What is Optimal Health?
There is no perfect image of what optimal health looks like because it is unique to each person. Your optimal health is determined by your genetics, nutrition, lifestyle, environment, social circles and medical care. Some of these things you can control, like your nutrition and lifestyle. Others you cannot control, like your genetics and to some degree your environment. When it comes to health, we have to make the best with the hand we are dealt.
Health is not just the absence of disease, but it is determined by your complete physical, emotional and relational wellbeing. Healthy mind, healthy body and healthy emotions. Your health really works from the inside out. Often people engage in poor health habits for months, years or even decades without realizing the harmful effects to your body or health. Because your body is always trying to repair and heal, you can carry on just fine for many months or years before you start to feel, see or experience the symptoms and consequences of poor health habits. Once your body can’t keep up anymore, you will start to feel your health break down. Optimal health requires an investment in yourself to experience physical and mental wellness throughout your life. It’s a practice that takes a daily conscious effort.
What can you do?
You can’t change your genetics and you may not have much control over your environment, but your daily choices in movement, nutrition, sleep and stress management can still provide a strong foundation for living an energetic, healthy and free life. Healthy habits include ensuring 7-8 hours of sleep for adults, managing stress, moving daily and creating balanced nutrition built on a foundation of whole foods and proper hydration.
While these components may seem quite “easy” and basic, it’s important to dedicate enough attention to these basic building blocks that provide the foundation of proper health. They may seem simple, but they are not “easy” to master.
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Aida Sadeghi, MS, CNS