What it Means to Live Healthily: Finding the Balance

By Melinda Nicci - 12:20

What does it mean to live healthily? Optimizing health can turn into a full time job when trying to go to extremes of exercise or dieting, and it can be hard to find the motivation to stick with it. But living healthily doesn't have to mean a radical lifestyle change, and it shouldn't be hard, it should be enjoyable. It's all about finding the balance and making small, manageable choices every day that you can feel better about. Here's the secret - when you start making small changes towards a healthier life, your body and mind will feel better, and wanting to keep that feeling going will be your best motivation.

In my introductory post I talked about my roots as an athlete, and how important physical fitness has been to me in my life. I was the mom who picked her kids up from school in trainers, leggings, a sports top and my hair pulled up in a ponytail - and this was before athleisure was en vogue. But it was never something I was ashamed of. My physical health was (and still is) something I'm proud of and something that's very important to me, and I wanted my kids to see that. In their own ways, they have followed in my footsteps of optimizing health; from staying active, to eating well, and tending to their emotional wellbeing. That's the real answer to healthy living - finding a sustainable balance in all aspects of your life.

Finding safe and effective exercises for pregnancy was the catalyst that drove me to create a resource that women can trust and utilize to make a positive difference in their lives. While fitness was my first motivation for living healthier during pregnancy, it truly is about finding the balance in all areas. Everything we experience is interconnected - our moods affect our motivation, what we eat mediates our energy levels, how active we are has a direct impact on body image and self-esteem, and how we feel about ourselves shapes our outlook on life. That's why at Baby2Body we focus on those four facets of lifestyle: wellbeing, fitness, food, and look.

So, in the spirit of finding a beautiful balance, I want to share my top tips for living a healthier, more balanced life.

My mantra is repeat, reassure, refresh. Consistency is key when it comes to any exercise routine, and the best way to start is with smaller workouts that you can do every single day. Not only will you form habits faster this way, you'll feel amazing for it because your fitness goals will be achievable. Next, make sure to recognize those achievements, because building your own confidence in yourself goes a long way. Lastly, make the most of your refresh step - from healthy hydration, to eating right, to getting enough rest and stretching properly. You'll enjoy exercise more because your body will feel better - and exercise should feel amazing!

Practice some tunnel vision. For now, all that matters is you and your baby. Resist the temptation to compare yourself to what other mothers are doing, and trust that you are doing it right. Going at your own pace and recognizing your own milestones means you can genuinely be happy with your own achievements, rather than worrying that you're falling short.

Listen to your body. It knows best. Pay attention to how it reacts to certain foods and how you feel after eating. It will tell you a lot about what is good for you, and what's not. You'll quickly find out that the healthier options actually make you feel happier and more energized - making it easier to skip the biscuits and reach for more fruit and veg.

Make time for your routine. Tending to my beauty routine not only made me look and feel good during pregnancy, it helped in retaining my identity. It doesn't matter what your fashion, or skincare, or makeup routine is, it's all about taking that time for yourself to look and feel the way you want to. Always remember that you can be a mom and be yourself, you don't have to choose.

Knowledge is power, especially during pregnancy. But with so much information at our hands, it's hard to know where to turn. My final tip to nearly and new moms looking for guidance on healthy living is to be cautious when searching the web. A lot of the information can be misleading, and will only add to your worries. Community forums are a great way to connect with other women, but be sure to avoid reading horror stories that are told in graphic, gory detail - chances are the same thing will not happen to you, and there are more positive ways to prepare yourself. If you're concerned about anything, always talk to your healthcare professional. Of course, Baby2Body is always here too - to give you unbiased guidance and evidence-based information, designed to keep you in balance, so you can stay happy and healthy throughout your pregnancy and early motherhood journey.

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