HEALTH is a State of Mind and Body

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It is important to take care of both your mind and body. It will pay off in many ways, including:

  • Allowing you to take charge of your life and feel good about the choices you make
  • Gaining energy and feeling more fit
  • Improving your physical health
  • Gaining a positive outlook and finding more enjoyment in your life
  • Being a role model for your family and friends

Any lifestyle change is a ‘work in progress.’ Lasting changes take time. So, begin by setting small goals that are easy to add to your daily life and that you control. Wellness and fitness involve being aware and making healthy choices about diet, exercise, and staying positive. This is the most important investment you can make in your life. Strive for the best health you can have in all areas of your life by making mindful, healthy choices.

PATH TO IMPROVED WELLNESS

The only path to improved wellness is caring for your physical health through proper diet and nutrition. Whether your meal preparation is for yourself or your family, focus on making smart, healthy meals. Tips for success include:

  • Try to have more home-cooked meals. This can help encourage healthy eating. Also, it promotes more family time.
  • Let your kids help plan what to eat. Kids love to help make meals and snacks.
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand to help kids make good choices. Have more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Have fewer chips and sweets.
  • Teach kids to eat when they are hungry, not when they’re bored, sad, or angry. Respect their ability to know when they feel full.
  • Breakfast helps jump start the day. It provides fuel for an active lifestyle and gives you and your child the energy to think faster and more clearly.
  • Play “Put the Fork Down” at meals. Put your forks down between bites and take turns sharing your day.
  • Balance. Balance what you eat to meet your need for nutrition and enjoyment.
  • Variety. Enjoy all foods from important food groups (fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains).
  • Moderation. Focus on feeling comfortable instead of being too full after you eat. Use moderation when choosing less nutritious foods.

A food and activity journal can help you understand your eating patterns. Also, it can help you find ways to make simple, healthy changes. Ask your family doctor about how to get started.

When unhealthy food choices lead to weight gain, some people turn to popular diets to achieve quick weight loss. Diets usually tell you what you should or should not eat. Instead, focus on understanding why you eat in the first place. Are you eating because you are hungry, bored, sad, or angry? Is there something else causing your urge to eat? Also, do not restrict your foods. Try to balance between good and bad choices. Let hunger tell you when you need to eat and how much to eat.

True hunger signals:

  • hunger pangs, gnawing, growling, or rumbling in your stomach
  • weakness or loss of energy
  • slight headache or trouble concentrating
  • irritability

False hunger signals:

  • thirst
  • cravings
  • emotions
  • external cues (like mealtimes or social events)

Learn to listen to your hunger signals so you can determine when to eat and how much food is right for you. Make mindful decisions about eating by paying attention to how you feel. Learn to trust your body to tell you when it needs food.

Being active also is important to a healthy lifestyle. Your weight is determined by the balance between the energy you take in (what you eat and drink) and the energy you use (physical activity). Every step counts. Studies have shown that every step you take helps you manage your weight and improve your overall health. You may want to track your steps with a step counter (pedometer) or an activity tracker. This can encourage you to increase your daily activity.

Staying positive and motivated can help you live a healthy life. Also, it makes it easier to make healthy food decisions and to stay active.

If you are a parent, help your family develop good emotional health. Parents are the most important role models. As parents, you set examples by being active, eating healthy, and living a balanced lifestyle.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Strive for balance in both your personal and work life.
  • Make time for important relationships in your life.
  • Ask for help whenever you need support from others.
  • Find ways to relieve stress, like physical activity and relaxation techniques.
  • Be open-minded to try something new, like a hobby or activity.
  • Do not let stress get you down.
  • Take care of you. It is important to be mindful of the choices you make for your personal health and well-being.

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It is an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.

It is health that is real wealth and
not pieces of gold and silver.

– Mahatma Gandhi
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