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March 2015

LIVING HEALTHY LIVING WELL

Learning about the common habits of healthy people can be a particularly motivational experience, even for people who are already living an active lifestyle. Sometimes these extra reminders can be just the boost that we need to get back on track or even encourage us to continue on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

First, one must start with a definition of health – the definition that I think best fits my paradigm comes from the world health organization, “health is not the absence of symptoms, but is an optimal state of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being”. (Our health care system is in reality a sickness care system.) Providing medications that is antagonistic to a condition is how we treat sickness. These things have nothing to do with restoring and maintaining health, but rather seek to reduce symptoms. Over time, that approach is not tenable for long term wellness.

It’s generally pretty easy to spot someone that is living a healthy life and it’s usually pretty admirable—they seem to smile a little brighter, they always appear to be happy, and they are constantly on-the-go and productive. I believe there are four pillars that healthy people build a foundation of wellness on. Observing and integrating those into one’s own life is the simplest means to discovering some simple truths about health.  Emulate these to improve and build upon your own fitness regimen. Living healthy and living well is a lifestyle that is developed and maintained.

They Are Actively Aware of Their Food Choices

Healthy people know exactly what type of food they put in their body and often make sacrifices to help keep their bodies running optimally. This means, when they go out to eat with friends, they won’t always be delving into a large serving of nachos or ordering that extra round.

They always read nutritional labels and scan for artificial sweeteners, tricky food additives, and preservatives, because they prefer avoiding over processed foods when possible.

While they are not always 100% perfect with their nutrition, healthy people often abide by general rules of thumb, such as, no alcoholic beverages during the week, no more than one soda a month, or other methods to do their best to avoid food that is unhealthy.

What this doesn’t mean, is that they are over the top or obnoxious about their habits—they choose to lead by example. To start developing this healthy habit, pay close attention to the foods that you eat. Keep a food log that documents what sort of foods you eat and how often you eat them. If you notice any questionable or unhealthy food choices, work on weaning them out of your diet.

Consistently Monitor Their Health

Aside from tracking their food and nutritional intake, healthy people also monitor their overall physical performance by regularly exercising to gauge whether or not their health has improved or worsened over time.

This means that they’ll often experiment with jogging longer distances or lifting heavier weights just to see how well their body responds to a more intense workout. If these exercises were more difficult than they had expected, it could be an indication that they should be scaling their efforts.

You should be consistently aware of how your body is supposed to feel so that you can understand when you aren’t working out enough, or even if you are working out too hard.

Managing and controlling systemic conditions without elective drugs is another common denominator shared by healthy people. Most of the chronic conditions that plague our society are diet related. The side effects and unintended consequences of elective medications can often degrade ones health and create an entire new set of symptoms. Healthy people tend to be drug free people.  

Maintaining regular chiropractic adjustments is a lifestyle choice as vital as diet and exercise. Additionally, being aware of changes in your body or health. Occasionally your body requires a change in care, type and frequency. Being body aware and sensitive to those changes is critical.

Stay the Course Even When It’s Difficult

There are often going to be times when your fitness goals become unclear, you become physically exhausted, or you lose much of your motivation—hey, it happens to the best of us. But one habit that healthy people proudly focus on is a continual drive to fight onward, even when their health goals become overwhelming difficult.

Life is a race and it’s not a wind sprint; it’s a marathon. Consistency over time is the key to success. Unrealistic expectations or short term efforts with no long term commitment all lead to disappointment and failure. Sowing and reaping; “as a man sows, so to shall he reaps”. Sowing seeds of health and wellness will lead to a harvest of the same.

Instead of painstakingly giving up, they stay consistent and add variety to their routine by incorporating new exercises which can make their healthy habits fresh again. They find other activities that make their lives more enjoyable, such as joining a gym with a friend, hiking with their dogs, or playing football with the kids. Variety is sometimes the spice of life. Discipline without desire brings drudgery, desire without discipline brings disappointment. Make it fun and it makes it easier.

To adopt this habit, focus on breaking any health plateaus that you experience by first realizing that it’s okay to not always be perfect. When times get tough and you start to struggle or question your motivation, this shouldn’t be considered a sign of weakness—this is a sign of growth and change, embrace the challenge.

Experiment with New Habits

Healthy people are always on the lookout for new habits, suggestions, or technology that can help them continue to grow stronger throughout their lives. They understand that their life really begins when they venture outside of their comfort zones and even avoid activity ruts by setting new goals and trying new sports.

Additionally, healthy people transition their new habit by building beyond physical changes and introduce a variety of exciting new modifications to their diet—they cook new foods to surprise their metabolism and find new ways to balance their essential nutrients.

Think about how you can incorporate new habits to find the exercise and fitness routines that work best for you. Consider drinking more water, reading nutrition labels, getting annual checkups, scheduling more time for sleep, working out with a friend, trying new outdoor adventures, etc.

What are some of the healthiest habits that you have experienced? What are some of the areas that you are succeeding in and where could you use more help? Do you find developing healthy habits to be a beneficial process in your fitness routine, or more intimidating?

Summary

Healthy individuals have tips to staying on track and getting back on track when they’ve slipped. It’s about maintaining a lifestyle. Watch what you eat. Regularly monitor against your performance goals. (Don’t sabotage yourself). Consistently make time for your workouts. Keep on the lookout for new, healthy habits, and maintain a regular routine of chiropractic adjustments.

In Health

Scott G. Wallace DC

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