Nowadays, we get to hear and read a lot about ‘healthy living‘ or adopting a ‘healthy lifestyle‘. What strikes me the most in these cases is that many sources only focus on the first and not that much on the second word in either of the expressions… Strange, if you ask me.
Healthy Living – Living Healthy
In my opinion, it is important to see both in perspective. It is pointless if all you do is embrace ‘healthy living‘ and fail to enjoy life. On the other hand, living a life in such a way that you fail taking care of your health, makes no sense either. As I see it, you should enjoy life as healthy as possible. If you stay healthy, you have the possibility to prolong your life and thus enjoy it for a longer period of time. To me, these aspects have to be in balance, to interlace. Too much focus on one or the other, will make it impossible to join them together to make a whole in order to exercise their full potential.
Work – Life
Many people maintain a job that consumes most of their day. If you are lucky, your job requires 8 hours or maybe less per day. This leaves you with about 16 hours each day for yourself. If your job happens to take more than 8 hours, especially if you include commuting, the remaining hours are drastically reduced. Even more so if you remember that, during this time, you need to rest and sleep as well.
When you sleep the recommended 8 hours per night, you have less than 8 hours to spend on yourself. Whenever I think about this number, I always get reminded to make the most of every minute I have. You cannot save up the hours to make use of them at a later stage…
This makes it very clear that your work – life balance should be something you should be mindful of. As it is, you have limited time to spend each day. If you let your job take up even more time, you will only trade in something that you can never get back. Chances are that you also will transfer even more stress from your job into the limited time you have for yourself.
Exercise – Rest
If you manage to include exercise in your daily or weekly schedule, it is an excellent thing. You just need to make sure that you do not fall into the trap of exercising every day without taking time to recover from this exercise. The aspects ‘exercise‘ and ‘recover‘ also need to be in balance. Many people who decide to better their lives and start exercising to achieve their personal goals, mostly underestimate the importance of recovery. In many cases, they feel stressed from work or in whatever their current state may be and want to exercise as much as they can, at every free opportunity and moment they have. This might work well in the first few weeks but very soon they may exeperience another form of stress on top of the stress they have already had. This normally happens because they put their bodies under all the additional strain without taking the necessary time for rest and recovery. This way they will be even farther from achieving their goals.
Health – Life
The balance between being healthy and living your life is a difficult and challenging one. The other day I was listening to the Total Human Optimization podcast from Onnit in which Christian Thibaudeau and Dr John Russin spoke about exercise and dieting. The comment that came up, was that dieting does not have to be hard. Their comment on dieting and exercising was:
“You just have to try and do it a little bit better every day.”
If that is not continuous improvement caught in a quote! It applies to actually everything. What was mentioned as well, was that you should not stress out if you happen to “fall off the wagon” one day. The amount of stress that you can put on yourself with that, is most times even worse than the ‘wrong‘ type of food that you just ate or the workout you just missed.
Here it is again – balance being the important factor in it all. Yes, it is important to eat and be healthy. This is how you can enjoy and get more out of life. Yet again, life is also meant to be lived. And remember: “If you eat well, get some good sleep, exercise and drink plenty of water, you will die anyway” but if you take care of these elements you are likely to extend your life and raise the quality of it.
What can you do next?
In my e-Book “The Essentials of Living Healthy”, I have covered the approach we tend to uphold with the Continuous Improvement Fitness. Download your free copy here. Or you can opt for the programme where we will create a specific, personalized and customized plan for you based on your needs. No fancy stuff, just the things that are effective and will be adjusted accordingly when necessary. Everything just so you will get the balance to make the most of your health and your life!
Start now, not tomorrow.