What is a balanced life?

Heard the saying, everything in moderation? Live your life by the 80:20 rule? Many of us long to be happy, healthy and balanced but what does that really mean? Whilst focusing on a healthy lifestyle by eating well and working out is great for your body, a balanced life goes way beyond physical health. Balanced living is investing in self compassion, stress reduction and your emotional and mental health.

Balanced | Eating
While eating your greens and hitting your protein requirements is fantastic for your health, a balanced approach to eating does not mean joining the salad every day brigade. With the rise of the clean eating movement, and the “treats” mentality, healthy eating can swing way beyond the balance. And the same goes with a diet that has a high reliance on sugars, processed foods and is lacking in diversity. 

The 80:20 rule can be a useful tool in trying to achieve balanced eating. Aiming for 80% of your dietary intake to be filled with nutritious and delicious food, whilst 20% of the time, you can focus on eating whatever your taste buds and soul tells you it wants. Being able to enjoy those 20% moments, rather than feeling guilty, is a significant sign that you have a balanced approach to eating.

Balanced | Drinking
Alcohol can be both a poison and a tonic, and a balanced approach to alcohol should aim to sit at a point where the pros of alcohol outweigh the cons. Moderate alcohol consumption can provide some health benefits. For example, red wine has been linked to lower cholesterol levels and has been shown in studies to support the health of our microbiome. However, heavy drinking can significantly affect our health, by potentially damaging the liver, effecting our insulin levels, mental health and cardiovascular health.

The NHS suggests no more than 14 units of alcohol per week and it is suggested that we avoid binge drinking whenever possible. To help keep you within this balanced window, try out MEDA’s NO-LO range here https://medahuman.com/no-lo/

Balanced | Movement
Do you exercise for the numbers and burn? Feel the nagging need that you must exercise, even when you don’t want to? If you answered yes, you might have an imbalanced approach to exercise. 
Exercise has the ability to boost your mood, make you smile, provide you with energy. The last thing you want for a balanced approach to exercise is to feel that dreaded weight that you have to hit the gym, pelt the tarmac or sad face your way through a boot camp.

And healthy exercise doesn’t need to be working out every single day, instead a balanced approach to movement and to support consistency with your routine, exercise should be enjoyable and satisfying. 
The NHS suggests that we should be aiming for 75 minutes of high intensity exercise, or 150 minutes of moderate exercise. To achieve balance here, find what you love. Whether it is running and the clarity and runner’s high that makes you feel good, dancing to your favourite soundtracks or deep breathing your way through a vinyasa. 

Balanced | Self-Care
It can be easy to normalise stress, burn the candle at both ends, put yourself at the bottom of the priority list. But taking time to invest in self-care and indulge in creative outlets can boost your mood and help you manage stress more effectively. One of my favourite strategies it to pop a meeting in your diary with yourself – turn off your phone and do something for you, whether it’s having a bath, meditating, booking a massage or whipping up a delicious meal.For my favourite self-care tips for the mind read here.https://medahuman.com/6-self-care-practices-for-the-mind/