Finding your life's balance: Health and fitness
Nina Grunfeld, April 28, 2017
In a new regular feature Nina Grunfeld presents a wellbeing series for HR professionals. It's time to focus on yourself
Welcome back. Before we start focusing on your all-important health and fitness, how creative are you feeling right now? Fill in your Balance Chart again (‘10’ being very satisfied) and take note of your scores. Usually, once you begin really acknowledging your creativity, you’ll notice how your scores overall will slowly begin to rise.
If you haven’t already started paying attention to your health and fitness April is a great month to begin. Instead of focusing on what your body looks like, look to the inside and start being at home in your own skin. Once you take the time to notice the way your body feels you’ll become aware of how it communicates to you all the time – even though sometimes we refuse to listen. At Life Clubs we recently spoke to a mother with a young child at a top management consultancy who said she hadn’t got time to exercise. She could hear her body telling her to go to bed and she listened to it, but she was ignoring the ‘please move me’ messages.
We often don’t feel we have time to look after ourselves, but it needn’t be a long exercise session – simply stretching mindfully can be better than nothing. The moment you begin to respect your body and celebrate its strengths the sooner you’ll notice your self-confidence growing. Like a positive circle, as well as your self-confidence growing you’ll find the trust in your body increasing and, in return, that will give you more energy.
You are not like anyone else, in the way you look or in what your body needs. Your body is unique to you. Choose your own path to getting fit and healthy. Find activities your body likes and build them into your routine. When you are doing something you enjoy that’s beneficial to your body, you’re far more likely to make time for it, stick to it and benefit from it. Get creative. Your body will respond well to variety – the more activities you do the more muscles get used. Remember the things your body could do as a child. Get nostalgic and decide which of those you wish it could do now. Have you tried to do them recently? If not, why not? Have a go. And keep the food you eat colourful and balanced – that way you’ll probably be eating most of the different nutrients your body requires.
The way you prioritise your wellbeing can say a lot about how you feel about yourself in general. The difficult part is that the worse we feel about ourselves, the harder it is to give up unhealthy food or get out there and enjoy activities that could make us happier. The opposite is true too. Just as we can neglect ourselves through inactivity and unconscious eating, we can also overdo our workout regime and diet. If that’s your situation it might mean you want to look at why you feel the need to push yourself quite so hard.
Three tasks for April to enable you to feel (even) healthier and fitter:
1. No more mirrors
From now on banish your mirrors and scales. Stop looking at your body or weighing it. Notice how it feels. Is it hungry, tired, full, stiff, tense, stressed? Ask it and then pay attention.
2. Get a check-up
If you have any worries or niggles that you’ve not acted upon book yourself in with a GP now.
Whether it’s dancing in the kitchen, mindful stretching, or a Tai Chi class, do something different for your body this month.
Nina Grunfeld is a self-help and wellbeing guru, author, and founder of self-improvement workshops Life Clubs