Balance. It’s the new buzz word in health and fitness but do we really know what it means?
For me, balance is something you create for yourself. It is a very personal thing. It relates to your whole life, not just fitness or food, but your lifestyle and your mind-set. It’s one thing if you can appear to feel comfortable with a rest day or look to be enjoying a pizza but if you are struggling inside that is not OK. Balance is a state of emotional wellbeing and that is not always easy to find.
Balance takes time to achieve. It is about making healthy, good choices daily. Nourishing your body and being active. But also allowing yourself to be flexible and able to adapt. Not always worrying about where your next meal is coming from, or feeling stressed if you haven’t prepped in advance. If I fancy a slice of pizza or even the whole thing then that’s OK. Going off track every once in while is no big deal. After years of yo-yo dieting and restrictions I have finally found my balance. I know I work hard in the gym and the majority of my diet is healthy so one pizza is not going to undo all that.
When it comes to trying to create a more balanced approach to your own lifestyle I would recommend looking to the 80/20 rule as inspiration. Making healthy choices 80% of the time then allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy treats for the other 20%. If you eat 3 meals a day that means you have the choice to indulge a little bit more for 3 of those meals a week. You can’t be 100% all of the time, but maybe you can be 80%.
Look at making small changes in your overall lifestyle, instead of restrictions. Go for a gin & tonic over a glass of wine. Or why not try cooking your own sauces? A basic tomato sauce is so easy to make and can form the basis of lots of meals. Homemade also tastes so much better. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring; cooking from scratch gives you so much freedom to add herbs and spices to flavour your meals how you like them!
In terms of exercise, find something you love to do. Whether that is walking, dancing, yoga or a full gym workout, just try and move more. Take the stairs instead of the lift, and walk more during the day. Exercise should be fun as well as something we do for our health. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t keep it up. These small changes all add up to a healthier overall lifestyle, without the restrictions we so often enforce upon ourselves.
Surely the main goal for most of us is to be healthy, happy and to feel good, isn’t it? And for that, we need to focus on trying to create a lifestyle that we can sustain and that makes us feel awesome!
Do you have a balanced lifestyle? What are your top tips for staying balanced in your mind and body? Let us know in the comments below!