Now more than ever, our health is at the top of our minds. While the coronavirus has turned our lives upside down, now is a good time to think about the importance of our health. Yes, we get our scans when told by our doctors, and they are good, but what I am talking about is what we do every day on our own. The food choices we make, the exercise choices we make, and the relationships we make. What is amazing about each of these choices is, they affect not only our lives personally but globally as well.
Many leaders today are talking more and more about the low quality of food we are offered in our grocery stores and restaurants. The type of food we eat today stems from an era where we were just trying to get enough calories into people so they did not die. The quality was irrelevant at the time. The country was in a major world war and times were hard. Today, however, we have a plethora of good food that can actually heal us of the many diseases our friends and family die from every year. I know that sounds crazy, however, there many doctors fighting to fix our food supply. Changing our food supply can prevent, and even in some cases, reverse diseases that we suffer from today. Changing our food supply can make the biggest change in our environment. So we actually get a 2 for 1 on this deal. The important thing to remember here is if we feed our bodies with good nutritious food, epidemics like the one we are in now would have a less effect than it is. I know what you are probably thinking, but food is so confusing. If you buy processed foods, foods that try to replace the good food, or foods that let you have the sweet taste you crave without all the calories, then you are very right. It is confusing and it is designed to be that way so you will listen to them. Here is the secret to eating good food. If you food, like potatoes, the label should say potatoes, it should look like a potato, and it should cook like a potato. Anything else, and it is not a potato. If you are not familiar with good food, take the time now to look them up on the internet. Do you know what a turnip is, collard greens, romaine lettuce, arugula, or scallions? look them up and learn about the nutrient value of these foods. Yes, you may not like the taste of some, but try them for a while and see if you feel better. What is sad, people on medications need to talk with their doctors before they change to eating healthier foods because it affects medicines. That is how powerful good foods are for your body.
I was in my grocery store Sunday and watched people clean out the meat counters, along with the bread, butter, eggs, and of course toilet paper. Then I walked around to the vegetable counters and they were almost untouched. I laughed a little to myself as I recalled some of our friends asking about some of the food we had prepared for dinners in the past. Here are people over 50 that had never seen a turnip, arugula, or even collard greens. A few had never seen a tomato grow or kale. Here is a scary thought, some Americans could be starving while sitting in front of some vegetables and still starve to death because they either don’t know they are food or how to eat them! How scary is that!
Exercise is another area that people are misled. You don’t need a gym, fancy equipment,a lot of time, or even a fancy outfit to work out. Take a brisk walk around the block, then add another block, then another block. Once you build up your stamina, jump rope, run fast for a few seconds, or swim. Remember doing that as a kid? You can still do that today. Want to build some muscle? Do push-ups, tricep pushes off a table, place a beach ball behind your back and roll up and down the wall slowly to increase strength in your thighs. You do not have to start at the level you were at 18, be realistic. If have a bike, go bike riding. There are tons of things you can do each day to increase your heart rate, burn calories, and tone up your body. Have fun and don’t make it hard. Nobody really cares if you are the fastest, strongest, or skinniest person in your town! What we care about is you living a more healthy life to save you from pain and us from higher medical bills.
Relationships are really important, especially now! I know you are all concerned, but so is everyone else. BE KIND!! Take this downtime to be with the people you love the most. Good relationships can reduce stress in your body by creating a bond between you, laughter which has been shown to improve your health, and sharing good times and bad leaves you with better confidence. We all need people in our lives that we can trust and love so we can share our deepest fears without fear of judgment. Friends and family can be there to celebrate, grieve a loss, and just listen so you know we all love you.
I realize this may sound a little airy-fairy to some fo you, but there is scientific studies that have shown these simple things can make big improvements in our lives if we can just remember to do them. We get so caught up in own lives we forget about others that may need us. I know you are busy and so are the rest of us. Slow down, laugh a little, hold someone’s hand, and be free to tell a friend or family member, I love you. it may feel scary if you are used to it, but once you start doing it, it becomes contagious. That is better than any virus that I have ever seen. Have fun and let’s get through this!