Editor’s Note: this post is part of the current series of posts submitted by healthy living bloggers on what health means to them. We are no longer taking submissions on this topic and will soon open the floor to a new topic.
This post is brought to you by Matt at The Kitchen of a Runner.
Hello readers, my name is Matt and I have been blogging over at The Kitchen of a Runner for a little over a year now. When Lindsey fromSound Eats called for health bloggers to write a guest post, I jumped at the chance. I love sharing my views and experiences with other people to help spread my passion for healthy living.
So what does health mean to me?
This is actually an overwhelming and complicated question for me to answer, but I will do my best.
First of all, to be healthy, you have to want it. Like anything you plan to accomplish in life, there has to a desire or a goal.
- Are you trying to lose weight?
- Are you trying to “clean up” your diet?
- Are you training for a half marathon?
These are just examples, but any health related goal needs to be established to help keep you on track and focused.
In my opinion, one of the greatest aspects of health is exercise. It nourishes your body, mind, and soul in a way that nothing else can. It helps keep your body strong and healthy, along with giving you the confidence that you can do anything. Exercising is a huge part of my life and I have no idea where I would be without that daily “runners high” Some people feel healthy by getting in a morning walk before heading to work while some people feel healthy by running 50 miles before heading to work. Everyone’s lifestyles are different and the key to exercise is finding something you like to do and sticking with it.
Also, I consider a healthy diet to be another large part of healthy living. I eat a mostly organic (local when I can), non processed diet. I am nowhere near Vegan or Vegetarian because I believe that you can eat animal products and still live a 100% healthy lifestyle, but that is not the focus here. They key is that you need to do what YOU FEEL IS HEALTHY. If you feel healthy eating a 100% Vegan diet, go for it! Don’t let anyone stop you or talk you out of it. Everyone has different needs and beliefs and they need to stick to those needs to life a healthy life.
I also believe that the being healthy has a lot do with mental wellness and that being healthy is almost completely a state of mind. Like I said in the being of this post, you have to want to be healthy in order to achieve it. Forcing yourself to eat a plate of vegetables or a salad is not what I constitute as healthy living (I’m not saying that vegetables aren’t tasty). If you want to be healthy, you need to incorporate things you like into a healthy lifestyle. Like Italian food? How about trying a vegetable lasagna? Do you like shopping? How about going to the Farmers Market? These are just examples, but my point is that anyone can turn what they like into something that is good for them.
Also, forcing yourself to exercise is not the way to go either. If I forced myself to run everyday, I would probably be absolutely miserable. Lucky for me, I am addicted to running and I love every second of it. They key is finding something you LIKE and sticking with it. Love hiking? Go for it! Love biking or swimming? Go for it!
And lastly, and probably the most important, do not let a healthy lifestyle completely take over your life. Never let any of these things get in the way of family, friends, and opportunities. Healthy living is suppose to HELP you live a better life, not get in the way. I have struggled with this in the past, but I am working towards “letting loose”. I have skipped out on hanging out with friends, going on trips, and just having a good time because I was afraid I wouldn’t have time to run or there wouldn’t be anything healthy to eat. Trust me, this is not the way to live. Never again will that happen. Trust me
In the end, you need to balance all of these things in order to achieve optimal health. If you don’t feel like working out, don’t. If you want a burger, eat it. In the end, to me, it all boils down to moderation. Exercise, eat well, and live life to the fullest you possibly can. To me, that is the ultimate meaning of health.
Thanks Matt! To stay updated on everything going on with HLB, please be sure to subscribe in your feed of choice!