Pounds, kilos, Body Mass Index, body fat percentage – it’s easy to get wrapped up in a tunnel of numbers to measure your health, but what would you say if we told you it’s time to put those scales away?
Health is so much more than a number, and fixating on those figures and BMI calculators in your fitness journey can sometimes be damaging. You see the scales and a few extra pounds, then in despair you become blind to your muscle definition, you forget the joy of breaking your planking record and you lose the deep sleep you once had over these dumb numbers! Focusing on the scales can be motivation’s biggest killer. But rejoice! There are plenty of ways to measure your health, without the scales - you just need to be aware of these brilliant health indicators.
Take a look into the many signs that your health has improved massively. They won’t include calculating BMI, they won’t be about inches lost and they won’t be about calories – time to look closely at the positive impacts your healthy lifestyle can bless you with!
5 Ways to measure your health, without the scales
Do you ever feel sluggish, tired or lethargic? Energy levels are often tightly tied to overall health, so if you ever feel like a zombie, chances are that your lifestyle needs a tweak.
One of the key parts to a healthy lifestyle is to ensure a balanced diet and exercise routine are in place. Keep active and energy levels will remain consistent throughout the day. Leeds Metropolitan University found that 200+ employees in their study managed time more effectively and had higher levels of productivity after visiting the gym.
“Although we may think that exercise depletes our energy levels, the opposite is actually true – especially when it comes to energy and productivity in the workplace.”
How are your energy levels feeling? Are you slumped at your desk by 2pm, or are you still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed well after you clock off? Monitoring energy levels is a brilliant way to measure your health without stepping on the scales.
Are you tossing and turning late into the night after you switch your lights off? Are you staring up at the ceiling counting sheep or waking frequently throughout the night? Adults need roughly seven to nine hours sleep in order to feel well-rested and blooming with energy – the less you sleep, the more likely anxiety and stress can overwhelm you.
A good solid night’s sleep has been proven to be a brilliant side-effect of exercise. From light to vigorous exercise, studies have proven that being active will lead to deeper sleeps, especially if it’s done on a regular basis. Alleviating stress and physically tiring you out helps in getting you to the land of Nod.
Not only do you get a decent snooze, but studies have found that those who suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to overeat, which is frustrating when trying to follow a healthy eating plan.
“We are all too aware of those sugar cravings that can strike like lightning – and without sleep, our willpower is just too weak.”
Taking note of your sleeping patterns makes for a great barometer of how you’re doing in the physical, psychological and mental stakes. Your sleep will reflect any changes you’ve made to your schedule and routines… how was your night?
Assessing your health is as much about the psychological, as it is the physical - your general mood and happiness levels can be an accurate indicator of your overall health.
When you’re feeling tip top, well-rested, fresh and strong, it would take a lot to turn the day foul and strip that smile from your face… even if your boss is a raving lunatic.
“When you feel good on the inside, you can’t help but smile out to the world!”
Here at MoveGB, we often promote the positive mood-boosting effects of exercise – being active has been scientifically proven to raise your spirits through good doses of endorphins that are released into your body. Even if you don’t feel in the right frame of mind to workout, fit in a mere 10-minutes of activity and you’ll leave happier – we promise!
Are you often plagued by a foggy brain? Find yourself ploughing through a mountain of work but often spacing out and losing track of your ‘to do’ list? With greater activity, comes greater focus and concentration.
The more active you are, the greater your mind becomes at keeping concentration and staying sharp throughout the day. It’s all down to a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor which is released as you work out – protect and enhance your brain’s health by getting active!
"It’s no coincidence that your post-workout brain feels motivated and rejuvenated!"
And it’s not just what you physically get up to which can improve your memory and focus. Take a look at your diet and make sure you have some portions dedicated to memory boosting foods that contain nutrients key to cognitive development:
- Dark leafy greens
- Fatty fish e.g. salmon, sardines and herring
Have you noticed your focus improving alongside your workout routines? Has wavering concentration finally been conquered?
Rather than focusing on the numbers on the scale decreasing, remember that improvements to health can also be based on numbers going up! When measuring health and fitness, focus on the strength you’re gaining.
Give yourself a pat on the back when you move up to the next set of dumbbell weights, pump your fist when you can race to the top of that steep flight of stairs without pausing, and do a little dance when you develop the strength to pick your kid up easier - take note of your brilliant milestones!
“Be sure to take note of these small changes and feel proud of how far you’ve come.”
You don’t need a fitness test to tell you that you’re getting stronger – a reduction in discomfort or pain in manual tasks is proof enough that your strength is increasing!
From deeper sleeps to feeling strong, there are so many ways to measure your health, without the scales. Health goes deeper than losing weight - be aware of the mental and mood-boosting benefits fitness brings you and you’ll soon be getting active for more than weight-loss.
Before you know it, a ‘healthy lifestyle’ will become ‘your lifestyle’ - once you start seeing these improvements, you won’t want to ever let them go!