Days of guilt tripping yourself to count calories and run that extra mile on the treadmill or lift a heavier weight at the gym are over. As much as you've been conditioned into believing that to stay 'healthy', you must not miss even a day at the gym, experts believe otherwise.
Staying toned and in shape has 'absolutely nothing' to contribute to how healthy you are, claim Cindy Geyer, MD, and dietitian Rachael Hartley, as they shared with Insider magazine. Rest easy because being healthy does not depend on our appearance or even affinity for the gym.
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In fact, the duo turned to the World Health Organisation, which officially defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
But just for your personal satisfaction, the following are the four tell-tale signs that you must absolutely look out for to assure how healthy you are:
1. Eat when hungry, stop when full:
Binge eating or just eating for the sake of it and overeating till you've achieved the blissful state of a 'food coma' – sound familiar? If yes then it's time reconsider your foodie goals and exchange it for a good relationship with food. Take your internal cues, not the external ones.
2. Make up those flights of stairs feeling good:
The benchmark to determine physical fitness that doctors most commonly go for – as Geyer claims – is the ability to walk 'fairly quickly' up two flights of stairs without stopping. This suggests your body's ability to perform high-intensity activities and is signs of being healthy.
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3. Physical and emotional ability to do whatever you want:
Can you tick all the things off your to-do list? Or take a long walk without feeling physically and/or emotionally exhausted? If yes then you are, in fact, healthy.
4. Waking up without an alarm clock:
Good sleep throughout the night is a primary sign of health and fitness. Not relying on the alarm clock every morning and being able to wake up on your own are signs that you're getting the required amount of sleep. Meaning you don't need to hit the gym that often.
Ideally, healthy people fall asleep around 10-20 minutes after they get into the bed. But beware if you're dosing off any quicker – it's not that healthy a sign, as they believe!