There is a lot of overwhelming information about health and wellness. Over the next three weeks, I am going to give you my thoughts and opinions based on information from world experts on the subject of health and wellness; and how to obtain it for yourself. The topics I will cover are:
Week 1 – 7/13/18: changing your thoughts about what health and wellness really means, our responsibility to be our own health care advocate, and creating a health mantra;
Week 2 – 7/20/18 – some best practices/habits that the experts believe are important;
Week 3 – 7/27/18 – Food, vitamins, stress, and healthy ageing – how to put this information to work in your life. I will include a cheat sheet on the things that are important and simple steps to include in your life.

Welcome to Week 1 in my series on Health and Wellness.

This week I am focusing on changing your thoughts about health and wellness; your responsibility to be your own health care advocate, and creating a health mantra for yourself.

Thoughts about health and wellness:

First of all, let me start with my thoughts toward health care professionals, hospitals and some doctors. In general, we have misinterpreted their role in our lives. I believe the sole purpose for them is to treat sickness, disease and trauma. It is our responsibility to be our own health care advocate to work with health care to prevent sickness, disease and trauma and move toward a healthy and long life – not expect them to fix us once we are sick with a disease. By that I mean, not letting yourself get to the place where you have diseases such as diabetes, heart issues, Alzheimer’s, weight issues, etc.
Our thoughts need to change from treating diseases to preventing them. Prevention is clearly the best action we can take for our health and wellness. We all need to take a long hard look at the food we eat, the stresses we are exposed to, our physical activity and our mental health.

Some questions to ask yourself:

• What’s on my grocery list?
• How much external stress am I experiencing?
• Am I exercising?
• Do I drink enough water?
• Do I smoke? (please quit!)
• Do I take supplements/vitamins to make up for the lack of those in my food?
• Am I getting enough sleep?
• Am I really taking care of myself?

If you have to pause and think about any of these things, that’s where you need to do some work. And by work, I mean research. By way of an example, if you want to increase your chances of not being diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease, take a look at what you are eating. Are you getting enough fruits, veggies, healthy fats, lean organic proteins? Are you getting the recommended amount of physical activity, water, sleep? If you help prevent early onset Alzheimer’s – are you working your brain by reading, learning something new, or taking up a new hobby?
Having said all of the above, there will be individuals that will still develop some sickness or disease. My point is, why not do all that you can do to safeguard your health and wellness?

Advocating for your Health and Wellness

Being our own health care advocate takes conscious planning, implementing, and focus to achieve preventative health and wellness. It takes work on your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Your health is in your hands and with the help of your doctor or health care professional, there are many simple steps you can take to avoid the devastating diseases that plague our countries. Cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes – are all rampant. The death rate from cancer in the 1920’s was around 3%. Now, it is about to overtake heart diseases as the number one killer. Alzheimer’s is on the rise. There are certain common factors in our lifestyle that will help you obtain health and wellness. A healthy diet, physical activity, de-stressing methods and mental activity will all steer you away from disease and toward health and wellness. When is comes to your health and wellness – remember progress not perfection. Every step you take is a step to longevity.
What can you do – research! Work with your doctor or health care professional. If you don’t want these diseases, what should you be doing? Ask questions (lots of them), try things (keeping the ones that work for you). Studies show that people who eat healthy, exercise regularly, drink plenty of clean water, get the right amount of sleep for them and de-stress are less likely to have disease in their life. Another thought about disease, if you don’t start taking steps now, when the disease comes, how are you going to fight? Will you have the energy, strength or mental capacity to fight for your health and wellness?

Do you have a health mantra?

A health mantra is your truth about your health and wellness. It should help you make lifestyle choices that are good for your well-being and over-all health. To give you some examples:
• Everything in moderation
• Physical health and mental health are equally important
• Change your lifestyle to change your health
• Eat, rest and exercise well
• Use it or lose it
• All you can do is all you can do, so why not do ALL you can do? – Dr. Michael T. Murray
Just to give you an idea of how a mantra can help, use a mantra when you are faced with certain lifestyle choices you need to make. If your brain says “let’s skip our workout today”, your mantra should kick in and help you change that decision. If you are presented with donuts, your mantra can help you decide if they are really worth it or not. When beginning your journey to health and wellness, having a mantra can be beneficial if you are repeating it to yourself and have it visible around you. My mantra is:

“Having excellent health and wellness makes me a better person now and in the long run. The daily choices I make for my health and wellness will be with me today, tomorrow and in the future – they need to be the best choices for how I want to live my life.”

This week I urge you to think about your current health and wellness. What steps can you take to improve it? Do you need to drink more water, get a little more exercise, go see the doctor for something that is bothering you? Do a bit of research on the diseases I mentioned and see what steps you can take to help you prevent them.  Check out this blog I wrote on choosing the best nutrition for yourself.
Next week, I am going to share with you how the experts are warding off disease and achieve their best health and wellness. I will also share a bit of my own journey to my current state of health and wellness.
Until then, remember there are simple and easy steps for a good life after 50!


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