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What does 'wellness beyond diet and exercise' mean

I've been using this phrase 'wellness beyond diet and exercise' in my posts and all over my website lately. I hope it resonates with you but I'd love to go a little deeper in this months blog and explain my new favourite phrase.

Diet and exercise, fitness and nutrition, food and movement. However you say it they are paired in the media as the means to a healthy and 'balanced' lifestyle. If I've seen one fitness guru on social media I've seen a thousand, promising to sell you a healthy life by fixing your diet and improving your energy.

I spent 15 years in the fitness industry trying to follow this model of helping people by guiding them towards a healthier lifestyle through exercise and nutrition. During some of this time I wasn't doing very well with my own diet and exercise. I had overtrained and underate and overate and under exercised and was having a hard time finding a balance myself.

The obligatory disclaimer - YES as a health professional I am aware that healthy nourishing food and movement (particularly strength training) are KEY to feeling great (along with sleep, hygiene, mental health care and self support and all those things ) BUT in my experience that isn't it.

Creating meaningful connections and experiences in your life, for you and your loved ones are a huge piece of nourishing yourself. Having those meaningful moments helps create the energy it takes to even want to look after yourself.

This year instead of buying some THING for my partners birthday we went on a creative journey.

Alex McLaughlin Art By Alex - a local artist, offers a great experience; a boat ride to a small island on Georgian Bay where she takes you through a plein air painting lesson (if you are a beginner - there are options for more advanced artists also) and you spend an inspiring day out in nature exploring your own creativity (I am NOT a painter and I did more swimming than painting but it felt beautiful to just to be out there with the calm feeling of brush to paper) The supplies used are Canadian, Indigenous made and eco-friendly. These experiences often come with even more opportunities to support local business.

As my business has grown to include offering experiences such as horse clinics, women's wellness events, yoga and Pilates on the farm and summer camps, I have become more aware of all the experiences out there and how important they are for our well-being.

Every THING costs more now and with a sensitive budget myself I lean toward making more room for experience and less room for things that really aren't necessary. I've also started looking into more and more FREE opportunities for fun new experiences and they are out there!

In summary that's what 'wellness beyond diet and exercise' means to me. Experiences that nourish the soul, that inspire, that help us grow and connect to one another. Wellness is multifaceted. Eat well because you deserve to. Exercise because you deserve a healthy happy body and find ways to play, have fun, learn new things and grow.

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