Mareike's ultimate guide to healthy living - step #1: taking stock
Where do you sit right now with your health, wellbeing, and fitness?
Are you living a vibrant life, with abundant energy for work and play? Have you created that healthy, sustainable life balance that many of us seek – or are you constantly stressed and tired, in catch-up mode, never feeling on top of things, and wishing you just felt good for once?
Healthy living is within your reach. Over the next eight newsletters, I will outline simple steps you can take which will enable you to stop wishing for better health and fitness, and start living it. Follow these eight tried and true steps and you will start living a healthier life right now!
Healthy living step 1: take stock
Your first step towards healthy living is to know where you’re starting from, so follow this checklist to get started:
- Make appointments with your doctor and dentist for full blood work, blood pressure check, and any other routine health checks including prostate check for men and pap smear test and breast examination for us ladies. As a malignant melanoma survivor, I also encourage you to get a thorough skin check by a dermatologist or skin cancer clinic. Believe me, it could save your life!
- Measure your height and weight, and measure your waist circumference. If you’re a man with a waist measurement of over 94cm, or a woman with a measurement of over 80cm, you are at greater risk of developing a chronic illness.
- Assess your activity. How much physical activity do you get in a typical week? How intense is that activity? How much variety do you get in your activity, and how much do you enjoy it? And no, gardening does not count! I’m talking about regular structured exercise. The World Health Organisation recommends adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Or the equivalent of a combination of the two.
- Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink for three days, including those dietary indiscretions you’re trying to let go! You can't change what you're not aware of or don't acknowledge.
- Assess your mood, and mental and emotional wellbeing. Healthy living includes emotional wellness and adequate rest and relaxation. Are you experiencing any symptoms of depression or anxiety? Do you usually sleep well for seven to eight hours a night? Do you make time for relaxation and play?
- Consider your social network. To be happy and healthy we need to nurture positive relationships with those around us. How strong are your connections with family and friends? Are you a part of strong social or spiritual groups and networks?
This checklist is not to point out whether you are good or bad, right or wrong. It simply serves to highlight those areas of your life that need attention. From here, you can set your healthy living goals so that you can truly start to live happy, healthy and well!
Stay tuned for Healthy Living Step 2 next month!
Got a health question? Click here!
Mareike Bout is a qualified and registered personal trainer who specialises in holistic fitness and lifestyle coaching. She is a recognised leader in the industry, receiving the peer-voted South Australia Personal Trainer of the Year award in 2008. She is also a regular guest on Adelaide’s top-rating radio station FIVEaa. Mareike runs her personal training business, One Life Live Well, both online and from a private studio in Adelaide. Services include one-on-one training, outdoor group fitness, lifestyle coaching and weight-loss programs. Individually tailored programs encompass aspects of exercise, nutrition, relaxation, positive thinking, life balance, and goal setting. Her approach is to guide, support and educate her clients so that they posses the tools required to live a life of health, strength and vitality!