Thursday, January 22, 2015

where to start?

The goal of "health" is a very broad, almost intangible idea. We must break it down into smaller parts in order to "begin small." Also, I want to make changes where it will matter; not just changes that are easy, but that will actually make a difference in my everyday life. Where to begin? How about looking at what we spend the most time doing...

What do you do most in a day? How do you spend your time? There are several very basic answers that might suffice: breathe, eat, drink, sleep, talk, sit, work, rest, walk and move around. Think about each of these activities; we all do them every day. When you're ready, pick one of these areas, and begin your journey to health there. I intend to discuss each of them in turn through this blog, but today I want to consider all of them.

So far, we've been THINKING about the changes we'd like to see. Continue this throughout your journey towards health. Let your imagination soar; fantasize about how health will positively impact your life; dream of feeling better every day.

BREATHE. This is one of the very few things that are absolutely required to sustain life. We do it without thinking about it. (Thank goodness; as much as I'm forgetting things these days, I'm afraid I would forget to breathe!) Could we make changes to our breathing that would bring us closer to health? I think the answer is YES! We'll explore more later.

EAT. This is a big category. Are you eating what your body is hungry for? Is it getting all the nutrition it needs and wants in order to be healthy? Are you eating enough? Too much? Lots of variety? Balanced? How do you feel before you eat? After? So many things to consider about eating.

DRINK. What are you drinking? It is healthful? Is it enough? Do you know that your body is thirsty before your throat begins to dry?

SLEEP. We spend roughly one-third of our lives in bed. How is your sleep? Do you wake up refreshed? (The first time someone asked me that question, my brow furrowed in confusion, and I asked "Does anyone?") Improving your sleep would certainly move towards better health.

TALK. We talk to others and we talk to ourselves all day long. How is our conversation? Is it encouraging? Happy? Uplifting? Or is it discouraging? Depressing? Dull? Our words are a reflection of what's happening in our hearts and minds.

SIT. In our current culture, many of us sit for most of our days; yet, our spines were not designed to sit for long periods of time. This is part of the reason so many of us have lower back issues. Can we change how we sit? Absolutely!

WORK. Most of us work about one-third of our days. (Have you ever considered that between sleep and work, we only get one-third of a day left to "live"?) How is your work? Stressful? Could it be less stressful? How? What steps might you take to make your time at work more "healthful"?

REST. I believe that resting is a lost art in American society. Our lives seem to be measured by how busy we are; the more packed our schedule, the better! And yet, our busy-ness makes us stressed out, burned out, and tired out. Let's revive the concept of resting on a regular basis throughout our days, weeks, months, and lives.

WALK. We've been walking since we were toddlers (literally), but do we think about how we walk? How much we walk? Could we improve our walk to help us feel better. Oh, yes!

MOVEMENT. There are a handful of people who actually LIKE to exercise, but all of us MOVE in various ways all day long! My personal trainer (Lori Gordon, you'll love her) is fond of this concept. How can we move more? Move better? Move enjoyably? This will be an exciting area to reconsider! No more EXERCISE! Let's MOVE instead!

I hope that I've given you some ideas to consider as we continue in our first step: THINK BIG! Get excited about this journey of life, and how we can make ourselves feel better as we go through it. You are not alone! We all want to feel better, and we're going to explore some ways to do that.

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