Photo by Kirsty Mattsson Photography
Healthy living can be a bit of a vague term, can’t it? It’s just so subjective.
For some, being healthy means only eating organic, seasonal produce and hitting the gym five times a week.
For others, a bit of exercise and a balanced diet is enough to lead a happy life.
I’m the first to admit that I’m constantly seeking new ways of eating for optimum health be it veganism or low GI and beyond.
I do feel, though, that overall a low carb way of eating, not ‘no carb’, just limiting the empty carbs and staying away from sugar, works best for me.
This way of eating keeps my energy levels stable and my hormones in check. No easy job with PCOS.
Exercise too, of course, is crucial for a happy mind and body, as is getting out and about in the fresh air as much as possible.
We’re lucky that we live near a pretty river (above) in Yorkshire and overlook open countryside.
Being close to nature is truly important to me, it grounds me and an outdoor life is wonderful for the kids and I.
I so love a power walk near my home too and have committed to weekly ones with local girlfriends to keep us motivated during the colder weather.
As mentioned in my recent post living a content life, running, and yoga too, has slowly changed my life.
I need the aerobic exercise to burn off the energy and stress I pile up, and yoga to stretch my muscles and chill me out.
Dopamine is a chemical in our brains connected to feelings of happiness and pleasure and is one that’s actually released during exercise. It’s thought that dopamine levels drop naturally over time, so working out is a great way to refuel the stores and keep them well stocked up.
Nothing makes me happier than yoga time on my mat, and it’s even better when my kids join in. Child’s pose indeed!
Exercise too, helps me get a good night’s sleep.
Regular exercise has been known to battle insomnia and sleeping disorders, as well as reduce anxiety and stress levels.
The sleep environment is critical too.
I like our bedroom to be uncluttered, tidy and clean and without noise where possible.
We have double glazed windows and our room is decorated in cream and pale blue, the latter known to relax the mind.
We also have a Queen size bed meaning we can stretch out and get comfortable easily, and it helps when little ones jump in, in the middle of the night!
What we lie on is important too.
Supportive memory foam mattresses are vital for good quality sleep as they’re known to mould to the shape of our bodies and the material prevents overheating – something which can disturb kip.
I’m also strict when it comes to switching phones, computers and TV’s off at least an hour before bed. If I don’t I end up with a restless night’s sleep and even nightmares.
I do love a bit of reflexology or a full body massage to help me totally unwind during times of great work stress as well.
Sites like Yelp can help you find the right practitioner or spa to help you zone out too.
So those are the things that keep my body and mind in check.
I’d love to read about yours too.