Wellness Health First!

“It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it.” Epictetus

How would you define being healthy?

Although we each have slight variations in what we prioritize for our health, most items presumably fall within a physical, mental or spiritual bracket.

Health

With the consequences of poor mental health becoming more accepted, finding activities to both stimulate and calm our mind is important. This may include spending quality time with significant others, identifying a stress reducing activity or attempting a crossword at home. As our mental state can play a large role in the choices we make, investing in it now may well reap long-term benefits.

Benjamin Franklin once said “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.

As sleeping patterns can have such wide-ranging effects on our day-to-day lives, it is worth maximizing our chances of a good nights rest. For the early risers, there is the popular adage that states that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth double those after. Research supporting this notion also suggests that those with consistently late bedtimes (e.g. after 12) are more likely to gain weight and have impaired immune function. However, there are those who argue that the deep restorative phases are more dominant in the first few 90-minute sleep cycles, regardless of bed times. As such, it seems that personal preference and working hours will dictate what works best for each of us.

Moreover, from foods and exercises that are essential to longevity one month and silent killers the next, making sense of the nutrition and exercise worlds can seem daunting. Perhaps you like swimming but your dentist is worried about the effects of chlorine on your teeth, or perhaps you have read that cooked spinach provides more iron and calcium than raw so you never eat it raw again[1]. Ultimately, focusing on the big picture is bound to reap greater rewards than focusing on the minutiae. If we feel better as a result of moving a little more or resting slightly differently, that is what we should prioritize. And if we do not feel any better, perhaps we did not need to change anything in the first place!

“Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors” Norman Cousins 

[1] It does, but the vitamin C content is higher in raw spinach!

What do you think?