• Ash Sheppeard | Personal Trainer, Smash Fit PT

Building (and Maintaining) a Healthy Lifestyle Balance

Sometimes we make lifestyle decisions based on societal pressures rather than focusing on more important reasons to be healthy. Aesthetics can be an added bonus of a healthy lifestyle, but your mental health and personal growth should be your main motivation. We all long to be healthy and happy, but in order to achieve a balanced lifestyle, we need to focus on all aspects of our lives.

WORK - We all go through phases of loving or disliking our work for whatever reason. It can be hard to make the decision to leave a place of work; however, if you are miserable, then chances are you are not living your best life, and you need to make a change. Step outside your comfort zone and experience life, don’t get caught up in work by living your own Groundhog Day.

RELATIONSHIPS - Maintaining strong relationships with family, friends and romantic relationships is a great way to maintain life balance. Make time for your people; spend quality time with them on a regular basis. Avoid people that put you down, make you feel worthless or genuinely make you sadder. Life is too short to spend your time with negative people.

HEALTH - You could be covering all other bases for a healthy balanced lifestyle, but if you aren’t eating to fuel your mind and body, then you will be missing the most important ingredient in the balance. This is also the most difficult aspect to maintain in the overall balance. Try to give yourself a reward system, eat healthily and creatively 80% of the time and that will allow you the opportunity to relax on weekends or weeknight dinners or work morning teas. Willpower is key here, and it can lead to you feeling energised for your day, help keep immunity high, reduce illness, and give you the best results from your fitness routine.

FITNESS - This is just another aspect of your life that can turn into a chore. You don’t have to go to the gym for exercise, if you dislike doing the same style of exercise week in week out then why not mix it up? Try a dance class or boxing session, go for a walk, hit a yoga class, or go for a run. There are so many options, and not all of them have to be an expensive venture; be creative, get yourself a buddy to help keep you accountable and have fun.

EMOTIONAL WELLBEING - Society today is constantly creating a feeling of pressure, for us to excel in all aspects of life. This can bog us down and make us feel overwhelmingly busy, so it is important to make time for yourself, to check in with how you are feeling and what you could change if you are not happy. Make some “you time” every day and refuse to let yourself go insane with it all. You can’t be your best self in your work, relationships etc. if you are not looking after yourself first.

SPIRITUAL INTERESTS - We are being taught more and more ways to take a time out for our mental health. Some of these psychological and divine practices can include: meditation, talking to a counsellor, journaling, exercise, cooking and more.

CREATIVITY - Stress can stifle creativity and form barriers to happiness so try to make an effort to unwind, turn the day-to-day grind into spontaneous fun alternatives. Listen to music; dance in your living room; cook a new ethnic meal instead of a standard dinner; take a relaxing bath instead of a speedy shower; listen to podcasts while you train instead of music, or listen to audio books in the car on the way to work instead of the radio.

I hope this helps to open your mind to the possibilities of living a healthy life balance full of variety and self-care.

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