Building a healthy life is a bit like making cheese — there are a few basic ingredients, and the process is simple, but it’s not easy to do well. Being healthy is especially tough if you already have more than you can reasonably do, and so much that competes for your time and energy. But here’s the thing: no matter what our schedules say, no matter what others ask of us, no matter what comes our way, we all deserve to take the time and space we need to be healthy.
So what are the basic ingredients of a healthy life? There’s no single path to good health, but the essential stuff is pretty universal. If you look across time and schools of thought, five basic needs come up again and again:
- Learning – we often need information (and possibly new skills, tools, or strategies) to help us decide what we want, and how to get there
- Mindfulness – our ability to be aware of, and to shape, the way we see the world is perhaps the greatest factor in our well being
- Food – eating well and staying hydrated are essential to help us feel, look, and perform our best
- Rest – we all require adequate sleep, down time, and activities that recharge and restore us
- Activity – being physically active, which is way more than just exercise, makes us stronger, helps us move well, and improves just about everything from mood to posture
I think of these five basic needs as Fit Life Essentials, and everything in Fit Energies is organized around them.
All of this can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel you don’t have enough time to even work out, much less think about the other elements of whole life fitness. I get it. I’ve had days at work when just going to the ladies room seemed like an unattainable luxury. It reminds me of the way I sometimes feel when I read detailed advice about “Nine Steps to Better Skin” or “The Twelve Things You Must Do Everyday”—who has time for all that?
It may not always be pretty or perfect, but it’s absolutely possible to find room for the essentials. If I can do it, anyone can. Just start. Anywhere. This very minute.