing so, our family will benefit from our good health.
“So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.” – Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
How do we balance all three?
No two people are the same, and to balance all three will be individually specific. You can seek help and/or ideas from close family and friends, but you know yourself better than anyone, in the end, YOU alone can decide what feels right and balanced for you.
- Take a look at all areas of your life – career, relationships, health, nutrition. Ask yourself which feels out of balance, and explore what can you do to cultivate more balance in your life. This could merely mean saying “no” to people and things that demand too much of your energy.
- Commitment to self-care. We all get carried away with our career and family responsibilities that we often forget to step on the brakes, and our batteries get run down. Now and again, it’s important to recharge our body both physically and mentally and enjoy some “alone time”. This could be just having a nice hot(ish) bubble bath or reading that book you ordered from Amazon last week. It could even be taking a few minutes to meditate, or just simply putting your feet up and watching something on Netflix.
- Approach exercise or any physical activity with a positive mindset. Working out shouldn’t feel like a chore, and you shouldn’t force yourself to do it. Find an activity that you enjoy and look forward to doing. Exercise helps you lose weight, gain confidence, get fitter, and healthier. In fact, research has shown that exercise increases the grey matter in the brain in some areas, especially in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC). Merely three half-hours per week of moderate intensity cardio for 12 weeks increases PFC activity in adults.
The pre-frontal cortex (PFC) is responsible for various executive functions such as the regulation of undesirable behaviours or self-control.
- Nourish your body with proper nutrition. Eating the right nutrients keeps your body healthy, provides energy, and boost your spirits and helps the body to recover. Healthy food can be delicious, and fun to make. Make sure to get fresh, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables as they’re easy to grab on the go. Also, plan your healthy meal for the week ahead and buy all the groceries that you’ll need. A well-balanced, healthy lifestyle should include a nutritional strategy to support your daily activity and recovery. Oh don’t forget water is also an essential nutrient, so drink up!
Get a good night’s rest. The body needs some downtime. Sleep gives our body the time to heal itself and get us ready for the new day. So, developing a healthy sleep habit is an excellent idea.
“If we are stressed out, we won’t be ‘joyful mothers of children.’ Balance is key.”
– Katherine Leigh
How do you lead a well-balanced life? Share your tips and ideas with me, I’d love to hear them.
Thanks a bunch for reading!