The best approach to good health is a holistic one; the kind of health handling in which an individual addresses his or her emotional and physical needs. Considering one’s spiritual life is also important: there has to be something that connects a person to the rest of the world and gives him a reason to bother with what can seem like a lot of effort in times of extreme trial and stress. Here are some tips to promote good health throughout life.
Spend Time with People
The desire to curl up in one’s home like a hermit in a cave can be overwhelming. This idea is attractive but unhealthy. Everyone needs friends. We all need people to turn to when we are suffering; individuals to support when they are in need.
Laughter is a scientifically proven form of anti-depressant, youth restorer, pain remedy, and all-round positive “supplement.” You can’t have laughter without people.
Even without being part of an organized religion, social activity can fulfill spiritual needs, although many people find prayer of some kind beneficial.
Friends and family also tend to spot problems before they get out of control, whether behavioral, emotional, or physical.
Let a friend or a loved one tell you the honest truth you need to hear about a lump, a mole, a bad attitude, or some other symptom of physical or mental trouble.
Eat a Well-balanced Diet
All the stuff your mother told you about a health diet is true. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It kick-starts your metabolism and gives you energy to complete everything from basic to arduous tasks. With that foundation, you are better able to cope with unexpected stress.
Also, when you eat breakfast you are not tempted to consume too much food during the remainder of the day or to snack on poor choices in response to hunger you just can’t ignore. Hunger leads to cravings and cravings lead to purchases of high-sodium, high-fat processed foods that lack nutrients.
Variety keeps food interesting, including healthy food. It is okay to eat the occasional treat and enjoy something decadent once in a while. Think of those treats as rewards, but also consider healthy food as rewarding and you will want it more.
Explore the many colors, textures, and flavors of whole foods and grains like raw fruits and vegetables, quinoa, chickpeas, and nuts, and substitute those for heavy pasta dishes, breads, and fast food. Mix lean meats, poultry, and fish with assorted vegetables and you can pile your plate high, especially if veggies outweigh meat and you are light-handed with sauce.
Water does not contain nutrients, minerals, or calories, but it performs many essential tasks. You can live without food for days, but you would die of dehydration in a very short time. Water promotes brain function, cleans out toxins, and helps your digestive system operate. Your organs rely on water so they can function. Think of what you feel like without it: confused, achy, tired, grumpy, and hungry. That is your body’s way of telling you a glass of water would do wonders. Many people confuse thirst for hunger and respond by eating something when what they really need is a drink.
Activity, Not Just Exercise
A lot of people think of exercise and imagine an aerobics class, treadmills, elliptical trainers at the gym, and weight-training under the guidance of someone so fit he’s depressing to look at. You do not have to be that Olympic athlete or super-fit instructor: you are your own person with your own body-shape, motivations, and goals.
One of those goals should be fitness for the sake of good health to prevent injury and illness, not to be skinny or look like a super-model. A strong body will resist disease and damage more easily than a weak one. Activity promotes the release of brain chemicals which promote a sense of well-being too.
Exercising at a gym is one way to get fit. Another way is to remain active doing things you love or already do but at a more intense or conscious level. For instance, housework is an activity, but do you usually create a workout routine out of household chores?
Group together several chores which make you feel winded. Gather them into a timeframe of at least 20 minutes, preferably 45 minutes to an hour.
These chores could be sweeping, and mopping. Shampooing the carpet, hanging wet laundry on a washing line outside, stripping and re-making beds, gardening, cleaning the car, and washing windows are also demanding jobs.
Some part of your exercise routine should involve impact. Impact promotes the creation of blood cells in your bone marrow and, consequently, supports bone density.
Yoga is a form of deep stretching and mindfulness, but a lot of people dislike the spiritual element. Find a class or a DVD which does not focus on the spiritual element if you do not like it and practice yoga for its calming, restorative benefits.
Many people find that ongoing issues with pain become less problematic or they suffer shorter. They go through less intense bouts with depression when they practice these ancient movements regularly.
Yoga stretches also allow the body to recover after injury and more strenuous exercise, restoring flexibility, decompressing vertebrae, and combating inflammation.
See a Counselor
Is something troubling your mind? Are you aware of unhealthy behaviors such as drinking or eating in response to emotional stress? If so, visiting a mental health professional is an excellent idea.
You won’t be alone: millions of North Americans visit counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and religious leaders yearly to address depression, anxiety, addiction, personality disorders, eating disorders, and more.
Everyone needs a bit of guidance sometimes: maybe just for a few weeks or months; perhaps for a longer period of time. It’s critical to realize that you aren’t weak when you admit there is a problem. In fact, this level of self-awareness shows commitment to maintaining good health and will make you stronger in the long run.
What do you think?