Many of us are so frantic these days, fitting in an exercise routine has become almost impossible. With work, the children, their activities, your partner, your social and community commitments, the cleaning, the laundry and the cooking there’s little wonder we’re strapped for timeStatistics are showing we’re becoming more overweight, unhealthier and sicker than ever before. Heart disease, obesity, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes are all on the increase.Despite having access to more information than every preceding generation, thanks to the internet, we’re still not taking notice of what it takes to be healthy.Where do we focus the blame?Is it the mega-multi nationals’ fantastic marketing campaigns, the easy access and massive consumption of processed foods and sugars, the increased portion sizes or our more sedentary lifestyles that are at fault?Or realistically is it a combination of all of the above?At the end of the day it’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to be as healthy as we can. By not smoking, eating fresh and organic food, drinking loads of water, getting regular exercise and good sleep most of us will see change very quickly.The link between body image and depression is very clear. When we don’t feel good about ourselves we become less confident, more anti-social and disconnected from those closest to us.Our bodies and minds influence each other.Many of us fail to understand that the health of our bodies is intrinsically connected to our mental health. Our mental state controls the way we feel, our emotions, our moods, temperament and outlook.Over 50 years ago the link between mental and physical well being was posited by the then first Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Brock Chisholm. He was renowned for saying that “without mental health there can be no true physical health.”More recently this concept has been further explored, discussed and tested by highly esteemed psychologists and scientists. There are now many studies showing the link between how well we are physically and how positive we feel, as well as the reciprocal effect.On average we have approximately 62,000 to 76,000 thoughts per day. Our thoughts have the power to create positive or negative mental states. These mental states create dialogue or words which then control your emotions. Your emotions facilitate the deeds you perform and so in turn influence your physical being and then the cycle continues.But what has your health and fitness got to do with the success of your relationship?When you’re not feeling great you’re more likely to become distant towards your partner. For some reason instead of reaching out to our significant other in our times of inner turmoil we are more likely to hide our true emotions.Men have a greater tendency to hide their emotions and suffer in silence. Sadly global suicide rates are a testament to this with males outnumbering females in suicidal deaths.Often it’s very easy to shrug off depression and anxiety with ‘stress at work’ or ‘exhaustion from the kids’. Our partners are none the wiser and a crater begins to emerge as you feel less and less able to communicate your real feelings.Instead of allowing your partner to pass off their feelings with excuses try asking them to talk about what’s going on for them a little more. Ask them specific questions about work or the kids.If they’re not opening up then try having a bath together, rubbing each other’s feet or better still going for a run or walk together (if you can summons the energy). Spending time together can help to kick start your connection and get you talking.Just listen!Remember that you must not try to give your partner solutions or compete with them by ‘one – upping’ their experience with a more dramatic version of something you went through.Just listen to them. Nod your head and say something like ‘that must be really frustrating for you’ or ‘I’m hearing that you’re feeling really upset about that’.Sometimes just having someone to listen, give empathy and understanding is all that’s needed. You can understand them better and they will feel relieved they’ve been heard.Make sure you’re both doing regular exercise. If you feel like you’re both too busy to fit it in then sit down together and do a roster. If possible try something together. Maybe salsa lessons or paint ball for something different.What were your emotions like a year ago?Cliff Oliver, a renowned Health and Fitness expert in the USA states that “your body will become what your emotions were a year ago”. Scary to think of that isn’t it?My START TODAY healthful tips:
Start by emptying the fridge and cupboard of anything that could tempt you and re-fill it with fresh vegetables, fruit, raw nuts, coconut oils and organic meat.
Start exercising regularly, even if it’s only twice a week to start off with. The positive endorphin rush you get from it will encourage you to do more.
Create some goals. Make sure they’re achievable, meaningful and measurable ones. It’s all about getting you motivated.
Start a food and exercise diary and write down everything you’re putting into your mouth including your alcohol consumption.
Give up alcohol for a month at least. It’s amazing the clarity not drinking brings and it allows you to have more control over your eating decisions.
Start meditating. It has been proven to enhance breathing, increase focus and improve overall well being.
Most of all remember to treat yourself with kindness, love and forgiveness. We are not machines and so there will be times when you may want to have that second serve of dessert and that’s OK.Life is meant for living after all.
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