Most people pay little or no attention to their health until sickness strikes. That is whether it’s the common cold or a debilitating
disease. Even then, the focus is on recovering their health as soon as possible using the shortest route to do so. We refuse to accept that in order to be in health, one must have a healthy lifestyle. So we use whatever medication is prescribed and return to the old comfortable way unless forced to do otherwise.
Until being healthy is seen as something we do, all of us will continue to experience the ravishes of illness, pain and many times, early death.
So here are 10 simple things that we can do, to ensure that we live healthy.
Have a healthy mindset
Did you know that your thoughts can help determine your health? Yes, it does. I have learnt that if a number of people tell you that you look sick even when you feel well, if you believe them then you will become ill. At the same time, people who were seriously ill, for whom the prognosis was bad, determined not to give up. Their recovery confounded those who had written them off.
If we approach our health with the firm determination that we can have a healthy lifestyle, then, with the correct attitude and action, we will hit our goals.
Nutrition goes a long way
Diet plays a very important part in our health. Though we know this, many tend to think that all they need to do is to eat. What they eat does not matter much. Those same people will seek to make sure that the correct type of
fuel is placed in their car’s tank. When someone attempts to put anything beside the recommended fuel in it, the response would be negative, sometimes, even explosive. Yet we place almost anything digestible into our stomachs.
Our food fuels our body and the one who made us – God – told us what is and is not good fuel. Man was made to eat fruit, grains and nuts. Vegetables and meat were later added to our diet. While we can easily digest plant based food, animal based food is not as easily digested. Plant based food also provide us with all the nutrients that our body need if eaten in the right proportion and combination.
Some must be cooked but the more we use it in its natural state, the greater the nutrients we receive from it. We also get the roughage we need to assist in the elimination of that which the body cannot use.
Everyone needs exercise
One very important part of a healthy lifestyle that the world has embraced is the idea of exercise. The proliferation of gyms both private and public in most towns and cities are witness to this. Yet it also says that what used to be a natural part of our lives have become something that we have to make an effort to do.
With the increase of technology since the industrial revolution, we walk, run and play less and less. The jobs that were done by men thirty years ago are done by machines today. A friend of mine who is a gym instructor, recently revealed that his gym is purchasing sledge hammers to use as an exercise tool to mimic the results that those who used to use that tool for heavy work received.
For those who cannot afford the weekly/monthly fees of a gym, walking is the best from of exercise. Even if you go to the gym, walking is still useful. It can be therapeutic especially if done in the company of a loved one.
Swimming is also an excellent way to get a work out and is kinder on the joints that is walking or jogging.
If you have enough land space, gardening is a great form of exercise. There is the added benefit of raising your own organic food at the end. Add exercise to your routine.
Showering inside and out
A bath is a refreshing, invigorating experience. Most people I know enjoy a bath, at home or the beach, the river or for those who have them, the lake. I also enjoy a bath in the rain whenever possible. Reminds me of my childhood and its refreshing. Besides, its exciting. So we shower our bodies on the outside and feel, look and smell good.
Yet there are many who forget that we need to shower the insides of our bodies as well. With pure water. It is estimated that an adult human body is composed of at least 60 percent water. All our cells contain water. A lack of it would lead to dehydration and if not replenished in a timely manner, death would result. Water also assists in the proper regulation of our body temperature and the distribution of nutrients to our cells. It also aids in the removal of waste from our bodies.
Juices and other drinks cannot replace water. It is recommended that we drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water per day. If we live a very active life then we would need more. Those who neglect the use of pure water do so unwisely.
Get your daily vitamin D
No, vitamins do not all come in a bottle, though there are those who would like you to think so. They can be gained from our nutrition. There is one form of vitamin that none has to be denied of though, it is vitamin D. The most natural form of this vitamin can be gained from exposure of our skin to sunlight.
At one time it was believed that too much sunlight exposure caused skin cancer. Now it has been discovered that exposure to sunlight protects against the skin cancer – melanoma.
Some other benefits of exposure to sunlight are: stronger bones, increased immunity as a result of increased white blood cells, a higher sense of well-being and relief of some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. These are only a few of the benefits of being out in the sun. Isn’t it sad, that we have become indoor people?
A healthy lifestyle demands that we reacquaint ourselves with that which came naturally not too long ago. Get out into the sunlight and enjoy it. If you burn easily do not stay to long but get some sunshine.
