PERSPECTIVES: YOUR BODY IS NOT A WASTE BIN

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“Sins will come home to roost”

 

You alone have the prime responsibility for your health. Not your doctor. Not your government.

Good health is the presence of wellbeing, not the absence of disease. Do not take its continued existence for granted. It is your wealth – physical, mental, spiritual – to be maintained over the full spectrum of your life and the cost of neglecting it earlier on escalates dramatically as you age.

Continued dedication is a challenge. The hardest part is to sustain it day in day out year after year, especially through cold winters and after holiday breaks when one normally needs to turn “holiday fatness into fitness”.

 

Physical

Work out and stop stress – before it stops you.

The number of obese people on the planet equal the number of people dying of starvation. Obesity is defined as a medical condition where an abnormal accumulation of body fat may have an adverse effect on health and even lead to early death.

Be a player, not a spectator. The average adult is sedentary for around 10+ hours per day. A mere 30-60 minutes of physical exercise three to five times per week i.e. only 3 to 5 hours per week, will counter many health issues. Compare this with the estimated almost 20 hours per week that adults watch TV.

For the technologically inclined, electronic bio-monitoring wrist-wear is available that will count the number of steps / paces you do in a day and keep track of bio parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, even sleep patterns and other indicators.

Eat less and healthier, and move more. A healthy and balanced diet combined with regular physical workouts have benefits – both physical and mental – which include an improved immune system and stress release, but more importantly a reduction in the chances of encountering life-threatening diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Look after your knees and feet. They will have to carry you through life. Do regular bio-checkups. Get to know as much as possible about any illness you may have. Rest well and take a nap when you are tired. Limit your intake of processed foods, drink in moderation if you do and finally – don’t smoke.

 

Social

We are all aware that looking and feeling physically in good shape gives you a boost – socially, mentally and psychologically – at work and at play.

Stay socially healthy and connected. Volunteering and mentoring will broaden your support circle whilst keeping you active and providing you with a positive feeling of usefulness – that you in fact also still matter to those beyond your inner circle of loved ones.

 

Mental

A Busy Mind is a Healthy Mind.

Mental health is a state of psychological wellbeing in which you realize your own potential and display emotional and social maturity in negotiating and coping with the stresses of life, whilst living productively and interacting with other individuals around you and groups which you are a part of.

 

There are several ways to stay mentally active and engaged. Yoga is said to have a wide range of physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Millions of people – especially the more age matured – have also initiated “brain gym” programs which include simple movements that are done prior to a learning activity to “wake up, warm up and stimulate brain functions” and said to improve flexibility, memory, problem solving, and the speed with which the brain processes information.

 

Emotional

Be optimistic about Life.

Emotional wellbeing contributes to your ability to cope with stress and affects your self-esteem and performance in general – how you cope at work and possibly your longevity.

Have faith in yourself and humanity, regardless of what the world dishes up from time to time. Take time to evaluate your life and your achievements.

It is natural for people to compare themselves with others, especially friends, as they mature through life. Do not become vain or disheartened by comparison, but focus on the blessings that you have received in Life. On a recent train trip I was stunned by the bravery of two people: One, a legless man on a custom made push scooter who moved about by pushing himself along with his disfigured two-fingered hand, the other most shockingly a lady with a broken neck who navigated her battery-powered wheelchair by way of moving a steering stick with only her chin.

“There but for the grace of God go I” adapted from an alleged mid-sixteenth-century statement by John Bradford, who watched a prisoner being led to the gallows.

 

Intellectual

Find yourself.

Intellectual well-being is reflected in how you see personal growth and strive for it, your openness to new and challenging ideas, how you stay connected and being curious about the things around you and matters that affect yourself, your community and the world in which you live.

It is a cornerstone for life-long learning, the search for knowledge, solving challenges and remaining creative throughout life.

We often reflect that humankind is at the top of the “intelligence tree” on this planet. I daresay that we are not alone and it behooves us to see ourselves and our actions in a broader perspective and context not only on this planet but within the universe as a whole.

 

Spiritual

Develop faith as a measure of the meaningfulness of your life. Meditate. Imagine. Pray. It has withstood the test of time with proven benefits and unlocks the real “You” from its mental and spiritual cage.

Nurture your Inner Person by reading inspirational books, watching uplifting movies and positive TV programs. Make time for your peace of mind, your spirit and your faith. Stay engaged with the Universe. And respect your Gift of Life.

 

Key Principles

  • Your health is your wealth. Respect it.
  • Physical wellness gives you a psychological boost.
  • Mental health displays emotional and social maturity in negotiating life.
  • Emotional well-being is reflected in how you cope with life in general.
  • Intellectual well-being is reflected in how you strive for personal growth throughout life.
  • Meditation has proven mental as well as physical benefits.

Action Steps

  • Eat healthily and exercise. Move more.
  • Stay connected. Volunteer and mentor.
  • Stay mentally busy.
  • Be optimistic about Life. Have faith in yourself and humanity. Don’t become vain by comparison.
  • Search for knowledge. Be a life-long learner.
  • Nurture your Inner Person: Meditate. Pray. Imagine.

 

(“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, to be published by Partridge Publications in early 2015.

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