Achieving Optimal Health should be the goal of everyone. Sadly, however, we often take our health and well-being for granted — especially when we are young. For the most part we do not even consider optimizing our health, thus making a healthy living choice, until we are faced with an ailment or diagnosed with a dreaded disease. By then, however, it is often too late to turn back the clock.
Faced with the staggering health statistics published by USA governmental agencies —
- 1 in 3 people will have some sort of cancer,
- 16 million Americans have diabetes,
- 30% of Americans are obese,
- 1 in 12 Americans have some sort of heart disease,
- 1 in 6 Americans have arthritis,
- 5 million of us suffer from Alzheimer’s
- and that almost 40 million people in America suffer from depression
— we can see the urgency of the problem.
Achieving and sustaining optimum health is not just a fanciful, wishful thought. It is a vital necessity if we don’t want to become one in the number of the dread statistics listed above.
Health publications are plentiful so we are not left in the dark about how to obtain a healthy lifestyle. In my opinion, there are five primary areas that need our attention throughout our lives if we will attain optimal health. These are:
- Proper Nutrition
- Physical Exercise
- Proper Sleep
- Mental Balance
- Spiritual Balance
Healthy Living Starts with Proper Nutrition
Proper Nutrition is a good starting place. Do you eat to live or live to eat? In order to achieve optimal health one needs to stop eating those things that destroy and start eating those things that nurture. Fast foods, sugar products, saturated fat, simple carbohydrates, sodas, chips and fried foods should be carry the big “skull and cross-bones emblem” in our minds. These foods are poison to our bodies. We will never achieve optimum health if we don’t start eating to live. Eating to live means that we eat on purpose, choosing those foods that build us up, that provide long-term benefits.
The human body is designed for activity. The American lifestyle is, for the most part, sedentary. We are not necessarily lazy; we simply have jobs that require limited physical activity, and when we are not on our jobs we are usually caught up in day-to-day activities that also are bereft of physical labor. To undertake and maintain an exercise program requires time and commitment. However, if you truly desire to obtain optimal health it is necessary to get the proper physical activity on a regular basis.
Do You Get Enough Sleep?
Getting proper sleep is vital. Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep to get the rest we need for our busy lifestyles. However, most people do not get nearly that amount of sleep because of insomnia or restless sleep because of emotional problems or worrying about things. If you do not get enough sleep you will suffer in every area of your life. Your body needs time to rest and restore. It is not wasted time. It is healing time.
Spiritual and Mental Balance
Maintaining a healthy mental balance is within your power if you are eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising and watching what goes into your mind. If you constantly listen to, read or watch negative, hurtful or filthy media you will become negative, hurtful and filthy in your thoughts. This can lead to depression, anxiety and fear.
We have saved spiritual balance until the last item, but it is not the least in importance. In fact, all five factors are equally important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, your spirituality is the pivot point for everything within your life. A life in tune with the Creator is the beginning of a well-balanced life. A life lived by the spiritual guidelines of the scriptures is the beginning of a life of peace, joy and contentment. Your journey to optimum health could well start by getting your spiritual life in balance.
The pathway to Healthy Living is not an easy one. It starts with you making a choice to be healthy. Then it takes commitment to the journey. Are you willing to be healthy? the choice is yours.