Today, health and fitness is more than a trend; it’s a lifestyle. Everyone from professional athletes to the guy behind the smoothie counter is most likely adhering to some sort of mental health plan and fitness routine. This also means that people have very strong opinions about what is good and bad for one’s body.
You could define “eating healthy” in a myriad of ways. For some, this means a strictly vegan diet. For others, it’s gluten-free.
From Elite Daily:
Take the Paleo diet, for example. Anyone who wants to say this is the best way to eat could back up his or her claim with multiple studies showing how it can help you lose weight and increase heart health….You could also look at a vegetarian diet. Research links this style of eating with decreased chance of obesity, increased heart health and a number of other health benefits.
So what’s a yogi to do? When it comes to finding a physical and mental health plan, it makes the most sense to find something that works for you. Some experts suggest creating your own diet plan and committing to exercise routines that you find personally rewarding. Other studies have shown the importance of finding out how different foods affect your body personally. In fact, researchers are working on developing an algorithm to help individuals discover how various foods react with their bodies.
That being said, there are a few mental and physical health tactics that will benefit everyone. For instance, most experts agree that limiting added sugars and processed foods might not be a bad choice. It’s also important to get your fill of fruits and veggies. Find the nutritional powerhouses that you enjoy eating, and find creative ways to incorporate them into your diet. This veggie hummus, for example.
When it comes to an exercise plan, the important thing is finding something that you feel as if you can fully commit to. This could be Krav Maga, yoga, running, Zumba, or hiking. There’s no point in doing a workout if it makes you feel awful.
Mental health is just important. Many health experts support mindfulness and meditation, but this doesn’t mean that you need to dive headfirst into a Buddhist temple. From the Huffington Post:
Meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting cross-legged in total silence (though if you’ve already made time for that, keep up the good work!). Mindfulness practices can be easily worked into your life with a small shift in perspective.
Meaning that when you’re folding laundry or preparing a meal, allow your mind to focus on the moment. Meditation can occur in any day-to-day task, and not just when you’re sitting in hero’s pose.
It’s also important to pay attention to what’s going on inside your head, even if that means confronting some uncomfortable feelings. Most psychologists discuss the importance of separating your emotions from your experience. Julie Holland, an MD and psychiatrist, discusses the importance of noticing your emotions. The Huffington Post uses her book, Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy as an example.
“Many people don’t recognize that their feelings can be an important feedback system,” she explains. “Irritation or resentment could tip you off to an imbalance of effort or compassion in a relationship. Depression may mean something in your life needs to change.”
In a chaotic world of debacles over diet, it’s nice to come together over the health tips that make everyone feel good. We’re all trying to be our best selves, even if there’s a million ways to get there.
What are some health tips you find to be universally rewarding?
Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com and through Instagram.