Physical well beingEat a good breakfast; brush and floss twice a day; work hard; exercise daily; make nice friends; eat your vegetables; go to bed early; don’t smoke; avoid salt; eat fish; drink your milk, and call you mother…often! All of this is probably the best advice anyone can give regarding physical wellness… no really, anyone, including Mom, Dr. Oz, or a super-double-board-certified-best-doctor-in-America. Just do it! As we approach this New Year, this season when, despite our good intentions, all seems to get tossed out the window, are there a few caveats that we can post on our limbic system that might possibly alter our physical (and for that matter, our whole-being well-being) enough that we can launch into the new year with veritas and gravitas? Yes. Probably more than any other component of health, our physical well being is a matter of choices, in fact, good physical wellness is a net result of our positive and negative health choices. Too often, our human nature (as clearly exemplified by the choice Esau made in giving up his birthright for Jacob’s yummy lentil stew) leads us to make short term health decisions that are inconsistent with our long-term health objectives. It all adds up. So the first and most powerful resolution we can make is to align our day-to-day healthy choices with short term incentives that support our wellness goals. It is easier to understand that if we eat a sugar donut for breakfast, we will suffer carbo-load sluggishness and headaches about mid-morning; than to try to project that if we eat that sweet, we may have an increased risk of getting grandma’s diabetes at age 50. Get the picture? Secondly, there is lots of medical data* supporting the notion that the health decisions we make for ourselves today will affect our children and grandchildren. Our daily self-care appears to modulate the expression of many genetic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and immune disorders even as far as 2-3 generation in the future. Our sins are passed from generation to generation. Food types influence mood (Omega 3 fatty acids—fish oil—protect against depression and elevate our spirits), and affect appetite (sugars and meat fats stimulate appetite and fish and good veggie fats suppress appetite). Finally, for all people, even us senior citizens, it is best to sleep 7-8 hours per night. Too little sleep leads to immune deficiency, too much alters metabolism and makes us slug bugs…honestly.
So, go back to Mom’s sure-fired wellness formula because there is enormous wisdom in it. And live a life of service and glorify the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, the Babe of Bethlehem.
*Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, Jim Harter and Tom Rath, Gallup Press, May 4, 2010.