Beth Wright is a Hong Kong-based lifestyle coach. Her mission? To help her clients reach all their health and nutrition goals (and help them maintain accountability). Through her consulting brand – B-FIT The Wright Way – she uses a balanced approach to health, fitness, and nutrition, creating custom plans for clients that take their lifestyles and personalities into account.
She might be a lawyer by training, but Wright also has a full complement of coaching qualifications, covering everything from strength and conditioning, yoga, and pilates to nutrition, functional medicine, and holistic lifestyle. Using elements of all of these disciplines, Wright helps her clients achieve their wellness goals.
There’s no better time to prioritize our health and happiness than right now. As the world shuts down, it’s easy to focus on the negatives, but if you reframe the situation and focus on the positives and make healthy lifestyle changes, we can absolutely make the most of a bad situation.
A good start is simply to move more. Exercise naturally releases endorphins (your feel-good hormones) which helps reduce anxiety and depression, boosts energy, and improves brain cognition. Sometimes, it might be hard to get motivated but one thing I know is that once it’s done, I NEVER regret a workout!
If you find yourself with newly-discovered spare time, why not use it to achieve a particular health or fitness goal – it might be to spend more time with loved ones, to learn something new, or to read that book that’s sat by the side of your bed forever. We might never get this quiet period again so I’m definitely making the most of not having a packed schedule.
As human beings, we generally don’t do well when people take control out of our hands, but what I’ve realized is that you have to recognize and accept the things you can’t control and focus on the things you can. Right now, that could be eating well, daily movement, or daily meditation or mindfulness. I personally have found this third wave of social-distancing really challenging…somehow harder than the previous ones, and this approach has really helped.
For me, being healthy is so many things – all of which are equally important. It means waking up without an alarm clock and feeling rested (sleep is the panacea of all ailments!), starting the day well
with a good morning routine, eating delicious and nutritious meals, moving my body every
day, seeing friends, and feeling grateful for the simple things.
I think we all believe that health and wellness is about being a certain size, attaining certain
physical goals, or having the ‘perfect’ life…but sometimes it is as simple as sleep, eat, drink, move, interact, and breathe.
Everything we eat and drink affects us, right down at the cellular level. In particular, the fats you eat have a direct effect on your cell membranes, because they become your cell walls. When you consume subpar fats, your cell walls also become subpar; instead of being flexible and responsive, they become stiff and rigid. The more rigid the walls, the slower the cell functions become and the more vulnerable we are to inflammation.
That’s why it’s all the more reason to think carefully about what you put in your body. You can enjoy eating those delicious, healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds to enable cells to communicate effectively, but you should avoid the processed trans fats found in many packaged foods.
Gut health is key – it’s important to ensure your body can break down, absorb, and assimilate nutrients. If you eat well but still feel tired, lethargic and lacklustre, I would recommend getting some blood work or gut testing done to make sure your body is absorbing the food you eat.
Getting good quality ingredients isn’t always easy, but incorporating a wide variety of foods will help increase your chances of getting more vitamins and minerals. If you don’t have time to cook, then I highly recommend trying a tailor-made meal planner like Eatology – they work with registered dieticians to ensure that each of their meal plans are healthy, balanced, packed full of nutrients, and delicious. I just completed a week on their Ketogenic Diet Light meal plan which I loved – it literally saved hours of my time not having to meal prep or thinking about what to have each day!
In an ideal world, we’d be able to get all our micronutrients from the food we eat. Sadly, with today’s farming practices – the length of time from picking to eating and added preservatives to lengthen shelf life – our food simply doesn’t contain the nutrients it used to.
Living in Hong Kong, we’re also exposed to a lot of pollution and external stressors, which also wreak havoc on the body. So, I find most people respond well to some basic nutrient supplementation to fill in the gaps.
Another simple fix for feeling more energized is to check your Vitamin D levels. Our bodies create Vitamin D from sunlight; by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses – and spending a lot of time indoors – we limit how effectively we make our own Vitamin D. I’ve seen so many clients with Vitamin D deficiencies, so I generally suggest most people should take a basic D supplement (ideally with Vitamin K, which helps with absorption).
The best advice I’ve ever received was to capture the power of the morning with a morning routine. I
always remember the 3 M’s – Mindset, Meditation and Movement. Start the day with a positive mindset, incorporate some form of meditation, something simple to silence the mind and prepare you for the day ahead. Finally, find a way to incorporate some form of movement into your morning. I do a daily walk, but it could be an online yoga class, your own sun salutations, stretching, a run on Bowen Road… whatever lifts your heart rate and your energy. If you win the morning you win the rest of the day!
Other than that, my top 5 tips to help you along any health and fitness journey are:
1. Baby steps – small changes add up to big changes.
2. Have a plan – know what you want to achieve and set out how you plan to get there.
3. Get help – if you need support, find a coach who has similar beliefs and views as you
do to guide you.
4. Engage friends and family – accountability is key to success!
5. Celebrate the small wins and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t work out – remember, you’re only ever one good decision away from being a healthier, happier you.