Self-care is healthcare — How to feel fab in your busy life.

You don’t need a box gap, eyelash extensions or a facelift to feel fab. And you don’t need to look like a swimsuit model to be healthy. You just need to get moving outside, in the garden, park or woods, to feel better.

Despite knowing there are plenty of reasons to live healthily, most of us still struggle with motivation because we think it’s too hard. And yes, being healthy requires effort, time and sometimes delayed gratification or even discomfort. But it’s worth it. By applying a few tricks and tips, you can turn what once seemed hard into an adventure!

And speaking of adventures, one of my online dating buddies recently revealed her desire for a man who was healthy because apparently, health is no longer the norm. She said she refused to take on a relationship which might involve nursing a new partner. She wasn’t interested in dating the 70% of people who will die early from lifestyle diseases.

I agree. My 18 months of dabbling in the world of singles has shown me that healthy specimens over 50 are an endangered species. And it’s not that I’m looking for Adonis. But the World Health Organisation says we’re amid a global epidemic of chronic disease.

But most of it is preventable. Clearly, most of us don’t know how to look after ourselves.

While it’s tough to prioritise our own health, especially when we’re working parents, there’s a great need for us to lift well-being to the top of the priority list for our longevity and that of our kids.

The surprising thing is that health-care is simple, when you know how. Firstly, you need to take responsibility for your health. And then you need to eat less and move more. You need to ditch the ‘parent-guilt’, put your own oxygen mask on first and prioritise your well-being. Then you’ll be able to support others to health and happiness too.

Neuroscience shows that the human body is well programmed for health and happiness but we’re now finding it in the wrong places. We already have everything we need for our own wellbeing and fulfilment within us. But we need to understand how to tap into our wild wonderful nature to experience vitality and reveal our innate strength, confidence and courage.

I’ve helped thousands of people find health and vitality through hiking. But that’s not the only strategy we need for well-being in a busy buzzy world. The secret is to re-integrate movement into life. So, here’s my top tips for feeling fabulous:

1. Prioritise YOU: Your health is the most important thing for all those you love, so put it first.

2. Integrate: Walk and talk, shuffle to the shops, skip with kids, ride to work, squat in the shower, stretch at your desk, wrestle on the bed and climb stairs and trees.

3. Move & think simultaneously: Cook with kids, walk and meditate, adventure with friends, stretch in the adds, yin and yak.

4. Obstacles to opportunities: Use stairs to puff, stretch in a queue, bike to work, vacuum for a killer core and get off two train stations early and walk everywhere.

5. Build your wellbeing web: Seek out healthy buddies and tribes, help others get moving and they will help you.

6. Ditch Parent Guilt: Happy mum, much more fun; happy dad, kids are glad! So invest in your self-care.

7. Do Rituals of Joy Daily: Every day is a new opportunity to get your medicine: Love | Move | Nourish | Sleep | Mindfulness | Nature | Goodness | Gratefulness | Giggles | Tech-off

If you’re still stuck, grab your friends and try a hiking adventure. It’s much more fun than sweating it out on your own in the gym.

Diane Westaway|Chief Adventure Chick | www.diwestaway.com

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