If you think about it, you cannot argue with the title of this article. Whatever investments that you may have, pension fund, property, cash, it all means nothing if you don’t have your health. Infact once you lose your health it could cost you all your monetary wealth to get it back anyway.
In my last article I explained what to look out for to gauge how healthy you are (Big 3 and Metabolic Syndrome indicators), in this article I would like to give you information that will help you move towards better health.
Health is a balance of 3 points of a triangle.
Physical stress, emotional stress and nutritional / chemical stress.
You may think of stress as an emotional thing, but this is only part of what we consider. Physical and nutritional / chemical stress also must be considered. Now stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Infact there is good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress).
Like the pressure that an attainable deadline creates, eustress can make you focus and produce your best work. Eustress when working out in the gym will build your strength and endurance.
The relentless work pressure and unattainable deadlines of distress will eventually cause a breakdown. The distress of pushing yourself too hard in the gym will cause injury.
Our most consistent physical stress is the stress of poor posture. We are all becoming educated that sitting is very bad for us and the negative health effects are being compared to that of smoking. My quick tips are:
Get up every 30 minutes and move. Set an alarm on your phone or lap top to remind you. In my opinion you only need move for 10-20 seconds to make a big difference.
Always be the tallest version of yourself. Whether you are sitting, standing, sleeping or bending forward, always have a tall spine. Your rib cage should always be directly above your pelvis with your stomach muscles engaged.
I am sure that you will agree that your emotions effect you body. Remember having a stressful day? Were your shoulders and neck tight. I bet if you squeezed your shoulders on those days you would find some knots in the traps.
It is important for your health and wellbeing to take your emotional health seriously. Like you look after your teeth by brushing them, you must also add emotional hygiene to your daily ritual. My quick tips:
Meditate 5-10 minutes every day. Modern phones have made this very easy. Apps like ‘Headspace’ and ‘Calm’ offer guided meditation at very little cost. Plug in your earphones and feed your emotional health.
Think of 5 things you are grateful for while brushing your teeth morning and night. Gratitude is magical for changing the lens in which we see our world.
Nutritional / Chemical Stress
What we eat obviously has a huge impact on our health. I like to look at it as a bank balance. Every time you eat healthy, you make a deposit, when you eat rubbish you make a withdrawal. If you become overdrawn for too long you will likely die of a preventable lifestyle related disease like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. My quick tips:
- Keep your consumption of animal protein to 5% or less of your daily calories. This includes dairy and fish.
- Eat 5 times a day, 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks.
- Have protein and vegetables with every main meal. Some plant-based protein options are: tofu, edamame, lentils, beans, green peas and quinoa.
- Eat when you are hungry, stop as soon as you are full.
- Eliminate liquid calories and drink plenty of water.
- Stop smoking and drink in moderation.