How to get healthy now
May 24, 2024

How to get healthy now

Overwhelmed by fad diets and trendy workouts?

You know as well as we do: there’s no shortage of complex wellness routines and nuanced health advice within arm’s reach. Fad diets, trendy workouts, and loud voices are at the mercy of our fingertips. In turn, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed (and totally confused!) by popular health tips.

But amidst the noise, a simple truth remains: the basics of caring for your well-being are timeless. They aren’t trends that come and go. They aren’t products promising quick fixes. And they aren’t overnight solutions for years of neglected healthy habits. With that in mind, we’re revisiting the essentials. As summer approaches, there’s no better time to rediscover the foundational elements that truly make a difference in our vitality.

Quality over quantity: The fuel we choose matters

Let’s start with food. Whether you’re a driven professional, busy mom, or active student, efficient meals reign supreme. In turn, convenience often trumps quality. But in all reality, the quality of our food profoundly impacts our health. Opting for whole, nutrient-dense foods—over ultra-processed junk—energizes our bodies with premium fuel. Convenient options we always have on hand: fresh fruit and frozen veggies, nuts and seeds, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, rotisserie chicken, sourdough bread, sweet potatoes, avocados, and beans.

Finding balance: Eating for sustenance, not restriction

Thanks to diet culture, the principle of eating enough feels like a novel concept. Instead of fixating on calorie counting or strict meal plans, focus on nourishing your body with all three macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—to fuel your activities and health goals. You may even notice you’re more hungry during the luteal phase

Blood sugar management: The key to stable energy

Along with eating to sustain your lifestyle, maintaining stable blood sugar levels is essential for stable energy, balanced hormones, and long-term vitality. Aim to prioritize foods that release energy slowly. I.e. whole grains, leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These help prevent spikes and crashes. In fact, when you pair a carbohydrate (I.e. an apple) with a source of fat (walnuts) and / or protein (turkey jerky), you’re much less likely to ride a blood sugar roller coaster!

Protein power: Building blocks for health

Speaking of protein, this macronutrient isn't just for bodybuilders—it's paramount for everyone. Adequate protein intake supports muscle repair, immune function, and satiety. It also provides the building blocks for hormones! Incorporate a variety of protein sources into your meals to keep you feeling full and satisfied while promoting overall health. While the amount of protein you need is bio-individual, most studies suggest that 0.7-1.1 grams of protein per pound of lean mass is sufficient.

Rest and rejuvenation: The healing power of sleep

In our quest for productivity, it’s common for quality sleep to take a hit. But, adequate rest is crucial for physical and mental well-being. Prioritize quality sleep by establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating a sleep-conducive environment, allowing your body to recharge and repair. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. And on that note, incorporate stress-reducing practices (mindfulness, meditation, etc.) into your daily routine to encourage relaxation and lower stress.

Move with joy: Finding pleasure in physical activity

Make 2024 the year you view exercise as a celebration of what your body can do—not a punishment for your food choices. Additionally, instead of forcing yourself through grueling workouts, find activities that bring you joy and fulfillment (bonus points for syncing your workouts with your cycle). Whether it's dancing, hiking, or yoga, prioritize movement that doesn’t feel like a chore. 

Lean into nature: Immerse yourself in the outdoors

It’s no secret that nature offers a multitude of health benefits. From reducing stress levels to boosting mood and enhancing overall well-being, immersing yourself in natural environments has profound effects on health. Carve out time for hiking, walking in green spaces, or spending time in your city’s botanical garden. This can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and promote relaxation. Plus, exposure to natural sunlight helps regulate sleep patterns and boosts vitamin D levels (important for healthy hormones!).

Lean on your village: A supportive community matters

Leave it to the world’s Blue Zones to teach us the importance of social connections. Spending time with uplifting people fosters a sense of belonging, reduces loneliness, and enhances overall mental resilience. Furthermore, strong social connections lower stress levels and improve cardiovascular health. Ultimately, nurturing supportive relationships enriches both our emotional and physical health.

Step away from your screen: The argument for less scrolling

Last but not least, taking care of your well-being doesn’t include constantly engaging with digital devices. Endless scrolling can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and decreased focus, as well as disrupted sleep patterns. Moreover, excessive social media use has been linked to negative impacts on self-esteem and body image (thanks to exposure to curated content). Stepping away from screens allows for meaningful face-to-face interactions.