“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”Mahatma Gandhi
Health is Wealth!
To point out, without health you have nothing! For this reason, you owe it to yourself to have a healthy body and mind. In the long run, by capturing the guiding principles for health sets you up for lifelong success.
So why is health critical to our success, happiness, and longevity?
Build the Foundation!
It’s a bit like building the walls and roof of a house before you lay the foundation. The walls need the support of the foundation to build a strong, sturdy house that will last. After all, without the foundation, cracks appear, and the house starts to crumble.
In reality, poor health distorts the way the body and mind work. As a result, you become less efficient, less motivated, and more disillusioned. Aging is forced to occur at an accelerated rate.
Why Health Matters!
A long time ago when I was a young student nurse. I remember my first student placement in my training hospital. I entered the ward on my first morning with trepidation, having no idea what to expect. Struggling to breathe at times, I was anxious and terrified.
My fears were somewhat alleviated when I was buddied up with a senior nurse. She was kind and supporting, showing me the “ropes”. Our first task was to give Mrs. Brown a bed bath, so off we went. It was an old army hospital and all the beds were lined up along the wall with only a screen to separate them for privacy.
Pulling apart the screens to Mrs. Brown revealed the biggest person I had seen in my life. She filled the bed she was lying in. My initial thoughts were of how we could carry out our task when she was so large and immobile!
However, that was not to be my concern that day as the next thing I remember is “coming to” sitting propped up on a chair in the linen cupboard. I had fainted upon entering Mrs. Brown’s bed area and was dragged off to recover in the linen cupboard (it was the only private area on the ward).
Many years on, I still remember that day vividly and it is a constant reminder to me that looking after our health is so important if we want a good quality life.
I went on to discover that Mrs. Brown was only 52 years of age and had been in that hospital bed for over 2 years. She had not walked in all that time and had remained a prisoner in her bed. No quality of life. Taking multiple medications to fix one issue and counteract the side effects of others. It was a vicious circle with horrible consequences.
Australia health statistics show that In addition to the health burden contributed by cancer, heart disease, and mental illness, an estimated:
• 1 in 3 adults and children suffer chronic respiratory conditions
• 1 in 3 people experience arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions
• 1 in 10 adults show signs of chronic kidney disease
• 1 in 20 adults experience diabetes
• 1 in 11 people aged 65 and over suffer from dementia
So what’s the point?
Well, Mrs. Brown’s story is not unique it is fairly common. Statistics tell us that 87% of the population are currently dying as a result of at least one chronic health condition such as obesity. Obesity is a completely preventable condition, however, it requires us to take personal responsibility to prevent it. It takes hard work and discipline if we want to avoid suffering from obesity. We make the choice.
Some guiding principles for health are simple: –
1. PHYSICAL: Exercise every day, keep your body moving. Eat nutritious food, 5 – 6 small meals a day that include carbohydrates, protein, good fats and free from chemicals and pesticides. Drink clean water. Make mealtimes a celebration, enjoy your meal, and savour the flavours of your meal with friends and family. Avoid consuming junk foods.
2. EMOTIONAL: Take time to “smell the roses”. Spend time in nature or at the beach. Enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and outdoors. Practice regular meditation and allow yourself time to reflect on where you are at and what is working well and perhaps not so well. Permit yourself to have fun.
3. MENTAL: Spend time with your thoughts. Practice being present with them, acknowledging and taking action on them. Journal your thoughts, as you go deeper you will uncover hidden meanings and guidance. Pushing you forward on your journey. Keeping your mind quiet and unpacking your thoughts creates space for more thinking to happen.
Whenever I question my health choices, I always remember Mrs. Brown and the life she chose for herself. One of hospitalisation and misery. Unable to fulfil her dreams due to poor health, immobility, disease, and obesity.
We all have choices, don’t end up like Mrs. Brown! Life is for living and having fun so don’t waste a minute on poor health.