One of the biggest issues I see with clients is that they get caught up in tiny details and MISS THE BIG PICTURE when it comes to wellness.
I get asked all sorts of small detail questions like the best brand of salad dressing, best chocolate to eat, or the best type of oil to buy. Sure, all of those things matter to some degree. But they don’t matter as much as BIG PICTURE WELLNESS.
What is BIG PICTURE WELLNESS?
It’s 3 things: MOVE, SLEEP, POOP.
Daily movement, fitness, exercise…whatever you like to call it…is critical for wellness. It’s NOT about how many calories you burn. Instead, it’s to keep your body and your mind strong, happy, and resilient. You can’t have true wellness unless you have a daily movement.
GOAL: According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans the goal for exercise is 150 to 300 minutes/week of moderate-intensity exercise PLUS 2 or more days/week of muscle-strengthening exercise.
ACTION: Don’t let those recommendations intimidate you, remember anything is better than nothing. Research suggests that any amount of physical activity has some health benefits! Need some motivation? Read THIS summary about all the amazing research-based benefits of exercise.
There’s one BIG thing I have learned from being a dietitian for 25 years: Tired people don’t have enough energy to eat well or exercise. The foundation of creating optimal energy levels to live a healthy life & to show up for yourself is: SLEEP.
GOAL: According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need about 8 hours of sleep/night for optimal functioning, energy, and overall health.
ACTION: Read more about how to get quality sleep HERE.
Pooping is our body’s way of removing waste. Regular pooping is a sign your body is working well. Not regularly pooping is your body trying to tell you something is off.
GOAL: The frequency of pooping is not as important as making sure your poop is soft & easy to pass without strain or discomfort. It shouldn’t be too hard/pebble-like or too liquidy. Use the Bristol Stool Chart to check where you fall on the spectrum of poop types.
ACTION: Although there are SO MANY factors that contribute to regularity, the first ones to address are water + fiber…
– Water. A general water goal is 72 ounces/day for women and 100 ounces/day for men. But the best way to tell if you are hydrated is to check your urine color. Your urine should be light yellow, which is a high-five from your body thanking you for drinking enough. If your urine is dark yellow, it’s a sign that you’re likely dehydrated.
– Fiber. The general rule of thumb is to eat 30 grams of fiber/day. Fiber is in all types of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds, and beans. Read more about how to get your daily 30 grams of fiber HERE.