I’ve been doing a health and wellness challenge with some friends and we have been documenting our progress. We have realised that being focused on certain aspects of our health each week has made us more mindful of how we are looking after ourselves. We have documented what exercise we have done and the time exercising, what we are eating, what we are doing for ‘time out’, how much water we are drinking. We then check in with each other and share our highs and lows for the week – no judgement.
For this week’s Wellness Wednesday I’m sharing my 3 ‘A’s to maintaining a Health & Wellness Routine for Life.
We all know that we need to do certain things to stay healthy and fit enough to enjoy life and also maintain independence as we age. We need to be able to cope with daily living and now that the world has opened up many are making travel plans. But will you be fit enough to do all that you want to do?
It’s simple really – the hardest part is making the commitment and getting started.
You can listen to the podcast or watch the video or read the blog post
The 3 ‘A’s to maintaining a Health & Wellness routine for life
The first step is to Accept – we need to accept that in order to remain healthy, strong and active we have to Move, Eat Well and take care of our mental health every day. We have to accept this as our normal lifestyle. There is no easy way around it but the benefits are so worthwhile – Independence, Feeling great in mind, body and spirit, Enjoying life
Step 2 is to Act – stop procrastinating and take action. Visualise how you see yourself living a healthy and active lifestyle and then act on that visualisation.
Get a full medical and the okay from your Doctor to start. Have you bloods done, to see how your cholesterol and blood sugars are tracking.
Plan & Prep your week
Plan what type of exercise you will do, how often and how long plus what healthy meals you intend to make will make life so much easier. You will know what to do and when you feel like a snack or not sure what to make for dinner you have your healthy eating plan with all the ingredients in your pantry or fridge. How much water will you drink each day to stay hydrated.
As one of my friends doing our challenge commented:
Although, I believe that I lead a healthy lifestyle overall, without the regular tallying in the journal, I would have guessed wrong in most areas.
Strength (Resistance) training is a must at least twice a week. From age 30 our muscles start to lose their strength and we can develop sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass). You don’t need heavy weights or you can even use your body weight.
Cardio training – We need cardio to maintain good heart health and exercise the most important muscle of our body. Brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, dancing – anything that raises your Heart Rate and gets your heart pumping. You should be ‘breathy’ but not breathless and stop if you experience pain or you are having trouble breathing.
A general rule of thumb is the simple calculation to find your Maximum Heart Rate (the rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs) is 220 – your age. During your exercise and depending on your fitness level, you should aim for 50% of your Max Heart Rate for beginners and up to 70%- 80% for more advanced exercisers.
Here are the different ranges for your level of fitness and exercise:
- Very light (50-60%) – Improves overall health and helps recovery; very easy on breathing and muscles
- Light (60-70%) – Improves basic endurance and burns fat; characterized by comfortable, easy breathing and light sweating
- Moderate (70-80%) – Improves aerobic (cardio) fitness; light muscle fatigue, easy breathing, and moderate sweating
- Hard (80-90%) – Increases maximum performance capacity; muscle fatigue and heavy breathing
- Maximum (90-100%) – Develops maximum performance and speed; should be very exhausting for both breathing and muscle fatigue alike
Unless you have a chronic illness there are so many options for exercising to move your body. Did you know you can actually get a cardio workout sitting in a chair? Yes you can. Here is a link to a video which shows you how.
Daily Stretching will keep your body flexible and allow you to bend, stretch, reach and improve posture. I’ve put together a short 10 minute video which will stretch your body and also relieve aches and back pain.
Daily Meditation or Journalling will help calm your mind and also help you release those worrying thoughts by writing them down.
Step 3 is Achieve – If you’ve made it through steps 1 and 2 you are well on your way to achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Your health is your wealth so how will you incorporate the 3 A’s to Live Well, Enjoy Life and most of all be a woman living life your way?