When you hear the word “health,” what comes to mind? Do you imagine a certain number on the scale? Perhaps you envision yourself hitting a personal record at the gym. We all have different ideas of what health is, but whatever you picture is likely only part of an overall wellness routine. At Hilton Head Health, we focus on holistic wellness – a multidimensional approach to your wellbeing that goes far beyond just weight loss or mental wellness. Let’s discuss what that true wellness looks like.
The term “holistic” refers to the understanding that all of the parts of something are interconnected and critical for the whole entity. In health, that means that all the parts of a person are intimately related. By caring for your whole self, you recognize that every aspect is important in your overall wellbeing.
Holistic wellness means caring for both your physical and mental health. That’s why Hilton Head Health’s programming is centered around three key principles: fitness, nutrition, and mental wellness. You can likely see examples of how these pillars of wellness can impact each other in your own life.
Have you ever had a bad day at work and eaten comfort food as a way to deal with your emotions? Or, have you skipped a workout and then felt your entire mood go downhill? Perhaps you’ve noticed that when you eat more whole foods, you have more mental clarity. These are all examples of how interconnected each of these areas in your life is. To truly feel well, you need to address all three.
At first glance, holistic wellness might seem overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. You care for your wellbeing every day with simple habits. Although they may seem like small steps, they add up to big results. Try out some (or all) of our recommended tips!
Get 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. That’s just 21 minutes each day or five 30-minute workouts each week.
Don’t underestimate the power of walking. Research shows that regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid life-threatening conditions like type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Don’t pressure yourself to go on marathon-length runs or complete a million reps – exercise can be as simple as walking.
Add resistance training. Building muscle not only helps you look lean (and not bulky!), but it also protects your joints, improves balance, and boosts flexibility. Include weights in your weekly workouts to enjoy these benefits.
Eat the rainbow. Rather than counting calories, count how many colors are on your plate. Eating this way ensures that you consume plenty of fruits and vegetables which provide vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. Plus, they tend to be lower in calories but higher in volume, which can aid in healthy weight management.
Track your protein. Eating 25 to 30% of your daily calories from protein can boost your metabolism. Protein also helps you feel satiated and supports your workouts as you build and repair muscles. So, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, at least 500 calories (125 grams) should come from protein.
Focus on balance. It can be tempting to go all out with your diet, but an all-or-nothing approach quickly leads to burnout. Avoid this issue by planning for foods you love, like a glass of wine or dessert. This will help you bypass feelings of restriction while still eating healthily. Moderation and balance are key!
Feel your feelings. Many of us are guilty of avoiding our feelings until they become so overwhelming that they can’t be ignored. Instead, honor your feelings as they arise. Remember that you are not your feelings. Assess what makes you feel good and what doesn’t so that you can shape your life the way you want.
Find an outlet. For persistent feelings or situations that are weighing on you, find an outlet. That could mean talking to a trusted friend or therapist. It might also be writing in a journal or getting creative with a paintbrush. This helps you work through your stress so you can take action.
Meditate. Meditation can help you relax, direct your attention, and let go of jumbled thoughts you might be ruminating on. It’s been shown to reduce stress and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Your health isn’t a simple item to check off your to-do list, it’s a lifelong effort. That’s why holistic wellness is so important – each area of your life matters for your overall wellbeing. Since August is National Wellness Month, now is the perfect time to take a look at your habits and see what’s supporting your health, and what you might need to modify.
While small steps are a great way to build up these habits, you can also kickstart your journey to wellbeing with a wellness retreat. You can read more about our award-winning wellness programs to get started today!