Healthy lifestyle choices

Leading a healthy life

We have a spiritual, physical and social obligation to lead healthy lives. Our bodies are God’s temples we are told; this underscores the importance of keeping our bodies clean and well-maintained from the inside out. We undergo the aging process naturally but we can take steps to reduce or slow down the physical processes which decrease our quality of life as our chronological age increases. Health challenges become a burden on finances, whether it is our own or that of our family members or governmental and employment agencies.

The new millennium has brought with it increasingly alarming figures of a variety of medical problems. These include but are not restricted to obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Psychological and emotional problems are also more evident. The success of economies over the years means that there are many nations of wealth, with populations able to eat as much of whatever they wish to eat. Lifestyles are becoming more and more sedentary with the associated decrease in physical activity. Perhaps there is a lack of knowledge of health related matters or a lack of conviction or discipline or perhaps people just do not care about their health as they should.

running

The reason or reasons for not being more committed to a healthy lifestyle is/are important. However regardless of the why, it is time now to take stock: age or gender is irrelevant; now is the time to start a health awareness program; or, now is the time to renew your commitment to be conscious about your health, with more vigour. To do this requires a sound understanding of what we mean by health and a healthy lifestyle so that every choice we make about any activity we undertake is one which will impact positively on our health.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, defined health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” Perhaps a more comprehensive description could be that good health is considered as being free of sickness, disease, pain, injury or worry and stress. Clearly these concepts recognize some common dimensions of health:

• Physical
• Mental
• Emotional
• Intellectual
• Spiritual
• Social

These dimensions are further affected by factors over which we have

 no control: our DNA or genetic disposition
 little or no control: environmental factors such as pollution
 full control: decisions about drugs, medical and non-medical, alcohol, food and supplements.

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Each of us has a personal responsibility for our health. No doctor, traditional or alternative, can know your body better than you. You need to find the right balance or combination of factors which will maintain well-being and optimism.

Finding a synergistic combination of factors is possible if you

• know your body
• listen to your body’s demands
• respond by taking action

Critically important is that you understand that what may work marvelously for one person may not necessarily work for you. You alone have the power to create the right conditions for optimal health in your body.

Recommended steps for seeking your best health yet include the following:

• positive thinking
• exercise at least 30 minutes for at least three times per week
• sleep between 6 to 8 hours at night
• skin care: follow a daily routine
• hydration (drinking water and/or electrolytes)
• food/diet
• supplements

In my next post I will discuss at least one of the steps above in more detail. What is your health regime and how do you think you could improve on it? I am looking forward to your thoughts.

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