Listen to “Why Good Health is Something We Have to Work For”.
No one would question that, as individuals, we are responsible for our own health. After all, we are the only ones who can change our behaviour. However, we live within societies, and whether we like it or not, our thoughts, ideas, wishes and actions are influenced and conditioned by the people and environments around us. We are continuously exposed to customs, traditions, media, fashion etc. and these can have a significant impact on our lives.
Food companies want you to become addicted to their highly refined, highly processed fake foods. Diet companies want you to eat their diet foods. Big pharma wants you to be on prescription drugs forever. But ultimately, you always have a choice.
Why do we only worry about our health when we are feeling sick – and then take medications to treat the symptoms? Most illnesses and premature deaths are caused by the habits of living people who could choose for themselves. Individual behaviour is largely responsible for the health problems we face as a society.
Pandemia has devastated many sectors of our society, and brought many of the issues we were facing before the pandemic to the forefront. This is especially true of healthcare and our general approach to health. People of all ages with chronic medical conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes are now at a higher risk.
The effects of lifestyle on health were well known to civilisations as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. They too understood that there are many choices we can make as individuals that can radically transform our lives and our health.
1. Movement and fresh air
Exercising for thirty minutes a day, three times a week, can reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases. You’ll also feel less stressed and maintain freedom of movement much longer than those who don’t make an effort.
Alongside the many health benefits of exercise, it can also make you smarter and happier; improve your sleep; increase your libido, and make you feel better about your body.
With increasing urbanisation, sedentary and indoor lifestyles, and a growing reliance on screen time, it’s good to know that the road to well-being could be as easy as a walk or run in the park. A stroll in the fresh air can clear your head, relax your body and make you feel better.
2. Stress management and happiness
Keeping an eye on your stress levels is essential. Persistently elevated levels of cortisol in the body can result in increased blood pressure, headaches, stomach pain and many other problems.
The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its potential benefits. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration, while others use the practice to establish beneficial habits and feelings, such as gaining a positive mood and outlook, achieving self-discipline, gaining and maintaining healthy sleep patterns and even increasing pain tolerance.
Meditation is also a path to true and lasting happiness which comes from removing things we don’t need in our lives. Happiness comes to us when we detox ourselves from fear, doubt, negativity and expectations. Beyond this, lies a state of mind defined by purity, where joy exists in its purest form.
3. Weight control and nutrition
Nutrition is one of the most effective changes you can make if you want to reverse the effects of chronic diseases. What people eat can either be medicine or poison. Many people complain that organic foods are expensive; however, unlike processed foods, you won’t pay for them with your health or even your life.
In general, many lifestyle medicine physicians recommend a plant-based diet, particularly for people with diabetes or other inflammatory conditions. Unfortunately, prescribing food is more complicated than prescribing medications. It’s a lot cheaper to put someone on three months worth of medication than to figure out how to get them to eat a healthy diet.