The 7 Secrets of Total Well-Being
The 7 secrets of total well-being. You might be surprised by some of these but they are the seven that stand out as really making the difference.
The health and lifestyle industry is one of the few that has weathered economic downturns over recent years. Sometimes however, well-being gets confused with fitness. You can be physically fit whilst at the same not taking care of yourself. I know this! There was a time when I was competing in sprint triathlons (looking extremely physically fit), but consuming a bottle of wine most nights. So my definition of well-being now incorporates the physical (exercise and nutrition), the mental (mindfulness and sleep) and the spiritual (finding joy in everyday life).
There is however some science behind what constitutes total well-being and these may not be the first things that spring to mind.
The 7 secrets to total well-being (in no particular order) are:
1. Stop sitting!
Yes sitting is officially bad for your health – at least sitting for prolonged periods is. I have even heard the phrase ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Reducing the time you spend sitting is of course easier said than done if you work in an office environment or have a condition that makes it difficult for you to stand for long periods. However, unless illness or disability prevents you from doing so, most of us could be more mindful about how much of the day, and evening we spend sitting. Reminders on your phone or watch to get up and move are helpful, as are adaptations that go on top of your desk, enabling you to stand whilst working.
2. Get enough Vitamin D
This vitamin is important to both cardiac and mental health. Sunshine and food are the main sources through which we get vitamin D. Your doctor can test your vitamin D levels. Sluggishness and lack of energy are key symptoms of being vitamin D deficient.
3. The quality and duration of your sleep
Sleep is our ‘regeneration’ mechanism, it is when we recuperate and heal. The general consensus is between 7 and 8 hours a night is ideal. Bedtime routines, including no technology after 9pm can help, as can physical exercise, though not too near bedtime.
4. Improving your strength
After the age of 30 (!!) we begin to loose muscle mass and our metabolism starts to slow down. So lifting heavy objects helps rebuild and retain muscle. See our blog lets-talk-about-weights
5. Doing something you love
Yes it’s official, your hobbies are good for you (usually). Many of us as we grow older, find ourselves gravitating towards hobbies or things we did as a child or young person. Therefore, finding things that lift your spirits and bring you joy may also be good for your health.
6. Meditating or being mindful
There is now a substantial body of evidence to suggest that meditation and mindfulness are powerful stress reducers. They are good tools to help build resilience and gain a perspective on life. The purpose of meditation is not to control our thoughts, it's more that we are able to not let our thoughts control us.
7. Being social and involved in a community
Connecting with those around you, feeling like you belong and having something to contribute all appear to be important aspects in living well and well-being.
So consider each of these seven elements and ask yourself ‘is this something I currently do or need to change?’. Small changes over time can have a big impact. Start with one change you think you can achieve and go from there.