Health is wealth and our health is one of the most precious gifts we are given. So, what is health? And I mean beyond simply being the absence of some disease. Health represents our overall mental, spiritual, and physical condition. Wellness is defined as the condition of being in good physical, spiritual, and mental health. I find these definitions inadequate. Let me paint you my personal picture of wellness: It is waking up in the morning filled with energy and joy to start the day. It is the clear energetic mind that thrives in the midst of the often long chaotic hours. It is nurturing and nourishing my body to maintain that energy throughout my tasks. It is savoring every bite of the food I eat. It is moving my body with the exercise I enjoy. It is enjoying time with my family and loved ones. This energy continues throughout the evening. It is laying my head on the pillow and saying good night moon and sleeping soundly at night.
Everyone I know is talking about losing a few pounds, getting healthy, or both. But it is a jungle out there. Simply walk down the aisles of your neighborhood bookstore and you will discover shelf after shelf of books on health and wellness. Turn on the TV and there is some infomercial with another get fit quick scheme. Many, if not most, of these plans contradict each other. Americans have been told to count calories or points, to eat high carb, low carb, no carb, low fat, or non fat, to exercise for only 10 minutes a day in order to be healthy and fit. Granted, we might lose a few pounds or tone up, but few, if any, of these methods have offered the long lasting, lifelong wellness we require to truly thrive. Unlike cars or machines, humans don’t come with an instruction manual. We try many things that we think will give us what we need to be healthy and well, but the first step starts with asking ourselves the right questions.
“What does it really require to take ownership of and truly love the body you live in? What does my amazing body require on a daily basis to experience optimal health? With these questions in mind, I humbly offer you HOW: Health (Optimal) and Wellness, a new series coming soon to MorningCoach.com that starts by covering the basics and expands into experiencing full wellness. Please feel free to comment here or send along your questions and suggestions.
The 8 Ingredients of HOW: Health (Optimal) and Wellness
Drink clean, clear, fresh water, at least one half your body weight in ounces every day, minimum. No, not coffee, tea, soda, or juice, simply count the water. Rest: experts agree between six and eight hours of good sound sleep every night.
If you have not been an exercise regular, please check with your health care provider before you start any exercise program. Find something you really like and get started. It might be a walk around the block, a dance class, Pilates, Zumba, or running, five days a week for 30 minutes.
Nourish and Nurture
Turn your attention to nurturing and nourishing your body. Until the day of full body transplants, it is the only one you get.
Eat foods closest to their natural sources. Shop along the outer aisles of your grocery store. Eat every three hours while awake. Small portions. Savor every bite.
As JB is fond of saying you are a spiritual being living in a material manifest. Dig into your own spiritual practice. Dig into your beliefs.
I, for one, tend to take myself far to seriously. It is an occupational hazard of health care professionals. It is time to learn as a little child to laugh and enjoy the growth. As Peter Reding says, “All growth is messy.” Let it be messy.
De-stress your life. One thing I have given up is hurry. I slow down how I walk, drive, eat, drink, think, and live. This is far harder than it sounds.
Love yourself and your body in whatever shape you are in and where ever you are.
Go ahead. Make the decision. Step up and out of the inertia. Be the amazing person you were sent here to be. Find your own vision. What does optimal health and wellness look, feel, smell, and taste like to you? Dream. Paint a picture. Write it out. Get a vision. And stay tuned for the upcoming HOW Series to help you along on your journey. If you have questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. Get out of your own way!