When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, you have to look at the bigger picture. How can you create balance and bring health into each aspect of your life? The obvious two that most people change first is nutrition and exercise, but why are they so important together?
Nourishing your body with fresh foods will almost instantly start to make you feel good. Our bodies are designed to thrive off natural sources of food so naturally when we give the body what it wants, it feels good. Energy levels increase, symptoms of poor diet fade and we gain a higher feeling of wellbeing. Of course its not always as simple as that. Our bodies are all different which means what one body needs to feel healthy may be detrimental to the next persons health. This is where the concept of bio-individuality becomes apparent. You are you and there is no one else like you. Which is why tuning into your body is so important. Our bodies are constantly giving us signs in the way of symptoms, cravings etc and if you can make an effort to better understand these then you are already at a huge advantage.
To make it a little less complicated for you to begin with, focusing on adding in as much fresh food into your diet as possible is a great start and everything else will start to follow as you play around with different foods and what works and what doesn’t.
When I first started my health conscious journey, it was a solid year of trial and error for me. Eating different things, really tuning into my body and how I felt after eating certain foods, realising certain things weren't good for me and other things were exactly what I needed. It is a constant journey and your body is forever changing. The trial and error process never really goes away but you learn how to work with your body more efficiently.
One side effect of changing your eating pattern to a healthier one, depending on how extreme you go, is that initially it can reduce your energy. This is where a lot of people give up. No one likes to feel drained and like they have no energy but let me help you understand why this can happen and why you should stick with it. Your body is now using different types of food to get it's energy. Previously, your body may have relied more on processed carbohydrates for quick energy or is less used to getting energy from fruit and vegetables. Your body has to go through a detoxifying process to then come out on the other side feeling better than ever. This is where exercise can help to support this stage.
The right type of exercise will increase your body's metabolism and detoxifying abilities as well as help keep your digestion regular which is how your body gets rid of toxins. Exercise builds muscles which will increase your metabolism to be able to burn more fat, boosts circulation. It nourishes your skin, bringing more blood flow and oxygen to it. This will help draw toxins out of the body. If you are feeling like you have low energy and exercise is the last thing you want to do, just try something gentle like a walk or some yoga to begin with.
Beyond all of that, exercise actually supports the production of collagen. The boost in this protein helps to keep your skin firm, supple, and elastic, reduces wrinkles and it releases feel good endorphins or "the happy hormone”. Remember to take deep breaths as you exercise as this oxygenates the blood, and moves beneficial nutrients into the cells and rid the cells of unwanted particles. Exercise is also a big stress reliever, lower stress means that your hair is less likely to be brittle and fall out. The nutrients from the improved blood flow during exercise stimulates the hair follicles and promotes growth.
So be mindful about how food and movement can really support one another and don’t underestimate your ability to know whats right for your body.