I asked a group of students at the first of the year to share their 2019 goals for being in my exercise class. Almost all had some rendition of “to be healthy”. What does that mean? As I dug deeper, I gleaned more specific definitions:
- To have strong bones
- To have more stamina
- To be able to physically do the activities they most enjoy (gardening, kayaking, hiking, playing with grandchildren)
- To be a healthy weight
- To sleep better
- To feel good about themselves
- To be calmer and more peaceful
- To have better balance
- To remain independent
As I thought about these, I found I would also add something about mental, emotional, financial, spiritual, and relationship wellness.
In my 26 years in health and fitness, most people solely focus on physical health. More people are beginning to focus on mental health. Few are considering the impact of all the other areas of our life on our overall health. Striving to be healthy in all areas certainly plays a dramatic role on the overall condition.
In ayurveda, health is measured in balance. Everything you ingest, you should be able to digest and either assimilate or eliminate. If digestion isn’t happening, you’ll end up malnourished. If you aren’t eliminating the waste from your being, you end up constipated and feeling lousy. This isn’t just about the food and beverages we consume. It’s all we consume, consciously and subconsciously. That’s why we need some quiet time and good sleep to help us digest that information.
What does healthy mean for you? What areas of your life are requiring improved equanimity? What steps can you begin to take to improve your overall health?