The word holistic denotes interconnectivity. Holistic lifestyle means understanding the importance of various factors in health, and how they are interconnected. It means that for a healthy lifestyle, one needs to take multiple steps.
Holistic health or lifestyle is a neglected thing in conventional medicine, which focuses on signs and symptoms and treating disease conditions. However, holistic lifestyle forms the basis of most traditional forms of medicine.
To understand the holistic health, take an example of diabetes. If you change your lifestyle to manage diabetes through exercise, stress management, dietary corrections, you are also reducing the risk of numerous other conditions like heart disease, cancer, respiratory conditions, neurodegenerative disorders.
Similarly, a holistic lifestyle means that for staying healthy, doing one single thing like exercise or making changes to the diet will not provide optimal health. One needs to understand the importance of various parameters in wellbeing, like socializing, stress management, and much more.
Holistic lifestyle is a way of healthy living; it is a philosophy, a way to a happy life. Holistic lifestyle not just focuses on health, but on complete wellness.
Regretfully, even medical practitioners do not understand the difference between “health” and “wellness.” The final aim of any lifestyle intervention or medical treatment is wellbeing. A person may be healthy and still not feel well (may feel depressed, or anxious), whereas, a person may live with untreatable disease or disability and may still feel well with right kind of lifestyle interventions.
Essential Pillars of Holism and Wellness
Physical wellness. Regular physical activity is one of the essential pillars of good health. However, one should not confuse physical activity with exercise. There is no doubt that exercise is good but staying active most of the time is equally necessary.
Epidemiological data shows a sharp rise in a number of disease conditions in the last 50 to 100 years that were classified as rare diseases just little more than a century back like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and many more. It is now well known that reduced physical activity is one of the major contributing factors to the rise of these disease conditions. It is well accepted that 30-60 minutes of exercise a day can help in most cases.
However, exercise will not help much if a person spends too much time sitting in one place. It means that lots of physical movement during the day is equally important. Sitting continually for more than an hour may harm health.
Another essential thing in physical health is adequate sleep. There is no doubt that people are sleeping much less then they used too. An adult should have 7 to nine hours of sound sleep. But most adults barely sleep for 6 hours.
It is estimated that about 80% or more adults are living with social jetlag. It means that due to the busy lifestyle, they are not sleeping enough on working days, not seeing enough of sunlight. So, most such individuals try to recover at weekends by sleeping for longer hours. However, in the long run, it may ruin physical health.
Nutrition. Nutrition has a direct effect on physical health. Due to the changed lifestyle, nutritional needs have changed. It means that continuing with traditional diets or adapting the industrial diet is equally bad for health.
Traditional diets were rich in saturated fats, animal products, high in calories, as in olden times, people needed lots of energy to do strenuous physical tasks during the day. However, in modern times, the need for calories is much less.
Another bad thing is the adaptation of processed foods. Supermarkets are filled with such harmful food items, and people consume them as they do not want to cook. Thus, they go for sweets, chocolates, energy bars, sausages, and so on.
USDA recommends adults to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables. And rest of the plate with whole grains, lean proteins like fish, chicken, dairy products. Another vital thing to do is to diversify the diet by including various products items on the menu, like nuts, legumes, seafood, berries, and so on.
Supplementation may help compensate for the deficiency of certain nutrients; however, they help best when combined with a healthy diet.
Emotional Wellness. It means the ability to keep your feeling in check. It means not letting emotional troubles become severe, sharing your thoughts with others. Humans are emotional beings, so it is not rare for emotions to get out of control.
If a person is finding it difficult to manage emotions and feels that it is affecting the life, it is a good idea to seek help from a therapist.
Social Wellness. Is all about connecting with other people. There is enough research to show that social isolation is one of the reasons for the increased prevalence of some disease conditions like depression, metabolic disorders, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and much more.
It merely means that the number of good friends could be a measure of social wellness and even general wellbeing. Socializing help reduce stress caused by small issues.
Maintaining a network of friends takes time. However, people should make it a habit to spend a specified amount of time each week in a company of good friends, family members. One of the right ways to socialize could be volunteering.
Spiritual Wellness. Is difficult to define, as it has a different meaning for everyone. For some, it could mean practicing religion, while for others, it can mean holding high moral values. Spirituality is about finding the purpose of life, knowing oneself. It can be practiced even by spending some time with oneself, spending time meditating, or on self-reflection. Spirituality helps build emotional resilience. A person practicing spirituality is more resistant to mood and emotional disorders or behavioral disorders.
