Its also one of my key ingredients to ensure a balanced life.
In the previous post, which focused on Leisure as part of a balanced life, this looked more at your emotional well-being and personal development, whereas I now want to look more at the physical you, which encompasses eating well and staying fit and healthy.
This is an area that many people let slip if they lack time, but its so important not to neglect yourself, as otherwise you’ll be no good to anyone else when you fall ill or are unable to help out when needed.
Looking after yourself is a crucial part of a balanced life – it means you are able to live life to the full
So. lets look at the ways to increase your energy one by one:-
We’ve all read that eating a balanced diet will help give you more energy, less stress, and less illness – but how can you do it quickly and easily in your daily life?
Also its worth remembering that eating well doesn’t have to be expensive, its another myth (don’t believe me? compare a banana to a bar of chocolate in price and see what I mean!) You don’t have to create weird and wonderful concoctions everyday, just be sensible and eat more natural foods where you can.
In the summer try and eat fresh fruit, veg and salads with every meal, and in winter try using them in soups, stews and casseroles – both will fill you up well and don’t have to cost lots.
If you are really strapped then a great trick is to shop last thing before a shop is closing as they reduce fresh produce at this time of night so you will get an even better bargain! You may find its actually cheaper than eating more ready made meals and jars.
So really – its simple (!) – create new habits in your daily life in order to eat better, change one thing a week or whatever you feel comfortable with, and reward yourself for a job well done – what about some of the following ideas:-
- Drink a glass of water before every meal
- Eat your 5 a day
- Try a new fruit or veg each week
- Add extra veg to things like pasta sauces (you can blend them up if you don’t want to see them!)
- Use sweet potato instead of white potato – as this counts as a portion of veg whereas the white variety doesn’t
- Use unprocessed meat where possible, and mix fish into your weekly menu for extra variety
- Go vegetarian one or two days a week (its also a way to save money!)
- Have puddings only once or twice a week as a treat
- Have some alcohol free days every week (why not only have a drink at weekends for example)
Before long you will be on your way to a healthier you that can take on the world!
Keeping Fit and Healthy
Getting Fit is the other half of the coin so to speak.
If you are eating well then your body will thank you, but for it to be at its best, eating well is only half of the battle – you need to get moving!
Getting fit doesn’t have to mean sweating it out at the gym or running miles everyday (although it can if thats what works for you of course!), it means just keep moving more in your day to day life.
Walk when you can, play with your children, use the stairs, go dancing, cycle at weekends, clean your home vigorously – it all counts – and you’ll be amazed at the results. Whatever you do, try and vary it as then yo’ll be more motivated and feel more energetic (even the fittest people see plateaus in their fitness if they do the same thing for too long).
This will help you with aerobic exercise, but strength is also key for keeping fit.
Many people, especially women, neglect weight training as it has a bad press often for making you very muscly. Think instead of simply toning your body – putting everything in its place so to speak! Even carrying shopping home, carrying the kids around etc.. will help – but doing some resistance exercises for 10-15 minutes a day will really help you notice a difference – heres a link to Zest online – a magazine that I love for tips on eating well and staying fit – theres a great exercise routine on this that takes 15 minutes and doesn’t need any special equipment – I’ve planned it into my week already!
Leading a Balanced Life and Staying Positive Everyday
As this is the last in the Balanced Life Series, I wanted to mention positivity – just the mere ability to stay happy everyday (as much as possible!) will have a fantastic effect on your life, and as you get a balanced life, so you will see your happiness levels soar!
So many of us let the little things get us down, but just by counting your blessings, however small those are, everyday, can help in your general outlook and therefore positivity in life.
I will leave you with this exercise to add into your life:-
My mum started me on this simple exercise probably around 20 years ago now, and it has stuck with me ever since, and thats to go to sleep thinking of 5 things that have happened to you or around you in the day that were good.
This gives you a positivity that grows day by day, until you are able to see all the positives out there, and make the most of them, and not notice the negatives quite so much (or at least not let them affect you in the same way).
Here are a few ideas of what can be seen as positives – and feel free to tell me your own as well!
- I have had my 5 a day
- I have taken some Me Time
- I have socialised with someone I haven’t seen for ages
- My partner surprised me with …..
- My child did something special
- I fit in a run today
- I felt happy all day
- Nothing went wrong today
- Everyone is healthy in the family
- I balanced my life today (Did something from every part of the S.M.I.L.E acronym!)
- I am looking forward to tomorrow
- I told someone I love them today
- I did a good deed
- I didn’t eat that chocolate as I’m trying to eat better
- I started a new project that i’ve been meaning to start for ages
So, heres to a more balanced life – hope you have fun trying out all the suggestions!