What exactly is “holistic health”? It’s not just about nutrition or acupuncture or massage therapy. Holistic health is an approach to healthcare that considers the “whole” person and all aspects of the body and mind. There is no single aspect of your life to focus on, no one cure-all for your problems. It is not necessarily about losing weight or getting to the gym. It’s about finding balance across your life, as a whole, and in the process, finding health and happiness too.

How does one actually do this? Of course, there is no single answer that works for every person. One important aspect of holistic health is that we must take responsibility for our own well-being. Personally, I know that spending time outside is integral to my mental health. I can’t spend too many hours between four walls before I start to feel anxious and restless. Whether I am hiking, skiing, rock climbing, cycling or just sitting in my camp chair with my feet up, I need the great outdoors to feel satisfied in my life.

While this certainly won’t be the same for everyone, there is a definite correlation between time spent outside, physical activity and mental health. Proximity to green spaces reduces stress and depression. Absorbing vitamin D from the sun will improve your mood and reduce anxiety. And of course, regular exercise will support both mental and physical health,improve your quality of sleep, and help ward off heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

So, what does holistic health mean for you? Perhaps you’re like me and making time for scenic hikes and fresh air will bring you peace of mind. I challenge you to think about what in your life brings you lasting happiness and satisfaction. How can you find more time in your daily life for these activities? And conversely, what areas of your life do you feel could be improved upon?  If you frequently find yourself feeling stressed and anxious, consider downloading an app to help you learn to meditate. If you’re looking for more wholesome, nutritious meals for you and your family, a holistic nutritionist could help point you in the right direction. Are you feeling lonely or far away from your loved ones? Try setting a weekly date to catch up with someone you are missing. Happiness is a crucial component to one’s health and will improve your quality of life in more ways than you can imagine.

Holistic health is a lifestyle. Take charge of your life by finding healthy ways to nourish your body and mind.

Take a hike with Noemi on July 22 to learn about:

Athletic Performance: How to Fuel Your Training Objectives

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Noemi is an avid rock climber, outdoors woman, and holistic nutrition expert living in Breckenridge, Colorado.  She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition with the American College of Healthcare Science.