The healthy habits we should practice each day, to create a healthy tomorrow.
I often get asked what are the most important things we need to do in order to be healthy and my response is always the same…
‘It’s the little things we do each day that will determine our health tomorrow’
A few weeks ago I was out to lunch with one of my ‘not so healthy’ friends. He drinks too much coffee, smokes, works too hard and does little to no exercise, except for the kind of weight lifting that involves putting a few too many schooners to his lips. You could say my friend has adopted the classic approach of ‘putting off today til tomorrow’, when it comes to his health. Perhaps this is because he has convinced himself that everything else is far more urgent than making the little changes to his health today, he knows would make all the difference to his life down the track. So as my friend tucked into his bacon and egg roll and 2nd cafe latte for the day, we got talking about health, which inevitably tends to happen whenever I share a meal with a friend. He asked me for some suggestions on what he could do to ‘get healthy’ before proudly announcing he was thinking about going on a ‘health kick until March’ – at the time we met for lunch, March was only 4 weeks away…
His comment got me thinking about something I am genuinely fascinated by – that being the notion that being healthy is something you only do some of the time, as opposed to adopting healthy habits every day. So I posed a question in response to my friend’s resolution to attain ‘short term health’ and asked what he hoped to achieve by embarking on a healthier diet and lifestyle until March. “Well…to feel good I guess and maybe to lose my tummy so I don’t have a heart attack someday”. My response – “So if your goal is to ‘feel good and prevent a heart attack years down the track, wouldn’t you need to change your current diet and lifestyle habits for good, rather than through to March?”, silence from my friend across the table, as he contemplated this concept.
IF you have not noticed, the tag line on the banner of my blog reads – ‘Feel good every day’. The reason for my choice of words is simple – I believe one of the greatest gifts we can experience in this life is just that. Feeling good every day, or the best part of, is our body’s way of telling us things are in sync and in my view, that translates to being able to do the things we want to do, when we want, as opposed to being limited by our state of health. What’s more, feeling physically well will largely influence our inner happiness. So if the sensation of feeling good is something humans strive to experience and our physical and emotional health is largely responsible for this, then why do so many of us struggle to do the things each day, we know will keep us healthy? Why are so many of us prone to applying healthy habits only some of the time? For many doing the little things each day we know will keep our body fit and well is a source of inner turmoil and angst. Could it be that we simply become overwhelmed by the mere THOUGHT of making change and instead of ACTING to do so, put it off for another day when we think we will have the time and drive to do so? The truth is, that perfect day usually never comes, so it would be far simpler to start with putting one foot in front of the other, making one small change to our health each and every day. Eventually all those little changes will add up to become long term habits, changing the course of our health for life. How exciting would that be?
In my view ‘HEALTH = LIFE’. Without our health we lose the ability to experience life to the fullest. Losing our health to a debilitating illness or disease (and the ensuing impact on every aspect of our life), is far harder than practicing healthy habits each day. We hear the common phenomena, that it is not until we lose something we have taken for granted, that we grasp its true value and our health is no exception. I once came across a quote that read “Why when we are challenged to survive, do we give ourselves permission to truly live” …..In other words, fundamental shifts are usually born out of a life changing moment, usually triggered by some form of loss or hardship. Waiting until we develop a preventable illness or disease to decide to change our diet and lifestyle habits, is all too often the catalyst for change, rather than living our life to prevent ill health.
The human body is actually designed to be naturally healthy, but our state of health is a product of our environment. The choices we make each day in relation to our diet and lifetsyle will shape our health and body, into what it is today as well as down the track. Should we feed our body with unhealthy food and live an unhealthy lifestyle with too much stress, we are likely to esculate the risk towards developing a preventable disease. But the good news is and perhaps the most remarkable function of the human body, is it’s innate ability to repair and recover. But this is dependant on us creating the necessary environment for healing to occur. So no matter what point you are at with your health, or what stage you are in life, it is never too early or too late to make little changes each day to ensure better health tomorrow.
It is the little things we do each day that will determine how we feel and function tomorrow.
Just remember….time waits for no man, so strike while the iron is hot, because there is no time like the present and putting off today til tomorrow will only make life harder… I think you get my drift! So get on that horse and get going, you have the rest of your life ahead of you so make it your best one!
What is your attitude to your health? Is it something you think about consciously or put it to the back of your mind? If so what do you think stops you from making healthy changes?