Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Good Health is Simple

These days we are constantly bombarded with healthful ‘helpful’ tips about how we should be living this life in order for us to be in the best health possible for the majority of our life. We frequently have new research presented to us, new fad diets are oversensationalised, and fitness trends are ever-changing too. It’s no wonder many of us choose to throw in the towel before we’ve even begun. It all becomes very confusing, and is often too complex for many of us to even begin to consider constructing a plan towards healthier living.

My view – keep it simple. Five hundred years ago people weren’t fortunate enough to have all the modern day research, fads, and so-called health experts at their fingertips. But nor did they have technological conveniences, packaged and processed foods, or the sedentary-dominant lifestyles of our modern world. They remained healthy simply by living, and they lived a lot more simply than we currently do. Diseases and illnesses that existed back then were not manifested through lifestyle (as they are these days), but through lack of sanitization, germ control, and appropriate medication or treatment. The existence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke was low.   Sadly, in our world, it’s almost become the norm.

So, what’s my advice for keeping it simple? First and foremost remember this: It’s what you do every day that determines your health, not what you do sometimes. Re-read that last sentence. The habits and practices your employ on a daily basis have a profound effect on your overall health status. Habits that promote good health will enhance your overall health; while conversely, habits that promote poor health will deteriorate your overall health.

What does this mean? If you implement oodles of small but effective health-enhancing strategies into your life on a daily basis, your overall quality of life will be much greater, and you will also effectively minimize the impact of the occasional slip up. Nothing feels better than good health does. Some of us may be close to experiencing optimal health. But it’s difficult for those who are in an average state of health to appreciate just how much more awesome and alive you can feel when a good consistent dose of health-enhancing strategies are employed.

So, what are my suggestions to help you improve your overall health status? Below I’ve created two lists. The first one lists ‘Health Enhancers’ that should be done daily; the second one lists ‘Health Deteriorators that should be kept to a minimum (i.e. once per week).

  • Health Enhancers – stretching, 20 minutes of ‘you’ time, 7-8 hours of sleep per night, regular posture checks, 5 + a day (fruit and veggies), nourishing home-made juice or smoothie, 20 big breaths, personal goal reminders, 1.5 litres of water, embrace your family, write lists (but not too many!), plan and prepare meals, 10 minutes of shut-eye, bedtime by 10pm, give someone a compliment, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, personal/professional development reading, watch meal portion sizes, time with positive and inspirational people.
  • Health Deteriorators – Alcohol, late nights, take-away foods, cigarette smoking, reliance on non-essential medication, caffeine, coffee/tea, sleeping in, more than 2 hours of TV/screen time (non-work relevant), working late (i.e. within an hour of going to bed), more than 5 hours of sitting, high sugar foods, non-enjoyable activities, hanging around negative people, eating on the move, forgetting meals, high stress activities, rushing.

There are many more things that I could add to both lists. You should be doing at least 8-10 of the Health Enhancers every single day. The Health Deteriorators, on the other hand, should be occurring once a week or every ten days. If they are happening more regularly than this then I’d recommend you consider change, pronto.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s about keeping it simple. The suggestions above can be implemented without the need for expert interaction, and at low to no cost. Your health is a precious commodity. You only get one body to live in, nourish it. And remember, it’s what you do every day that affects your health, not what you do sometimes.