Have you been following a healthy diet regimen? Hit all the targets in HIIT, core exercises, balance, flexibility, and strength training. Does a sense of lack still linger in the background? This article highlights four practices for a lifestyle of wholeness in the simplest of ways possible.
1. Healthy diet
You probably have had the importance of incorporating a healthy diet regimen into your lifestyle drummed into your ears since you learned to ask for candy. We will uphold that drum beat through a replay in this article. A rather simplified approach to a healthy diet regimen is ensuring all food classes in your daily dose of nutrition: 2L+ water a day, a cup/glass of any other drinks/beverages a day, and any need-based supplements. Notable are the proportions:
Vegetables > Whole grains = Healthy Proteins > Fruit
In addition to a healthy plate, keeping the ‘eating period’ within 8 hours of your waking hours maintains a healthy metabolism.
Good nutrition and regular exercise are at the core; but without mental-activity regulation and satisfying relationships our sense of self wholeness is fragmented.
2. Physical Activity
© Munyiva Makau
7000 steps a day and 3 minutes of walking around for every hour spent sitting are all too familiar whenever sustained well-being is the focus. Regular exercise is not just for those trying to lose weight; it is a way of life for wholesome living. It is an affordable, non-drugged, non-invasive way of promoting your own health.
High-interval intensity training (HIIT) is effective in maintaining heart and general health. Research has proven that HIIT prevents cardiovascular diseases including chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease (Iso, 2019). What’s more, is the sustainability of the exercise regimen: alternating high-intensity activity with resting periods of low activity until exhaustion. The length of this cardio training will usually be under 30 minutes per session. 50-75 minutes of HIIT per week is recommended to rip the benefits (Iso, 2019). There are extra bucks to HIIT:
- You do not need any specialized equipment; discipline will suffice.
- Effective in weight loss
- Tones and strengthens muscles
To achieve fitness in specific areas of the physique targeted training should be part of your exercise regimen. In an overview balance, strength, core, and flexibility training may require aiding by professional trainers. Underlying health issues, appropriate goal setting, good timing, and specific movements, are some of the considerations that necessitate professional guidance. For instance, a study by Willis et al (2020) showed morning exercise was more effective in weight-loss targeted training than evening exercise. Notable is the fact that exercise alone does not help in meeting weight loss goals; a healthy diet is key in any weight loss regimen. Some excellent resources that I found on targeted exercise are listed below:
3. Thought Process Regulation
For simplicity, I will equate regulating our thought processes to ensuring mental health.
Part of the way we interact with emotional and physical stimuli has some roots in our thought processes. A good way of understanding thought and mental processing is to take the example of a child. The mental processes of children in their toddlerhood are associative and “involuntary” for the most part. Children are taught self-regulation through modeling and repetition; without training, they would grow into extremely impulsive and dysfunctional adults.
In essence, thought process regulation is contained within the umbrella of self-regulation, which may lead us to assume that it is a common feature among adults. To be fair, thought process regulation should be trained (self or otherwise) throughout the entire lifespan.
The rate of manifestation of mental process breakdown in modern society speaks to the importance of training our thoughts to achieve a balanced state of mind. How do we achieve regulated mental processes then? The goal is to achieve more voluntary control of our minds and how we process the information we pick from the environment. Everyone has the capacity to choose how to react to different situations. The implication of this ability is that by being aware of how we are interacting with our environment, we can train our minds to choose thought processes that maximize the positive side of the interaction. An age-old practice of achieving such control is mindfulness or rather meditation. Below is a simple map of training your thoughts for positive outcomes:
© Munyiva Makau
4. Satisfying Relationships
Our personal relationships directly affect our emotions and; therefore, our mental and general well-being. In an article by Weir (2018) published by the American Psychological Association, strong relationships and social connections increase the survival of any individual by 50%, making isolation a deadly place to be.
© Munyiva Makau
Creatures within the animal kingdom tend to need each other every now and then; for companionship, reproduction, and general socialization including play. Humans are not any different. We all need people with whom we can live our best: From sharing cuddly hugs, bonding over experiences, communicating dreams, and expressing our joys as well as fears, to mindless chit-chat, there is more than self-involved. When these rather simple, but very important social dynamics are lacking in our lives, wellness and wholeness are negated.
People that have supportive and strong connections in the form of friends, family, colleagues, and community experience frequent doses of the happy hormones. As such they are likely to be healthier and live longer. On the other hand, isolated people are likely to experience frequent and prolonged doses of stress hormones, which often leads to depression, poor general health, and high/early mortality.
A discussion on satisfying relationships would be incomplete without addressing relationships with the self. Through our interactions with others, we are extending and sharing ourselves with others. Therefore, successful and satisfying relationships will often than not carry a component of satisfaction with self. Satisfaction with self may be inward or outward facing. In an inward-facing case, your social circle’s support and approval make you satisfied with yourself.
In an outward-facing scenario, you have embraced yourself wholly which translates to attracting strong and supportive connections. Most people in satisfying relationships will experience a blend of the two. It is important to carefully consider the associations we chose to engage in.
In conclusion, a sustainable healthy, fit, and whole self is anchored on a healthy diet, regular physical activity, regulated thought processes, and satisfying relationships. There are other accessories to this anchor some of which are beyond individual control, for the most part, such as the quality of the air around us.
The tips and information provided by the author should not be used as a substitute to professional medical advice.