Seeking Balance in the mayhem
The importance of balance in life cannot be underrated, yet it is a fast depleting aspect.
A primary cause of stress in our lives is lack of balance – in our Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual states.
Balance is equally relevant for diet and physical activity. These constitute two of the biggest concerns in today’s times, and have become basis for business explosion in these fields.
The goal is good health and fitness levels, which should eventually lead to better life fitness.
After all, the idea is to live well and better, isn’t it?
If, like quite a few I know, you feel overwhelmed with the constant buzz around, here are a few key points to help you strike balance with diet and exercise, and your health in general:
1) The concept of ‘BEST’ is a misnomer. Every body is built different and responds to stimuli differently. So it’s foolishly naive to believe that what worked for someone you know will absolutely work for you.
2) The key to good and sustainable results is a balance of diet AND exercise. Look around. The number of people who haven’t accepted this truth and are constantly struggling with weight and health issues, are just far too many. If one chooses to be in denial and expects short cuts to last long, then they are headed for a yo-yo life, replete with multiple failed attempts and a growing sense of frustration. You have to practice the right combination of diet and physical activity to achieve your goal(s). Just one is not going to cut it. As simple as that.
3) Variety in food is good. It helps ensure that you get multiple sources of vital nutrients. Each plays its role in maintaining health and life processes. Plus, choices help you adhere to good eating patterns better. Unless there is a medical or well established (reliable) need to eliminate something, keep life and eating simple by not going overboard in choices and diet styles. Use your good sense (it needs exercise too). Do you need to eliminate the excesses or do you need to eliminate food groups all together? Take an impartial stock of what and how you have been eating over the years and how that has worked out for you. By following the latest craze you could be creating vital deficiencies in your body and heading for greater damage than you may realize now.
I’d also like to give more credit to our ancestors and believe that they weren’t such unaware fools in growing and eating what they did, as these rapidly spawning ‘studies’ would like us to believe. A lot of the good, old stuff is coming around, albeit in different avatars. Don’t go looking too far for your answers. Keep it regional and keep it seasonal. It’s less expensive on the pocket too.
4) Exercise is good and essential. It keeps the body healthy and goes a long way in keeping it disease free. To reiterate – there is no ‘best’ way of it. Everybody responds differently to its stimuli. Results take time depending upon how unfit and out of shape you are. More importantly, how truly dedicated, sincere and consistent you are. Making it a habit requires patience and practice. Don’t set unrealistic body/performance goals and you won’t be so easily disappointed with effort. You’ll also keep injuries at minimum. The trick is to work out smart, not just long and hard.
5) Variety in exercise is good. The body gets used to a way of exercising and stops responding as before. It’s good to shake things up and challenge it differently. It also helps stave off boredom. Plus, it’s vital for better aging. It helps prevent over use of muscles, joints and tissues brought on by repetitive use. Very importantly, it facilitates learning new patterns (important for stimulating neurogensis and boosting mental health).
6) That said, don’t go chasing variety senselessly in diet and exercise. Give it time to yield results and judge its efficacy. Take time to figure out – do you need a change in parts or in totality? Do you need a temporary change or a permanent one? Frequent switching is another cause of sub-par results, not to mention compounding confusion and lack of understanding.
7) Remember, that supplements (of ANY kind, including herbal/natural) are meant to “supplement” health efforts. Establish valid need for their intake. Don’t treat them as panaceas and get complacent about the real things- diet and exercise.
8) Don’t be a blind follower of products and services. This also includes the growing breed of (so called) ‘health celebrities’ and ‘influencers’, and consuming whatever they may dish out as the holy grail of health. Today, practically everything and everybody is operating like a business that needs constant selling and reselling. Social media is a powerful tool, but it’s nerve racking pace renders things and people obsolete in the blink of an eye. The race and pressure to remain continuously visible is humongous. But this is also spawning trash in alarming measure. More disturbingly, its rampantly breeding a growing population of unthinking followers. Attention spans have become clinically short with so much on offer so fast, that the ability to eschew and analyze is fast getting snuffed out. Result? Senseless gluttony and (dubious) information overload. Remember, social media is a business too! Be smart about its use and what you chose to consume on it. Use it empower yourself, not become a monkey in the circus.
Find your balance, retain a strong foothold on sense and keep working on the basics. Exercise caution in following trends. The bigger picture will slowly fall into place.