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Why the Perfect Diet and Exercise Routine Won’t Make You Healthy

Youth and bathtub caulking will cover up a lot of sins (sage advice form a plumbing store). However, as we get older our neglected health and poor habits start to catch up with us. The solution for many people is eating better and moving more. This is a great start but it’s not the whole solution.

You’re More Than a Belly Full of Kale

The problem is that eating the “perfect diet” and following a strict exercise routine alone won’t make you healthy, if the rest of your life is out of balance. This is the reason holistic health has become increasingly popular.

Holistic Health approaches health and wellness by considering the hole person. Diet and physical movement are wildly important to being healthy, however, so is managing stress, participating in healthy relationships, and feeling a sense of purpose. Humans are multifaceted creatures. We’re not really complicated but there are many areas of life that go into being a healthy human.

Circle of Life

My alma mater, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, approaches holistic health with the Circle of Life tool. It’s a pie chart that addresses the areas of life that impacts our health and happiness.

The chart includes 12 areas of life: health, physical activity, home cooking, home environment, relationships, social life, joy, spirituality, creativity, finances, career, and education. Each of these areas of your life are either in balance or not. Don’t get overwhelmed. The goal is balance, but health and wellness is a journey not a destination. Ugh! So cliched but true.

The Solutions Are Simple

The path to holistic wellness is “crowding out” the negatives and supporting the positives. If eating whole foods is the only thing you can do right now, do it. It’s a step in the right direction. As your body gains more energy from eating delicious, healthy food, move on to the next thing. Build on your successes.

Vibrant health and overall wellness are an accumulation of good daily habits. Don’t try to fix everything at once. Anyone of these areas can throw you out of balance. Choose the area that needs the most work; focus on it first.

Always eat well and move lots but don’t forget about the other areas of life that are affecting your health and happiness. Which area will you choose first?

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