Three Essential Elements to Finding a Healthy Balance

 

Do you remember being 5? 8? 10? 15? And there was only 2 weeks left of school? Yup…  “summeritis” has hit my family and my kids are going crazy. They are so excited to go on field trips, have field days and end of the year parties, not to mention that in a couple weeks there won’t be any more homework,  it has been hard to contain their excitement and get them to go to bed at night.

Well, this past week has been eye opening for me. This is the first year that I am making a calendar for our summer events, etc…. I started making this calendar last week and it is CRAZY! As my kids are getting older, I find we are SO stinking busy! Summer camps, our cottage, OBX vacation and of course, my triathlon and Dirty Girl run, too! It is all good stuff so I am excited!

But, life shouldn’t be about schedules and putting appointments on a calendar, right? It is about finding (a healthy) balance for everyone involved.

Hmmm….. Balance??

BAL·ANCE

Noun, verb, bal·anced, bal·anc·ing.

Noun

1. A state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

2. Something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.

3. Mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

4. A state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.

5. An instrument for determining weight, typically by the equilibrium of a bar with a fulcrum at the center, from each end of which is suspended a scale or pan, one holding an object of known weight, and the other holding the object to be weighed.

 

So, if finding balance is so important, how can you find it as a kid, as an adult, as a parent and as a fitness professional?

Well, there are 3 common elements to finding a healthy balance.

  1. Staying physically active
  2. Eating healthy and nutritious meals/food
  3. Getting good quality sleep each night

 

As a Kid:

Being a kid is tough work.  Just think about it. You have to communicate with adults, make new friends almost every day, and of course, always remember to carry your light saber so you are prepared when you have to fight the Galactic Empire! LOL

Most importantly, to find a healthy balance as a kid;

  • Kids need to play, to be physically active, and to use their imaginations. Aka… they need a chance to just BE KIDS! Let them play in the mud (that is a hard one for me) and let them run in the sprinkler on a hot day.
  • They need healthy nutrition to have the energy to play. Kids can be picky but they will only eat what they know. Make healthy food fun and your kids will enjoy that broccoli and spinach 😉
  • And, they need good quality sleep at night so they can get up and do it all again the next day.

 

As an adult:

I don’t know about you but when I was a kid, I just really wanted to be an adult. I wanted to be “free” of homework and chores, to own a house and to make my own rules. Well, as we “adults” all know, that is NOT what happens when you become an adult.

No, you end up having MORE responsibilities like getting a job (= more homework), owning a house can drain your bank account and now I have to do ALL the chores, and, there is ALWAYS someone else making rules you have to live by.

BUT… a few ways we can find a healthy balance as an adult is:

  • “Do what you love, love what you do” I am not sure who said that quote first but it is one of my favorites. Find something that you love doing and make a go at trying to do it for a living.
  • Find a way to be remain physically active. Being physically active makes your brain happy and your body, too! Join a fitness class, take a walk with a co-worker at lunchtime, join a softball team or make a goal to run a 5k at the end of summer and train each day to accomplish that goal.
  • Eat a well balance, healthy and nutritious food at every meal. Be mindful (conscious) of what you are putting into your mouth. What you put in will determine how you feel soon after. Junk in gives you junk out. Eat a rainbow and you will feel like you found the pot of gold
  • Get lots of good, quality sleep every night. This is a hard one for me. See, I am BOTH a morning person AND a night owl. It can be tough to pull myself away and go to bed but once I am there, I always think, why didn’t I get here sooner? But, getting good quality sleep is essential to being alert and functional the next day, not to mention it gives me the energy to keep physically active.
  • Oh yeah, and if you can find a job that pays you well, you can always pay someone else to do those tedious chores around the house 😉

 

As a Parent:

Wow. .. If you are a parent, you know what I am going to say, right? Being a parent is such a blessing and yet, THE HARDEST JOB you will ever LOVE!!!

When I first got prego, I worried that everything would go okay and the baby would be fine. I stayed active, watched what I ate and of course, I read all the books to tell me what should be happening and when. And then, the baby arrived. Oh My….

It became MUCH harder to keep him safe and protected. And that is why the quote below is SO true.

