The 5 Aspects Of Holistic Health & How Hiking Ticks All The Boxes




Shannon navigates the staircase on The Capes Trail, TAS



Holistic Health is an increasingly used term that describes a lifestyle approach. Whilst many think it’s a modern methodology, it’s in fact centuries if not thousands of years old with roots in ancient medicines and practices to balance body, mind, and spirit.


A holistic approach considers all aspects of health: physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual. In order to live our healthiest, happiest each day we need to consider tipping into each of these aspects. If one area is compromised, it is likely the others fall out of balance too.


Our holistic health is an interplay of all the ways in which we live our lives. How we think, move, connect, eat, sleep, relax and feel are constantly moving with one another. Each has an effect on the other, so it’s important to consider this when we want to promote positive changes in our lives.


PHYSICAL

When we consider our health, physical health is often what we think of. It has a visual aspect to it as we can see the signs of optimal or sub-optimal health in physical form. We can easily measure and track our physical goals such as weight loss or muscle mass. It also is one of the best ways in promoting a significant positive shift in our overall well-being.


KEY ELEMENTS


MOVE. Humans are designed for daily movement. Aim for at least 30mins a day and 10mins of increased heart rate. Strength and resistance training should be in everyone’s practice to maintain muscle mass and support strong bones. Keeping your body moving each day will help improve your mood. Take a walk outside each day and connect with the natural environment.


EAT. What we eat has a significant effect on our moods, energy, and well-being. Aim to eat food as close to its natural state as possible. A great concept is to eat the rainbow each day; aim for as many colours of vegetables and fruits as possible to optimize nutrient intake. Avoid sugary, highly processed foods and excessive alcohol consumption.


SLEEP. Aim for 8 hours each night as this time will allow your body to truly rest and repair from the day and any physical activity. A good practice is to avoid screens the 2 hours prior to sleep, in addition, avoid alcohol or caffeine as this will greatly affect the quality of your sleep.