Most people want to be healthy. Most people enjoy feeling good, having energy, and having their bodies be able to do the activities that are required. Most people take their good health for granted until an accident or illness robs them of their naivety. As we get older, most of us discover that good health is not always to be expected and that it may require some attention to maintain even normal levels of good health. We inherit characteristics from our families both physically, through our genetic code, and as we learn about lifestyle choices. Many families have heart disease or diabetes or obesity or dental problems, etc in their family histories which means that you may be born with a proclivity to develop certain health challenges. Or, we learn by watching our parents live in a healthy way (lifestyle) or a less than healthy lifestyle. We can not always prevent the characteristics we inherit from having a negative impact on our health and our lives. We can take steps to minimize the possible problems from developing or keep them from affecting us in the most damaging ways by practicing health and wellness for prevention. This is easier said than done.
Most people lack the focus, the motivation, and the energy to select the healthier options and to use them regularly. That is why the lifestyle diseases like heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, addiction, and obesity are still the major killers in our society. That is one huge reason why our healthcare costs are so high.
If we “took responsibility” for our good health and practiced wellness, we could live longer in better health. Taking responsibility for our actions is not practiced or taught effectively in our society (editorial opinion.) Most people find that the easier way to live is seductive but not the healthiest way to live. Convenience is not often the long term solution. Bad habits are bad choices.
The 3 principles of wellness and prevention of many diseases are 1. Physical exercise/activity on a regular basis, 2. Eating healthy with reduced portions of more naturally occurring foods, and 3. practicing regular stress management. It requires commitment to put time and energy into using these three pillars of health and many people will try one or two but not find all three in their lives.
Physical exercise or activities for prevention and optimal health should include at least 30 minutes per day for a minimum of 5 days per week. This is minimum for most people to maintain health and vitality. Exercise can be walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, playing, etc. It does NOT include TV watching or video gaming. Some societies and cultures promote non-automobile driving transportation which may make these people healthier and less sedentary.
Healthy diet and nutritional practices often include eating as close to natural and less “processed foods.” Many people believe the American society eats too much meat, or dairy, or “fast foods,” and this is probably true. Since every person is different, it is difficult to make a blanket judgement and say that “meat eating,” as an example, is bad for everyone. But it is accurate to say that eating too many calories, or too much fast food, or too much food with unpronounceable ingredients is just not a wise choice. Preservatives, artificial coloring, high sugar content, and unnatural flavorings may be worth avoiding, at least in large doses. Fresh fruit and vegetables along with whole grains are generally considered good, unless you have digestive difficulties.
Stress management is very important but often over-looked. Stress kills people. Stress creeps in to people’s lives and robs them of energy, focus, strength, and even time. Stress management often can not eliminate stress from your life, but it can help to minimize the negative effects of stress and anxiety. Our 24/7 information age has create a new set of challenges for our society, and more importantly, our bodies to adapt to reducing the constant attack. A daily relaxation or stress reduction ritual is worthwhile and will save you TIME and energy, in the long run. (Do not believe me…. GO try it for at least 8-12 weeks.)
There are many sources of information regarding healthy choices and prevention techniques that can help to keep us happier and healthier, however, NOT ALL INFORMATION YOU FIND ON THE INTERNET IS RIGHT FOR YOU! You have to make informed choices and you may need GOOD advice and support. Hopefully, you have a GOOD physician or a GOOD nutritionist or a GOOD pharmacist or a GOOD health coach you can discuss information with. Not all health practionners are “GOOD” or have your best well-being in mind. Be careful and get more than one opinion if you are not sure.
Get motivated and get to work. If you need support, find a qualified health coach or trainer to get you started. TAKE responsibility and do not make excuses.
The Stress Education Center has information on many aspects of health and wellness, especially stress reduction. Visit the website at www.dstress.com to learn more about how you get started on your own or get coaching to build a program that is tailored to your specifc requirements.