As a professional in the fitness and wellness industry I have come to understand that our lives are defined by our choices and decisions. Our futures are based on how we prioritize these choices and live them. We are the product of many interacting variables. We are influenced by our parents, the education we receive, the friendships we develop, the careers and jobs we create for ourselves, and the relationships we have with our selves – specifically our health and well-being.
We are the captains of our own destiny. If you prioritize your health and wellness needs you are setting yourself up for “life success”. Investing in your health and fitness means that you stay ahead of the aging process. We all age , but we all age differently. The human body ( which also applies to the mind and spirit) is a dynamic and fluid entity. It is impacted by many factors, many of which we can control. We cannot change our DNA or the genetic code that we inherited. We can however influence how we live and how we age by the choices we make.
1. Exercise: Our bodies were designed to move. They function better and for longer if we challenge them to remain strong and flexible. Fitness is the key to longevity. It directly impacts the vital systems that keep our bodies functioning at a high level. It keeps the body and mind strong and adaptable.
2. Nutrition: We are what we eat. Eating a balanced and high-nutrient diet compliments the exercise component. Good nutritional habits help the body to function at an optimal level. It is the energy that fuels not only our bodies, but our brains as well.
3. Sleep: Is a vital component to longevity and good health. Healthy sleep habits are integral to our health and wellness. It helps to bolster our cardiovascular, immune, metabolic, neural, cognitive and mental functions.
4. Managing Stress: Stress comes in many forms. It is a part of all our lives and left unmanaged can speed up the aging process. The key is to identify those areas that create stress in our lives and develop a strategy to avoid the triggers and put in place a plan that keeps us on track and clear about our intentions and goals. Create a clear road map and you can avoid many of life’s roadblocks and distractions and arrive at your desired destination!
5. Find Meaning in Life: A life that has direction and meaning is a life worth living. Developing a mission statement gives you a guide to live by and furthermore helps you to gain and maintain clarity. Your success in your work, relationships, health and wellness begins with a commitment to yourself.
6. Mental Stimulation: The “Use it or Lose it” principle applies to both the mind and body. Much like the body, the mind needs to be exercised. Stimulating the brain by creating new neural pathways helps to build mental acuity and ward off brain degeneration and eventual dementia. Everything that stimulates and strengthens the body ( regular exercise, healthy nutrition, restorative sleep, managing stress levels and developing a life-purpose) also stimulates the mind. The greater the integration of these two, the easier it becomes to strive for optimal health and longevity.