We all desire good health. Positive health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Our well-being is fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life. It is more than just the absence of disease or disabilities.
Many factors determine our level of health. Often times, poor health is associated with an unhealthy life-style, physical illness, stressful work conditions, family difficulties, financial insecurity, traumatic life events and unfavorable economic factors. However, regardless of your circumstances in life, you can improve on and enjoy optimal health and well-being.
Consider how you can improve your health and well-being in 7 simple ways
Maintain a balanced and stable daily routine
In today’s fast paced world, you may find it difficult to maintain a balanced routine. For instance, you may have a demanding schedule of work, study, networking and caring for family members. Nevertheless, it may not be feasible to stop or suspend some of your daily activities. This may keep stress levels high and weaken your body’s defenses against illnesses. What then can you do maintain a balanced and stable daily routine? Identify your priorities. Make certain of the more important things. Remember, you can do anything, but not everything. Such things as social media networking, mindless internet surfing, excessive television watching wastes time and adds to a stressful lifestyle. Consider simplifying your life, perhaps by reducing expenses.
Get enough sleep
A good sleep is essential to health. A notable quote from Thomas Dekker, an American film actor says ‘sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together’. How true! Most persons need six to eight hours of sleep every night to look, feel, and perform at our best. Young persons may need more. During sleep your body and brain repair themselves, improving memory and mood. Sleep reinforces the immune system and reduces our risk of infection, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer, obesity, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Therefore, getting adequate sleep is an especially important prevention strategy. Indeed, your body can overcome some illnesses, such as a cold, if you simply get some extra sleep.
Stay physically active
Regardless of your age, you need regular physical activity to stay healthy and in good shape. It is recommended that adults should get 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. Staying physically active can help you to, sleep well, and maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Exercise also has great benefits for mental health. It releases endorphins that make you feel happy. It has being said that exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant. On the contrary, if you do not stay physically active, you are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. To sustain a fitness program, it is best to choose an activity that is fun. You might consider basketball, tennis, soccer, brisk walking, cycling, gardening, jogging, or other aerobic exercise.
Eat a nutritious and balanced diet
Good health is impossible without good nutrition, and for good nutrition you need a healthy, balanced diet. The father of medicine, Hippocrates said ‘let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’. To achieve good health, you may need to consider your intake of salt, fats, and sugar. If you eat too many sugars and solid fats, you risk becoming overweight. To minimize this risk, drink water instead of sweet beverages. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Limit your intake of solid fats from such items as sausages, meat, butter, cakes, cheese, and cookies. Too much salt, or sodium, in the diet can raise your blood pressure to an unhealthy level. Natural whole-grain foods are richer in nutrients and fiber than the alternatives made from refined grain. For proteins, eat small and lean portions of meat and poultry and try to eat fish a couple of times a week, if possible. The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison – Ann Wigmore.
Limit alcohol and nonprescribed drug use
A moderate use of alcohol may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, excess or daily consumption damages the liver and leads to a rise in blood pressure and an increased cholesterol level. Heavy drinking impairs judgment, memory and can result in uncontrolled speech and actions. Rather than drinking to become smart, successful or happy as depicted in movies, many people actually end up broke, bitter and alone. Research shows that cigarette and marijuana use can lead to damaged lungs, cancers, accidents and poor work and academic performance. On the average, smoking kills 1 person every 6 seconds. Marijuana doubles the risk of suffering from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. Abstaining from these addictive substances significantly result in improved well-being and stability.
Feed your mind
An unhealthy mind, even in a healthy body, will ultimately affect health. Spending time reading and mediating greatly enhances your outlook in life. Benjamin Franklin wrote that ‘reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man’. Meditation might help people with depression or anxiety shift their thoughts from harmful patterns. It helps you to stay positive and see things from another perspective. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body (Joseph Addison). Regularly reading books such as the bible links you to a superior source of strength and inspiration. This will help in coping with everyday stress.
Seek the advice of a qualified health professional
Life problems can be overwhelming and your resources may be inadequate to cope. When this occurs, don’t hesitate to seek the help of close friends, family or a qualified health professional. Don’t be reluctant to open up to them about the problem. A health expert can help us understand the illness, resolve practical problems and reinforce the need not to give up on yourself and treatment.
In conclusion, we all deserve to live a happy healthy life. Regardless of your personal circumstances, a positive well-being is an achievable goal. Always set your priorities, sleep well, exercise daily, eat healthy, worry less, drink less, read and meditate, spend time with your loved ones, think positively and consult your doctor.
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