Forget the scales or how your clothes fit. Dig a little deeper to see if your workout and diet routine is really kicking in. This article features questions to ask yourself like, “Am I getting sick less frequently?” “Do I have more energy?” “Can I run farther without getting winded?” and “Do I have more good habits than a year ago?” You get the idea.
Am I Getting Sick Less Frequently? – Weight is something that’s easy to quantify, which is partly why it gets a lot of attention. Over time it’s easy to determine whether you have gained or lost weight. However, how often you get sick is something that’s open to interpretation. Does a little cold qualify as being sick? What about a headache? Even the medical profession has trouble defining illness. A Swedish study of 579 medical practitioners published in October 2012 found that the majority had trouble assessing a patient’s level of sickness when certifying them for a leave of absence. Still, it is one way of measuring the state of your health, since the underlying wisdom is that healthier people get sick less often.
Am I Less Stressed? – Taking good care of your body doesn’t address the whole issue of well-being. According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It’s a definition they’ve been using since 1948 and there’s no indication that it’s about to change. The mental aspect of a person’s health is closely related to their physical well-being. It’s interesting to note that the very first question on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Stress Index Test is, “Do you frequently neglect your diet?”
Do I Have More Energy? – The human body is a complex interaction between mental and physical activities. Fatigue and decreased energy are two physical signs of a depressed mental state, as indicated by the National Institute of Mental Health. Though there are no simple answers to the physical/mental relationship, the Mayo Clinic asserts that regular physical activity boosts energy and improves your mood. Your energy level, however subjective it may appear, is another good indicator of your overall state of health.
Can I Run Farther Without Getting Winded? – Sports scientist John Brewer says that it’s better to be overweight and exercise than to be underweight and inactive. Shortness of breath, often described as an intense tightening of the chest, can be brought on by strenuous exercise. The heart and lungs are muscles that transport oxygen to body tissue. Exercise helps to increase their capacity to perform. Thus, the distance you can run without getting exhausted is even more important than the number you see on your scale.
Do I have More Good Habits? – A good habit is something that can stay with you for your entire life as part of your routine. Eating moderate proportions of healthy foods, exercising routinely and getting proper rest are just some habits that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. The more good habits you have, the better your chance to stay fit and healthy.