It’s astonishing how much effect the health of your body has on your mind – simplistically, just think how hunger, alcohol, and tiredness affect your state of mind. While better health has always been an important goal, it’s never been more crucial than it is today, given the increasing demands on our mental resources and resilience, and the challenges within our environment. According to a 2022 report from UN News, over one billion people struggle with obesity, with global rates nearly tripling since 1975. Leaders worldwide have since emphasised the need for cities to make space for safe recreation and schools to help households teach young children healthy habits.
After all, the health crisis extends beyond just obesity. It encompasses everything from unhealthy habits, such as a lack of physical activity, to vices, such as smoking. Some things which affect our health we have little control over (such as the quality of the air we breathe), but thankfully, there are different ways that you, as an individual, can start your journey towards better health. This article will explore a few key ways to set yourself up on this journey to success.
Time is a vital resource, so many busy adults may struggle to fit wellness into their schedules. That is why it is essential to start small. If used wisely, five minutes can be all you need to start making changes to your health. This small chunk of time can help you break big challenges down into manageable chunks and keep you motivated for longer.
For instance, you can try dedicating five minutes a day to perform quick exercises to improve your posture and core strength. Physiotherapist Helen O’Leary suggests starting with the prone press or the single leg kick, which can be incredibly life-changing for office workers with sedentary lifestyles. Gradually, you can increase the duration and complexity of these exercises to build healthier habits.
Joining a community
While intrinsic motivation is critical, external motivation is also crucial in ensuring the success of your health journey. Connecting with others who are working towards similar health goals can give you the accountability you need to stay on track. For those who aim to lose weight, joining weight loss programmes and learning about the challenges faced by other individuals, such as weight rebound or diet preferences, can be a game-changer. These programs are often guided by weight loss professionals, from dieticians to nutrition scientists, so your progress is also expertly guided and structured.
Besides a supportive community, other health programs provide the necessary resources to kickstart your progress. For instance, if you are a smoker hoping to quit the habit, stop smoking services tend to endorse specific nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine gums and patches. Many can also directly supply you with the treatment and guidance, ensuring a more seamless journey to better health.
Embracing sustainable dietary changes
Many may attempt crash diets and extreme restrictions to reach their health and weight goals, but these are often dangerous and unsustainable. Just as you must start small with five-minute workouts, your dietary changes must also be paced out.
You can start by gradually replacing processed and sugary foods with healthier alternatives, or increase the variety of plants in your diet. Occasionally, swap your bag of potato chips with a bowl of fresh fruit to snack on while at home or the office, or opt for the oven instead of the deep fryer. Don’t think about what you’re taking away, but instead focus on small, healthier adjustments. You can also try strategies like portion control, and mindful eating, which are key to sustainable dietary changes.
Utilising the GROW model
The GROW model is a structured approach to goal setting and problem-solving that is widely used in executive coaching to great effect. This stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will and this model can be a powerful tool in setting yourself up for success on your journey to better health.
When applying the GROW model to your health goal, start by clearly defining your Goal and ensure it is specific and achievable. After, understand the Reality of your current situation. Ask yourself, what factors are influencing your health negatively? Then, you may explore the Options available to you and consider the different strategies or exercise routines you can implement. Finally, strengthen your Will by assessing your commitment level and potential obstacles. so you can work to overcome them.
With our tips above, you can develop a comprehensive game plan for better health and track your progress effectively. The road to better health will always come with challenges, but with determination, support, and a strategic approach, it’ll be easier for you to enjoy a healthier, happier life.
Not only does better health help your body and mind, but you can also see the above practices as an opportunity to exercise your mental muscles too, and this will serve you in other areas of your life.
Jayden Cross is a freelance writer and wellness enthusiast who has been writing about holistic wellness for a few years now. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her practising her asanas and meditating...