Last week I started talking about this idea of “Wellness”.
Think about it. We spend most of our time thinking about Healthcare in terms of treating and curing illnesses. Why not think about it in terms of preventing illnesses and primarily improving our way of living.
Here are some good definitions of Wellness
“The condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise and habits”American Heritage Dictionary
“Its about looking better, feeling better and staying healthier for longer” Mark Hughes – Founder of Herbalife
To put it simply, if we made small changes every day to improve our own health – including reviewing our diet, exercise levels & water intake – we in turn would:
- Have More Energy
- Age More Slowly
- Look and Feel Better and ultimately
- Have More FUN!
Although there have been many improvements in technology withing health and fitness, modern society has brought with it many bad habits too, such as:
- Fast food diets that are high in fat and low in nutrients
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Overly-processed, convenience foods
- An increase in consuming Supplements/Medications without a lot of knowledge
- Lack of dietary fibre from fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Not enough healthy sources of protein in our diets to support healthy muscles and bones
- Lack of proper rest
- And finally….Mass Confusion!!
I like to break down food into THREE categories…
Fuel (Calories) necessary to perform external work and to simply allow the heart, lungs, and other organs to function.
Raw materials (e.g proteins, most minerals) used to manufacture blood, skin, bones, hair and internal organs; the body is constantly replacing and renewing every cell on a daily and monthly basis.
Chemical compounds (e.g vitamins, enzymes and some minerals) necessary to facilitate the chemical reactions that convert food into energy and deliver into the bodies cells.
Although consuming calories in general is important to have energy, consuming the correct calories and focusing on the building blocks will ensure we look and feel better.
A Colorful Plate
A basic rule of thumb to ensure a nutrient rich diet is eat with a ‘Colorful Plate’. By this I’m referring to the fact that foods that are naturally rich in color are often considered nutrient-dense.
Examples of nutrient-dense, color-rich foods include: apples, bananas, kiwis, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes…. the list goes on!
By combining colorful foods such as these with the rest of your meal, you are sure to create a healthful plate.
Along with a healthy diet, a minimum of 30 minutes of light exercise is recommended to ensure an overall healthy lifestyle.
If you find 30 minutes too much to begin? Start with 15 minutes. It’s better than nothing at all, and something you can gradually work on.
Modern healthcare remains focused on dealing with and curing illness..not preventing it in the first place.