Living healthy is a choice. It doesn’t matter if we are focused on physical health, mental health, or spiritual health (or all of them) … it is something we CHOOSE to do (or not). Actually for some, the hardest part of such a lifestyle is often the choice to live that way. Based on this simple fact, when we face difficulties in obtaining the lifestyle that we wish … it really comes down to our commitment TO that choice. It is one thing to SAY I will live a healthy life … it is another to make it happen. The choice must be more than lip service for it to have a positive affect on our lives.
That said, the most difficult thing to overcome in ANY fitness practice is our own attitude and mindset.
The most common reasons we use to NOT do as we say is lack of time and/or lack of the tools to make it happen. These are always the easiest excuses, but make no mistake, that is all they are … excuses. Time is ours to manage. If we truly WANT to make the time for something, we will. As for the lack of tools, sometimes that IS a difficulty we might face, but solutions are there for those who truly WANT to find them. We don’t have the space … find exercises that work in the space we have, or find modifications that will ADJUST for the space we have.We don’t have the equipment … again, find exercises that will work with the equipment we DO have, or get creative. For instance, while a proper weight is ideal, one can always substitute something of equivalent weight for certain exercises (as long as it won’t cause injury because one cannot hold it correctly). A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds … instant weight. There are also so many easy exercises we can do while doing other things, even while working at a desk. There are ALWAYS alternatives. Here is an example of me getting creative as I train for my pending Appalachian Trail Hike.
This issue of mindset applies to other aspects of our health as well. One of the best ways to control and relieve stress is meditation. Yet so many people think they are not capable of meditation. It is too quiet! It is too slow! I can’t stay still long enough. By saying such things, we really have prevented ourselves from even making the attempt, not to mention shown that we have not even explored WHAT such an exercise REALLY is.
Just like with physical exercise, mental and spiritual exercises (such as meditation) come in many forms. What many people perceive as meditation, such as sitting in a half lotus position in a quiet area while listening to mellow music and doing nothing is actually a METHOD for achieving a meditative state … and NOT the state itself. The simplest definition of a meditative state is achieving a state of non thought. And while traditional meditation techniques CAN make this happen for some, they are by no means the ONLY way to do it. Basically, any time we invest ourselves 100% in ANY activity, we can achieve a meditative state. I have done it while doing a laundry, or cleaning or cooking. But ironically, one of the BEST ways to do it is while exercising. Take away the music, the TV, and focus TOTALLY on the exercise we are doing, and we will find not only is the physical exercise more effective, but we will release a lot more stress as well.
So in reality, we can actually kill two birds with one stone … by the simple act of combining activities. And we are very capable of finding alternatives to the traditional way of doing things … if we just LET ourselves. The only TRUE obstacle we face when trying to figure out HOW to live a healthy lifestyle is OURSELVES. So maybe we need to get out of our own way for a change.
Incidentally, creativity is itself a form of exercise. 😉