It is great to have goals. They give us something to work towards. In the gym most people tend to focus on being stronger, losing weight or building muscle.
It is very rare to hear that someones goal is to be healthy.
Probably because being "healthy" is a little bit vague and means different things to different people.
However, I think you can roughly define what is healthy for the average person.
We don't need to be the fittest, fastest or most ripped but we do need to be able to move well, have bodies that function as designed and keep mentally stimulated.
So, with that in mind this is what I think people should aim for to be as healthy as possible.
1) Eat a nutritionally balanced diet, with an appropriate amount of calories for your own body. Give yourself as wide a range of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients, this will help your body function as optimally as possible.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential. We know that over eating causes diseases like diabetes and heart disease. These are easily avoided by eating an appropriate quantity of calories for yourself.
2) Be able to move well. This includes having a reasonable level of strength and mobility.
A healthy person should be able to perform a squat/deadlift with their own bodyweight, and have the ability to do upper body exercises such as press ups and bodyweight rows. This will help maintain muscle mass and bone density as we grow older.
Having a basic level of strength will make you more than capable of dealing with everyday life tasks such as picking the kids up or carrying the shopping and should be a target.
Your mobilty (the ability to move freely and easily) is also important. Your joints are capable of certain ranges of movement and aging and physical activity can reduce these ranges.
However,we can maintain these ranges with activities like stretching and yoga.
It isn't essential for everyone to be able to do the splits but if you cant bend down to tie your shoelaces you have a problem.
3) Have a reasonable level of cardiovascular fitness. We all know the importance of having a strong heart and respiratory system.
A good indicator of your heart health would be to be able to perform around 20 minutes of non stop, steady running, cycling or other CV activity.
4) Lastly and very often overlooked is your mental health.
Our brains control everything we do, so this should probably be top of the list, but as humans we thrive on having a purpose, connecting with others, learning and having fun.
We need mental stimulation but we also need time to relax and unwind and switch off. Getting outdoors, meditation, and having time alone can help with this area.
No one is perfect and will have all these area's of health totally nailed.
Which area's could you work on to improve your health??