Be temperate in all things
Temperance can be defined as “the moderate use of that which is good and total abstinence from that which is harmful”. From this definition, are you a temperate person? We often tend to over do, that which we love or enjoy. That is always harmful. No matter what good thing we have – food, drink, clothes, water, sex – to name a few, if we go to excess, it becomes harmful. To us and to others.
So keeping in mind all that went before, we need to be temperate in everything. Seek for proper balance with the good things and stay completely away from the harmful stuff. This also includes the items that follow.
We cannot live without it
No living thing can live without air. Yet the larger our cities and the more industrialized we become, the more unclean the air we breathe. Asthma has become one of the most well-known disease that is caused by air borne particles. Billions of dollars is spent yearly on drugs and hospitalization to treat those who succumb to this illness. Yet the real solution lies in the way we treat that which surrounds all of us, our air.
Fresh air is available where there is plenty of vegetation/trees. They purify the air. While living in the city may be an exciting idea and close to your job, cities are some of the most polluted areas. This is as a result of the emission from vehicles which, stagnate in the atmosphere and is breathed in by those who live/work in the cities. The true effect of this type of pollution cannot be accurately estimated.
It is wise for those who live in the city to always seek out areas where the freshest air can be obtained. Parks are a good place to gain such benefits and should be visited as often as possible.
Air conditioned buildings and homes are quite common today. Science is however proving that since the air in these buildings are recycled, they are not ideal for healthy living. Some are prime sources of airborne disease.
Though gyms are popular, the best place to exercise is in the open, fresh air. If there is the opportunity to spend time in the country, this should be grasped as often as possible. Living in an area where fresh air is always available is one of the best aspect of a healthy lifestyle.
Some people get too much of this
Never should we underestimate the value of rest. At the same time, neither should we get too much of it. We have been designed to work and rest. Without rest – and I am referring to sleep – our cognitive functions will be severely impaired. So ensure that you get adequate sleep at night.
We live in a world where the night is treated almost as the day. People work throughout the night. Others fete all night long. They try to make up for it by resting in the day. Biologically, there’s no rest that can substitute or make up for night rest. There’s a reason why God designed
the moon for the night. We are supposed to sleep in less light than the day time.
Most people fear to sleep in the dark. Yet it is the ideal sleep that we need. So if you have become accustomed to sleeping with all the lights blazing, it’s time to make a change. Turn out the lights. If you absolutely need some form of lighting in your room, let it be a night light,
To maximize your night rest, have a light supper. If your stomach is at work while you sleep, you will not receive optimum rest. Stay away from narcotics and any stimulant: coffee, tea, medication, that retards sleep. Get between 6 – 8 hours of sleep per night and go to bed by 10pm.
Our Creator has also created us to rest for a full day each week. It is called the Sabbath. The majority ignore this day of rest and choose their own day. Yet there is no rest like the rest that is received on the 7th day of the week. It is the day that God appointed. A healthy lifestyle demands that we Sabbath each week.
Trust is needed for health
You may be wondering, what does trust have to do with a healthy lifestyle. Well, it depends on where you place your trust. In this case, I am encouraging you to place your trust in God. I have discovered that many people do not trust others. Even spouses do not trust each other. This is as a result of people proving unfaithful to each other and being unwilling to forgive each other.
It is understandable but it is not the best way to continue living healthy.
While man will fail you, God fails no one.
More and more frequently we are being told that the solutions to our personal problems lies within us, that we possess an innate power that, when exercised can bring about the change that we desire. Yet we continue to repeat the same harmful behavior in spite of our deepest desires to change.
However, when we look to, and in faith depend upon that higher power – God – we find that our insurmountable issues are no longer so. Trusting God to help me in every situation, no matter what it may be, has simplified my life. Things that would normally depress or cause worry no longer disturb me. I trust that the God who placed me here and sustains me, knows what’s best for me and is in control.
This has given me a peace of mind like nothing else can. A mind that is at peace is a healthy mind. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Try it, you will like it. Promise.
Get up and do it
Knowing all that you have come to learn and not acting upon it is a poor use of your time and the knowledge that you have gained. You need to take action. Procrastination would only rob you of that lifestyle that you have so long desired.
So now you know the 10 steps to a healthy lifestyle. I will be developing each one in later posts, so look out for them. With the right mindset it’s the first step on your way to what would be a very rewarding life. When you add to that the other requirements; nutrition, frequent exercise, lots of pure water inside and out, adequate sunlight that does so much for your mood, you will see a change in your health.
In addition, a temperate use of all that has been mentioned and what is to come is also beneficial. Fresh air, restorative rest and trust in God brings you to the last action necessary. Just do it and watch the change.