 

Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous

It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Elizabeth Stone

 

 

The really fun part about being a parent is seeing the world through their eyes. You get to live vicariously through them and share some common experiences.

I remember the first day my son went to kindergarten and I thought, I remember kindergarten. I began to realize that he is going to remember many of his experiences just like I do. It has been fun to travel down memory lane again… even if my memory was sucked out of me when I delivered my kids 😉 LOL!

So, finding a healthy balance as a parent means that I need to make sure everyone in our house is happy and getting what they need to function on a daily basis.  Many moms forget that this SHOULD include them. As the saying goes (and my husband just said it last night)

“If mama ain’t happy, NO one is happy”

A few ideas of how to find a healthy balance as a parent:

  • Understand that your kids are little people. They have a brain and they are SMART! Teach them to make the right decisions, to be polite and to treat others as they would like to be treated. Always remember that they will imitate what you do.
  • Keep physically active, in FRONT of your kids. Take them to the park. Don’t sit on the bench and just watch them. Slide down the slides, bring a soccer ball and kick it around with them. Play baseball or freeze tag in the yard, or go out and jump on the trampoline with them. Not only will you have fun and get great exercise, but you will make LOTS of fun memories at the same time.
  • Eat healthy and nutritious meals together. Pack their lunches with healthy and nutritious food. School lunches today are horrific! (That is a different post so I won’t even get started on that) Make a fun dinner together that is healthy and again, use a rainbow of colors. One of my blogging friends (blends 😉 has a lot of wonderful recipes that are filled with “power”, color and nutrition. Go to Powercakes website to check it out.
  • Sleep is probably the hardest thing to accomplish as a parent. But, quality sleep is essential to your body functioning at its proper level. My son is 8 and last night he was up around 3 am with leg/growing pains. So, in the end, neither of us had good quality sleep. But you just keep on keepin’ on, right? Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Make the room dark and don’t watch TV before bed. Do something to relax you, like read a book and get your mind ready to sleep. Being rested = a happy and healthy person.

As a Fitness/Wellness Professional:

As fitness professionals, we are supposed to be the ones that find a healthy balance for not only ourselves but for our clients, too. For me, that means that I am always researching the best way to stay physically fit, eat a healthy and nutritious diet and be happy.

So, how should help our clients find a healthy balance in their lives?

  • Give them the tools to stay physically active and achieve their goals. Figure out what kind of speed bumps they may have in their day/week and help them to find a way around them so they can keep on their plan and ultimately, accomplish their goals.
  • Educate them to make healthy and nutritious meals. There is a LOT of miss-information out there about what to eat and what not to eat. As fitness/wellness professionals, we are the ones that are researching and understanding the correct answers to these questions. When a person is educated, they can then make an educated decision. And at the end of the day, our clients will feel they have made a correct decision based on that educated decision.
  • When our clients are physically active, it is essential for them to get good quality sleep and rest so their body can recover and repair. This is a great blog about how sleep is probably more important than exercise and nutrition and how it can affect weight loss and gain. Therefore, teaching our clients that yes, you can get up at 5 am to workout but make sure you get to bed by 9-10 pm to get in at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep the night before.

Every day we are bombarded by “do this and do that” messages. Especially in the age of information and the internet, it can get really confusing. As you have read above and probably know already, staying physically active, eating a healthy and nutritious diet and getting good quality sleep are a couple of KEY pieces to finding a healthy balance in life.

 

How do you find a healthy balance in your life?

Do you get enough quality sleep at night?

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Comments

  1. I think being a parent must be one of the toughest things on Earth. Terrifies me to ever consider being one 🙂

    As adults sometimes i think we make being healthy too hard, instead of just doing what comes naturally as children..moving and eating when we are hungry. Great points!
    Amanda @RunToTheFinish recently posted..NYC Marathon Training and Gear: ZicoMy Profile

  2. Today I mixed fat free plain with peanut butter and a mashed banana for a ‘sludge’ and it was great!
    Elle recently posted..FocussedMy Profile

    • Oh my goodness… that sounds INCREDIBLE! I am going to make that soon! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

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