“I Am Trying to Be Healthy, How Do I Know if it’s Actually Working”?

by Natalie on June 6, 2012

Sometimes when we are trying to eat right and exercise we aren’t sure if our efforts are actually making a difference. This is one of the hardest things to deal with when trying to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Unlike other health interventions, nutrition and exercise do not provide immediate results. They take a lot of time and commitment before making any lasting impression in your health. This can be frustrating, but remember that the pay-off is huge!!! It’s like contributing consistently to any long-term investment plan – you will receive huge benefits later on in life.

Having said that, I know it can be very easy to lose motivation when you don’t see changes right away, especially when it comes to your weight.

We commonly think that weight is the only indicator of health. This sort of thinking gets us in trouble. A healthy weight is certainly ONE important measure of health but there are many others. Someone can be skinny and unhealthy at the same time. Below is a list of health indicators than can help you determine if your efforts are paying off.

13 Indicators of Good Health

  • You have good energy throughout the entire day. It’s normal to have the 2 or 3 o’clock lull, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to drag yourself through an entire day.
  • You sleep regularly and soundly and wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Your menstrual cycles are regular. Irregular menstrual cycles can be related to hormonal imbalances which can sometimes be connected to your weight. Being too underweight or overweight can cause hormonal imbalances.
  • Your skin is clear.
  • You have good digestion and regular bowel movements.
  • You rarely get sick. This one is a biggie! When you are healthy, your immune system works at its best. Over the past 5 years I have been consistently following a healthy diet and exercise pattern, and have maybe only been sick a couple of times. When I do get sick I find that it is less severe and I can recover completely in just a few days.
  • Your hair is shiny and full.  If you lose large amounts of hair on a regular basis, it can be a sign that something is “off”.
  • Your nails aren’t flaky.
  • You generally “feel good”.
  • You are satisfied with your appearance.
  • You are at a healthy body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of your weight with consideration of your height. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • Your waist circumference is less than 31.5 inches. Fat that gathers around your abdominal area is particularly harmful.
  • People tell you that you look great. I know this one seems a little silly but can’t you just pick out a healthy person when you see one? They just have a certain vibe or glow about them.

Even a super healthy person may not be able to experience all of these things every single day. We all have our days, right? We can’t be 110% all the time because, well, that’s just life. The thing I want you to realize though, is that a healthy person experiences all of the things on the list MOST of the time. I hope you have come to realize that being healthy is more than just a number on a scale.

If you aren’t experiencing any of the health indicators listed above, it could be a sign that you need to step things up a little. Or it could mean that you need to work on being consistent with your health behaviors. If you want to learn more about being consistent, check out this post.

Question for you: Which of the health indicators have you begun to notice in yourself since committing to a healthy lifestyle? Alternately, tell me which health sign is the first to go when you let go of your healthy habits.Your thoughts are very important to me! Leave a message in the comments box below.

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