The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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Diet, exercise, and self-care are becoming more and more visible as people use social media to track their journey, motivate others, and motivate themselves. While a good public perception and understanding of healthy living is definitely a good thing, it’s important to be reminded of how personal your health is. Here are a few ways that your health and fitness goals are unique battles for each of us to win in our own way.

Setting your health and fitness goals can be a challenge from the start. It’s tempting to look to celebrities, athletes, and models for inspiration, but it isn’t always helpful. Aside from the time and resources most celebrities have that other people don’t, another major limiting factor can be genetic. Some people are able to build prominent, visible muscles quickly, while others can put in the same amount of work and have little to show for it. Weight loss is a similar situation, as well as many other factors, which means that some expectations simply aren’t realistic. You can absolutely get your body healthy, but outside of surgical procedures, you can’t do a lot to change your body shape, bone structure, etc. For this reason, it’s important to set goals that help you to be your best self without comparing yourself to others.

We all have unique abilities that affect our lives on a daily basis, and that definitely extends to diet and exercise. A person who is a very good cook is likely to have an easier time sticking with their diet because they can prepare healthy meals that taste good, for example. On the flipside, we all have things that can set us back. From a major disability to past injuries, there are plenty of things that can detriment or otherwise interfere with your health. Fortunately, if you keep these factors in mind you can find ways to overcome them. For example, a person with a history of knee problems will have a hard time doing high impact exercise like running but can substitute it with something like swimming or water aerobics. We all have to find the right way to reach our goals within our abilities and limitations.

In the same way that we all have unique exercise abilities and limitations, we all have unique dietary needs and restrictions. The biggest restrictions usually come in the form of allergies and intolerances. If you’re making your own diet plans, this may not be too hard to work around. On the other hand, if you’re following a popular diet plan or one that your best friend swears by, you may run into some roadblocks. Many protein-focused diets recommend replacing unhealthy snacks with nuts, for example, and that simply won’t work for someone with a nut allergy. It’s also possible that your body just doesn’t respond to certain diets as well as others might. Pay attention to these things and craft a diet based around the foods that help your body do its best.

Working together with a group to reach your health goals can be a wonderful thing, especially with the ability to communicate and share with people on the internet. Just keep in mind as you gain motivation from those around you that your journey to a better you is most successful when it is unique to your needs.

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