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Practical Ways to Take a Holistic Approach to Your Health

Author: Jennifer McGregor

A holistic approach to health is one that focuses on every element of mind and body. It is usually associated with spiritual or alternative practices, but holistic strategies for well-being can be incorporated into any lifestyle. It’s all about prioritizing habits that benefit you physically and mentally, and which make you feel better from head to toe.



Managing Healthcare

You won’t find “reading up on healthcare” in any lists of holistic practices, but the fact is that being aware of your coverage is an essential part of taking care of yourself.

This is especially the case if you’re a senior, since balancing coverage with your budget can be tricky. For example, if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you could be spending a lot on out-of-pocket costs and could probably benefit from enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan like those offered from providers like Aetna. These plans often cover prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and wellness programs. Getting sufficient coverage means getting the health care you need.




Balanced Eating

Diets don’t work. Instead, balanced eating is all about fostering a positive relationship with food. According to Healthline, in a balanced diet, most of your calories will come from nutritionally dense foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and lean protein. When it comes to treats like sugary foods, the key is moderation, not deprivation. This means allowing yourself that cookie or piece of candy, enjoying it, and not binging on it. You should also make an effort to eat mood-enhancing foods like avocados, eggs, asparagus, and wild salmon.

It helps if you learn to make healthy food you genuinely enjoy. Learn a few chef’s tricks on how to make your healthy meals taste great, like roasting vegetables, using bold seasonings, or adding your fats at the end of the meal for a flavor boost. 


Enjoying Exercise

Having fun while you exercise helps you overcome your fears, stay motivated, be consistent, and helps you seek out new ways to enjoy exercise. Try different exercises until you find something you genuinely love, and focus on those that provide an overall, head-to-toe workout. A few good options include:

  • Yoga - Yoga has many proven mental health benefits, and it is often used as a form of therapy for issues like depression and anxiety. It is also an awesome way to feel more connected to your body.
  • Swimming - According to Time, swimming is specifically good for your joints, back, and lungs. People also tend to enjoy it more than other forms of cardio.
  • Dance - The ultimate workout for people who hate exercise, dance is both fun and good for you. Some studies indicate it helps with everything from memory to mood, and it’s perfect for all ages.

If you need a little extra motivation, think about purchasing a fitness tracker or smartwatch for your fitness routine. These devices have all kinds of unique features, and they can measure anything from how many steps you take to your heart rate. For example, a newer model like the Apple Watch Series 4 has a large display, heart rate notifications, and an altimeter built in. Or the Garmin Vivosmart 4 has seven-day battery life and can track your activity.

Approaching your health from a holistic perspective is helpful because it helps you see the big picture. Instead of focusing on parts of your body or issues you wish you could change, you think about your overall well being as one complex system. This helps you make better decisions in relation to simple things like diet, exercise, and healthcare, and makes you healthier and happier overall.