Health & Vitality
Staying healthy and preventing chronic disease is a direct result of the way we live and the daily choices we make.
Our overall health is a by-product of our lifestyle. Our genes, stresses, habits, relationships, diets, illnesses, exercise routines and attitudes all affect our level of health and vitality. Every day we make choices about our life and the choices we make today determine our future health.
There are five major areas of focus for staying healthy:
The major problem with the diet of most Americans is heavily processed foods. Processed foods tend to be packed with salt, sugar, fat, chemicals, excess calories, lack of nutrients and ultimately it causes inflammatory processes in the body. The answer to this problem is to eat real food. If your food has a list of ingredients, especially ones you cannot pronounce, you probably should not eat it. If you focus on eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and unprocessed, preservative free foods made from fresh ingredients, your health will benefit exponentially. While relearning what to eat takes time and effort, I can tell you from personal experience your body will come to crave real food and reject processed foods. Additionally, your energy levels will make a noticeable improvement.
Most people are not getting enough quality sleep. We cannot underestimate the importance of good quality sleep. This is the time when your body heals and regenerates. Lack of sleep leads to oxidative damage, which damages cells and DNA. If you are consistently sleep deprived, your body will be prone to disease and have a difficult time healing. Most people need from 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Either more or less than this amount is unhealthy.
Exercise is a critical component of good health. It will help you sleep better, lose weight (or gain or maintain weight depending on your needs), improves immune function, lowers risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and improves brain function. The type and amount of exercise is dependent on your current health status, needs and goals.
4. Stress ManagementExcessive stress is one of the major contributors to poor health. It is linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, diabetes, and premature death. The first step to managing stress is to understand where it is coming from and then take approaches to manage it. Some of these approaches include time management, positive thinking, meditation, exercise, spirituality and others.
One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your full potential is to monitor your attitude and its impact on your relationships, job performance, and health. We all have the power to choose our attitude. Everyone encounters difficulty in life including strained relationships, hurt feelings, physical and emotional pain and many others. However, we can choose an attitude of self-encouragement and self-motivation or one of defeat and self-pity. The most influential voice you will ever hear is your own inner voice. Your own attitude will always be your greatest motivator or your worst enemy.