Healthy living has been a passion for most of my adult life. True health and fitness depends on treating the body, mind and soul as a whole unit. The acronym “WHOLENESS” outlines the basic principles that I have learned in my formal studies in nutrition and have observed in truly healthy people. Following these principles will help keep our body’s immune system in good shape. Thinking about wholeness can help keep us on track when enthusiasm for taking care of our bodies wanes.
W = Water Drink water like a camel! Since the human body is more than 70% water, not drinking enough of it can dehydrate every body system. But 6-8 glasses of pure water a day can protect your immune system, joints, brain, heart, pancreas, and skin. It will help control false hunger pangs, aid in elimination, and stave off premature aging. Ideally drink about one half your body weight in ounces every day.
H = Healthy Habits Establish a regular, healthy circadian rhythm. The body is programmed to work optimally on a 24-hour circadian cycle. Eating, sleeping and exercising at regular times each day supports the immune system, physical fitness and can actually prolong life! Many people who live to be 100+ say that they followed regular routines in their lives.
O= Outside Air Go outdoors and breathe deeply every day. Diseases, including the dreaded cancers, thrive when there is a lack of oxygen. So does brain fog. Getting outside for a breath of fresh air can clear the mental cobwebs. Filling your lungs and life with fresh outside air will help keep you physically fit, mentally sharp and enhance your immune system.
L= Love Cultivate a love of God, love of others and a lifestyle of forgiveness. Don’t hesitate to actively seek help in coming to terms with present pain or with old issues. Nine out of ten illnesses originate in the mind. Worry, bitterness and unresolved anger, can wreak havoc on every system in the body, including the immune system. On the other hand; love, trust and forgiveness are life giving, immune boosting and health preserving.
E= Exercise & Elimination Get moving and make sure to keep your colon moving, as well. Walk, run, swim, rebound, etc. 30+ minutes daily and remember to rotate with resistance exercises, such as weight lifting every other day for bone health. S-T-R-E-T-C-H like a cat upon arising and right after you exercise. Exercise is good for your mood, circulation, digestion, respiration, elimination and immune system. Just like exercise, regular elimination is a key to health. Good nutrition, plenty of fiber, exercise and natural aids can help regularity, if it’s something your body struggles with.
N= Nutrition Eat a fibrous, unprocessed “rainbow.” The fiber in grains, beans, nuts and seeds help keep your colon swept out. Five to seven servings of dark, bright colored fruits and vegetables every day provides your body with very powerful anti-oxidants and enzymes that it needs for both function and repair. To preserve valuable nutrients, look for food without much processing. Toss the highly refined foods. Eat some raw food with every meal to insure proper digestion, a good immune system and great health!
E= Endorphins Tickle your funny bone and avoid “stinking thinking.” Laughter and a positive attitude helps release endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good hormones that help keep your body healthy. Laughter is good medicine and also an immune booster. A happy heart can actually strengthen the bones! So make a point to laugh every day and go out of your way to interact with people who support positive thinking.
S= Sunshine Soak up sunshine for 15-30 minutes every day. Exposing just your face to sunlight for that short amount of time, whatever the season, causes the body to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthen bones, improve mood, keep your immune system healthy and prevent cancer. Sunlight also can lift the mood and help to prevent seasonal effective disorder. Take precautions against sunburn, but don’t fear the sun.
S= Sleep Don’t burn the midnight oil. Our immune systems depend on adequate rest to function properly. Go to bed early and get six to eight hours of sleep every night. The body is programmed to heal and repair itself during sleep, going to bed too late and/or not getting enough rest can short circuit physical and emotional health. Conversely, regular and adequate rest can support health and lead to a longer, healthier life. When a group of centurions were asked what they attributed their long life to, many stated, they believed that taking a short afternoon nap helped them live longer.
Remember the acronym “wholeness” as you go about your day, it will help remind you that taking care of your body is a priority for a long, energy filled and healthy life.
Above all things I wish that you would prosper and be in good health!