How do you define health? Here’s Google’s version:
- the state of being free from illness or injury. “he was restored to health”
You’re 90 years old, too frail to get out of bed. You’re not ‘ill’ and you’ve got no injuries. Does that seem like a healthy state to be in?
You’re 32, 6’1” tall, 19 stone 7 lbs, injury free and don’t have an illness. Does this seem healthy? (hint: this person is carrying an extra 5 stone with them, everywhere they go!)
The illness-free 90-year-old needs to be able to function on their own. They need to be able to get out of bed, down the stairs and on and off the toilet on their own to be living their best life.
The 32-year-old needs to be able to climb in and out of the loft, push the car across the road and be able to do the local Park Run without walking, to be living anywhere close to their best life.
The list of factors that influences your ability to do the above are endless, but the vast majority of that list is outside of your sphere of control; genes; family set-up; horrendously bad luck. These are things that we don’t really have much (if any) control over.
But what we can do is spend our time and energy taking care of what we do have control over:
Nutrition. Movement. Mindset. Connections. Sleep.
These are the things that we can control, these are the things that are within our power.
Although most of us think that exercising will make the biggest difference to our overall health, nutrition should actually be our number one. It’s true, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
The vast majority of us are in complete control of what we eat. It may not seem like it when you suddenly see the bottom of the jumbo crisp bag or when the second bottle of wine gets opened, but that is more about restraint. Our nutrition habits are hard to fix, but it is possible. You CAN up the protein and vegetables and reduce the carbs and fats to a moderate level – it’s just about finding what the right level is for you, according to your activity level and goals (hint: we can help with that!) and instilling those habits.
Movement is definitely the sexier bit and, combined with a solid nutritional foundation, this is the perfect pairing for some serious progress! We don’t need to be the strongest in the world, or the fastest Park Runner (although these are cool accolades to have!). But we do need our own level of functional competency. Whether this is just being able to navigate the stairs by yourself or keeping your Park Run time below 30 minutes – both have a direct correlation to overall health, and make us feel good about ourselves.
The Hierarchy of Mindset has Victim at the bottom. Then Pessimist, Optimist and Realist. This hierarchy is topped-off by the curious Competitor.
The best fitness programme in the world will yield mediocre results if undertaken with a Victim mindset (“Aghh, lunges again! They know I hate these – why are they always on the day that I’m here?”).
On the flip side, a mediocre fitness programme will yield incredible results with a Realist or Competitor mindset (“Right, this looks hard. Let’s have a go – see what happens. Whatever does happen, I won’t regret giving it a good go.”)
Connections. The power of deep and meaningful relationships. This is not small talk and social media – they are an inch deep and a mile wide. We’re talking about the few people you go a mile deep with. Some would say that this is THE most important thing for longevity.
Sleep matters. Big time. We cannot function effectively without enough sleep. We need it to repair our brains as well as our bodies, it affects our hormonal balance, our mood and our ability to think clearly.
Where do you think you score on a scale of 1 (low) to 3 (high) on each of these five elements of health? Scoring 2 or 3 – you’re doing pretty well. Scoring any 1s? Come in for a Free Intro and we’ll see how we can help.