3 Ingredients For Your Health & Wellbeing Recipe
Millions of people love to exercise and stay fit (we only have to head to social media to be bombarded with this concept).
But fact is, other millions don't.
What's important to know is, that you do not necessarily need to be a gym bunny to stay healthy.
What you must do for your health, though, is stay active.
The WHO says that a staggering 80% of the world's adolescent population is insufficiently physically active, and adults are not far off. If you are insufficiently active, you have an up to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.
Staying sufficiently active means to move every day, or almost every day. Any energy releasing movement produced by the muscles that move your bones is physical activity: walking, cycling, taking the stairs, cleaning, lifting stuff, gardening, doing active recreational things (such as yoga), and so on.
A minimum of 2.5 hours of activity a week will increase your chance of staying healthy. Add muscle strengthening activities and double the 2.5 hours per week to 5, and you will see increased health benefits over time.
These health benefits are pretty crucial, especially as you age:
improve your muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness;
improve your bone and functional health;
reduce your risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer), and depression;
reduce your risk of falls as well as hip or vertebral fractures; and
help maintain a healthy body weight.
(Source: WHO, 2022)
Bottom line: You have to move to stay healthy.
Number 2: Eat Well
Here is the thing, though: Research has also shown that activity alone is not keeping you healthy. So, if you exercise vigorously every day but eat rubbish food, chances are you won't stay healthy and disease free. In addition to being active, a good diet is key.
Hence, when it comes to living longer, you can’t pick between eating better and being active, you need both. Exercise cannot outrun a bad diet.
(Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2022)
Third, But Not Least: Be Still
Stillness. Why is this so important?
Your health is more than your body's health. Your mental health is the other big part of this picture (there are a few more in my opinion, such as your spiritual and emotional health).
Stillness can be hard to come by. There’s just so much going on. So much noise both inside and outside your brain, so many tasks on your to-do lists, and often several screens within reach. Am I right?
This chaos has a profound negative effects on your mental health.
What you don't get enough of, is stillness. Stillness is so, so powerful, it can effectively reverse the negative effects that full-blown mental chaos has on your mental health.
Being still allows you time and space to self-reflect and actually hear your thoughts.
Stillness soothes your nervous system without totally checking out and being numb to your surroundings. Similarly to physical activity, the key is consistency. You don't need to be still for hours every day, in fact, research has shown that calmly breathing for 60 seconds can switch off the fight/flight response of our brains. Finding stillness can be learned, and it is never too late. Once you have some techniques, you can use them when the need comes up. Some breathing, focusing on a soothing image, closing your eyes for a few moments, walking without talking, doodling quietly.
(Source: Health Science Journal, 2011)
At Unwind Yoga Studio we cover two of these important areas of health & wellbeing: movement and stillness. Head over to find out about trying out the yoga studio in Cookham, or maybe there is an event that entices you to come move & still with Unwind teachers & fellow students: www.unwindyogastudio.com