What does it mean to feel truly healthy?

The first step to a healthier life

Actually, the first step to a healthier life is defining what you actually want for your own health! This can mean something different to everyone.

Create some goals for yourself around how you want to feel or specific outcomes you’d like to achieve. Like “I want to run a half marathon next August” or “I want to feel more energetic and motivated”. What would achieving these goals look like for you? And what would they mean for you once you are there?

Once you have your goals they help you to know what your next steps are to achieve it. You can learn about how to prepare for a marathon or read up on nutrition for better energy.

Step 2: Balance action with rest

You must take action towards your goal in order to make progress and eventually achieve it.

Did you know that when a body builder wants to build muscle, they push right to the edge of their ability by lifting the heaviest weights they can. This actually causes tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibres. (That’s why it hurts!) Then, during the next day or so, those muscle fibres repair themselves and the muscle grows stronger and bigger.

Our bodies are amazing! And this example of how we grow and improve is reflected across a lot of different activities. We need times of powerful action where we are stretched to our limits. Then we need times of rest and recovery. The rhythm of both of these together creates the most powerful growth.

So as you grow towards your goals, include times for healthy rest.

Step 3: Support your body

Your body needs care and support as you work towards your new goals. Healthy food, plenty of sleep, lots of water, and good mental health are all vitally important.

Sometimes we know what we “should” do, but find ourselves in a place where our habits don’t match up to the outcomes we want. Charles Duhigg explains in his book “The Power of Habit” that “there’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.” And creating new habits works best when you make small changes over time, rather than try to force a fast and complete change with immense willpower.

So try looking for just one small step you can take to move towards healthier habits. And give yourself a pat on the back with every small healthy choice you make.