Tis the season to take care of you
Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, wrote, “If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness.”
As a new year approaches with the usual number of resolutions, many based on a desire for better health, a health self-assessment might well be in order. Here are three fundamental questions to ask yourself if you’re ready for a healthier and more fulfilling life in the coming year.
Am I eating a healthy diet? In our fast-paced age, most Americans are consuming far too much food that’s not good for us – burgers and fries, pizza, sugar-laden sodas, and highly caffeinated drinks. We could be much healthier if we slowed down a bit, taking the time to prepare our meals with large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Beyond better health, a side-effect is that you’ll probably save money as the cost of fast food adds up quickly.
Am I getting enough exercise? For many of us, the answer is a resounding “No.” Most exercise experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for good health. And the activity doesn’t all have to be done at one time. It can be broken up into 10 to 15-minute segments, or even less. It helps to take frequent breaks from the computer screen and move around for a minute or two. Every step and every minute of movement contributes to better health.
Am I taking time to relax? Many of us believe if we’re not doing something “productive,” we’re wasting time, and that conviction makes it difficult to relax. In reality, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to slow down and take time each day to relax. Listen to your favorite music or settle in for a while with that novel you’ve always wanted to read and give your mind and body time to rest and restore themselves.
Once you’ve answered these questions, set one realistic goal, and work to achieve it. When that’s accomplished, move on to another and then another in pursuit of a healthier, happier life in 2021.