Overall, the health of our society is deteriorating. The rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity continue to rise. Who is responsible for this health crisis? The government? The pharmaceutical industry? Fast food? New viruses? Antibiotic resistant bacteria? The cost-cutting approach of managed health care? No! We are all responsible for our own health. The level of health that we enjoy today is a direct result of the decisions that we made yesterday. And the choices we make today will affect our well-being tomorrow.
The key to good health is to act appropriately on good decisions. The good health most of us were born with is a gift, but it is a gift which requires maintenance and care. Health does not come in a bottle or pill. We must acquire the knowledge about what will maintain and promote good health and commit to making health-promoting and life-enriching choices.
True health is a balance of physical, bio-chemical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects.
Physical health and fitness can be achieved through a program that balances endurance, flexibility, speed and power.
- Endurance is listed first, because it increases the strength of the heart and thus its capacity to pump the blood that takes nourishment to the other organs of the body. As an added benefit, endurance training burns fat which leads to a leaner and healthier body.
- Flexibility is achieved through stretching.
- Speed and power are developed through vigorous exercises like weightlifting or sprinting.
Bio-chemical health refers to nutrient absorption and toxin elimination. Eight of the top ten causes of death in the United States are related to nutrition. The nutrients in our food become the building blocks for the repair and replacement of all of the cells of our bodies. If we don't use good building blocks, we can't build good cells. Without healthy cells we cannot build healthy bodies.
- Nutrient absorption requires good digestion. Digestion can be improved by using digestive enzyme supplements and combining foods that digest at the same rate. If you can't absorb it, you can't use it.
- Elimination of toxins usually follows when a wholesome natural diet is consumed. Additionally, two quarts of purified water each day helps to prime the elimination system.
Mental health can be defined as a feeling of inner peace with control of mental faculties. A person will experience inner peace to the extent that he feels that he is in control of his circumstances. Goal setting and daily planning sessions will help to organize what we can control, and thus enhance our mental health.
Emotional health can be defined as the ability to stay strong in spite of difficult circumstances. We will all experience setbacks in life. However, it is not what sets us back that is important but rather how we respond to it
Spirituality can be defined in terms of one's own beliefs. Nearly all belief systems recognize a higher power and teach that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. Ancient scriptures teach that you should seek first the kingdom of God and all other things will follow.
These fundamental aspects help us all to achieve balance and excellence in the physical, bio-chemical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. We must remember that our good health is a gift for which to be grateful and a treasure to be cherished. We must take responsibility for ourselves and our bodies. We must be able to look into the mirror and remind ourselves that "Good health starts here."
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