Intellectual Wellness. Is about keeping your mind engaged continually. Not only, an ideal is the devil’s workshop, but the ideal mind is also at higher risk of suffering for various diseases. On the other hand, participating in various mental activities not only prevent psychological and neurological issues but may also help avoid physical diseases.
It means that for a healthy life read more frequently, play brain games, engage in other intellectually challenging activities or hobbies. Continued education in adults may also help.
Financial Wellness. Let’s accept the fact that how does one feel has lots to do with economic status. Lack of financial means is one of the biggest reasons for mental stress. Further, it is no secret that most non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, psychological problems, are more common in people from lower socio-economic status.
One can take care of financial wellness, by better budgeting, learning financial planning, saving money, avoiding overspending.
Environmental Wellness. Concerns keeping things around well arranged, clean. It is both about personal surroundings and society in which a person lives. Thus, it means both paying attention to the living space, and to the community.
Start Adapting Holistic Lifestyle
Above are the underlying principles for a holistic lifestyle, and below are the practical steps to start living a holistic and relaxed life:
Start practicing mindfulness. It means enjoying the present moment, becoming self-aware, and stop worrying about the future, getting rid of anxiety. It means having a practical approach towards life, understanding what can be changed in life and what not, and stop worrying about things that are out of control. Practicing yoga, tai-chi, meditation, may also help improve mental status.
Believe in the healing power of the body. Positive attitude and belief in the power of mind and body may help improve health and may even help get rid of severe diseases.
Eat clean food. It means to avoid junk food, burgers, fries, hot dogs, and even minimize eating at restaurants. Start preparing your own food. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Cooking itself is a highly satisfying activity.
Improve relationships. We all have problems and conflicts with people around. However, the best approach is to forgive and forget and not spend time holding negative feelings inside. Stop carrying negative energy in your heart.
Keep growing. People are often so much engaged in daily activities, worried, and stressed that they forget to learn new things. This means that they remain stuck in an unpleasant condition. Therefore, to break the vicious circle, take out time to start learning new things, skills. You can do this one step at a time.
Love yourself. It is true that you may get into difficult situations in life, you may frequently fail, but all this is just a part of life. Do not stop loving yourself. Learn to be happy even in the most adverse conditions. Just keep going and understand that even worst of the situation will not last forever. And during good times, prepare yourself for difficult times.
Connect with others. It is always easier to face difficult situations when there is a number of friends and relatives to help. Try to make new friends, pay attention to older ones.
Be prepared. Life is full of surprises, and many of them are not what we expect. Being prepared for a difficult time may help remained focused under challenging times. Try to learn from difficult situations.
Keep moving; stay active. Stop giving excuses for not going to the gym, not joining exercise classes. However, remember that things do not end by enrolling into yoga classes or going to the gym, one needs to stay active most of the day.
Learn about natural remedies. One does not need to be dependent on others for such things, learn about the health benefits of various foods, herbs, supplements. Everyone has a different need, so include supplements and herbs you need most in your health kit.
Detoxify. A body is excellent in keeping itself clean and free from toxins. However, with the worsening environment, there is a need for some conscious efforts. Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to detoxify, correct metabolism, get rid of unhealthy eating habits.
Get enough sleep. It is one of the most important ways, and yet the highly neglected method of staying healthy. It does not mean lying in bed for 7 -8 hours but getting a sound sleep. If needed, use herbs like Passion Flower, Valerian root to calm your brain and improve quality of sleep. Another right way of improving sleep quality is light therapy or just getting enough sunlight.
When you become a Certified Sleep Science Coach, you will learn how to help your clients dramatically enhance their metabolism, memory, creativity, immune function, hormone balance, hunger management, disease prevention, sports performance, accident avoidance, memory, reaction time, good judgement, surgery recovery, happiness and over 100 additional functions and behaviors.
Avoid substance misuse. It means to quit smoking and to limit alcohol intake.
To conclude, remember that becoming self-aware, and adopting a holistic lifestyle is the only way to stay healthy, it is not a matter of choice rather a necessity. You may not be able to avoid all the health problems. Nonetheless, more than 70% of disease conditions can be averted; lifespan can be considerably increased (even by a few decades). Above all, a holistic lifestyle helps improve quality of life, it means that you enjoy your life as long as you live, and you become less dependent on the environmental changes.
How You Can Help
Become a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Holistic health and well-being are essential to overall life success. Now you can earn a credential and gain the skills to help your clients achieve this success.
Becoming a Certified Wellness Coach is the perfect addition for the fitness professional who wants to offer more all-inclusive wellness services to clients. The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.