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Body ~ Mind ~ Spirit
Search the various health links at the bottom of this page to learn more about nutrition, fitness, stress management, mental and emotional health, and spirituality.
Understanding the inter-connection between the physical, mental, and spiritual parts of ourselves and how they affect each other will help us in our efforts to create a life based on health and wellness rather than sickness and disease.
As grandparents or older relatives raising children, we may be twenty, thirty, or even forty years older than we were when we had our own children. It is easy to pay more attention to everything else before our own health, but it is critical that we focus attention on taking care of ourselves and living healthy lives.
As we age, we are faced with health challenges that we might not have faced when we were younger. We may find as we get older that we have gained weight, our joints hurt, we are stiff and can't move around as easily as when we were younger, our blood pressure is higher, and our energy is lower. Without proper nutrition and fitness, our muscles deteriorate, our bones become weak, and our immune system is compromised.
Thirty or forty years ago, we may have had a good excuse to not eat properly or be physically fit. Perhaps, we honestly did not know the harm that is done by eating the wrong types of food and not being active.
Modern science has proven the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, and the Internet affords us the opportunity to search and learn most anything and everything. So whether or not we grew up in a family that focused on wellness and health, we can learn and practice healthy living habits today. I would venture to say that most of us did not grow up in home environments where we ate low-fat, low sugar, and high nutrient whole foods.
Nutrition & Physical Fitness:
I was almost thirty years old before I learned about healthy living through proper nutrition. I can well remember, as a young mother, all of the boxed Macaroni and Cheese, canned green beans, and Jell-O we ate, while I thought I was feeding my young children well. I started the process of learning about eating whole and nutritious foods when doctors could not tell me why I was so tired. I could not walk from one end of the mall to the other. According to doctors I was the epitome of health, yet I could not even walk around the block. Thus my life-long quest to learn about natural healthy living began. When I eat the way I know my body needs, I function better than when I slide backwards and revert to old eating habits. If I eat the typical "American" diet, I will feel utterly horrid.
Senior Health & Vitamins
Sometimes no matter how healthy we eat, we may still need nutritional supplements. It can be difficult to get all of the nutrients we need from store-bought food. Most doctors recommend that seniors take a multi-vitamin to supplement their diets. Women's vitamins especially have high concentrations of anti-oxidants and iron. Do your research when selecting the mult-vitamin that is right for you.
Being physically active is very important to our over-all wellbeing. When I was forty and couldn't get up from the floor without pulling myself up by something, it was obvious my muscles were very weak. I looked healthy, but my lack of physical strength and lack of flexibility showed otherwise. I worked at strengthening my muscles with weight bearing exercises and yoga, not only to create a stronger and more flexible body but to help prevent osteoporosis as well.
For some reason exercising is more of a challenge for me than eating properly. To help motivate myself, I sometimes wear a pedometer hooked to my pants, so I can physically see how far I have walked during the course of my day. I have found myself walking in place in my office or running up and down the stairs extra times just to add mileage to my day.
Our physical health affects more than how we look and physically feel, it also affects our emotions and moods, our mental state of mind. When we do not feel physically well, we are more prone to depression, anxiety, and emotional stress.
Of equal importance is understanding how our thoughts affect our emotions and how what we think and feel affects both our bodies and ultimately the reality and experiences in our lives.
If our thoughts are negative and our auto response is one of "Why are you, or life, always doing this to me?" the emotions that follow will be of worry, fear, or dissatisfaction in some way. These negative emotions will have a negative impact on our physical health. By focusing on what we don't like or want, we are actually giving energy to those emotions and creating more of what we don't want, not more of what we want.
Finding something good in each situation can sometimes be a challenge but is vital to do. I have had times in my life when the only positive thing that I could think of in a given situation was to tell myself, "Just think how much I am learning by going through this and how helpful I will be to others going through the same thing someday." There are a lot of good books and information available on the topic of "the law of attraction" and "positive thinking." Basically, the idea is what you put out to the world through thoughts and emotions, comes back to you multiplied. That is a simple universal law. A law that we need to fully understand and apply in our lives.
Spirituality is less understood by many than physical and mental health. I see spirituality as the glue or energy that connects and balances the body and mind. For me, my spirituality, my connection to God or the Divine, is as vital to a healthy life as my physical and mental health. In my life, I have had many experiences that have shown me that what helps me feel connected to a Divine Being may not be what works for my best friend or family member. Since each person's journey throughout life is unique from others, each individual must find the spiritual path that helps her discover her life's purpose and her connection to God. There are many views in the world and many who believe that their way is the only way for everyone. I will leave that discussion to others. I will say that I do believe that people need spiritual direction and connection in their lives. The power of spirituality, whether through prayer, meditation, or forgiveness, works with our mind and body to create balance and healing in our lives.
Our mind, body, and spirit are all inter-connected and affect each other just as individuals, community members, and the environment affect each other. A business man is not successful unless someone buys his services or products; a teacher is not being a teacher if there is no student to teach; and a fisherman is not a fisherman if there are no fish. However, understanding the mind, body, spirit connection can be a bit trickier. Nevertheless, they are connected and dependent on one another. Learning and applying this principle can assist us in developing healthy lives to greatly benefit ourselves and the grandchildren we are raising.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition- The FDA website has a lot of good information about nutrition and food safety/
Education Campaign for Kids & Teens by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Make Your Calories Count: Use the Nutrition Facts Label for Healthy Weight Management training program by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Provides a wide variety of good health information.
Kids' Home Page - U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fun health information for kids.
American Dietetic Association the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. This website is loaded with good nutritional information.
Nutrition Facts Sheets by the American Dietetic Association - Facts sheets cover a wide range of topics and have been developed in collaboration with other organizations and industry sponsors.
Healthfinder.gov - A reliable source for health information
The The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM:updated physical activity guidelines. These guidelines outline exercise recommendations for healthy adults and older adults and are an update from the 1995 guidelines.
Health & Balance with WebMD Good reliable information on various help topics from weight loss, fitness, food & cooking, women's health, children's health, and much more.
Wellness.com - Wellness on a variety of topics including, general wellness and wellness for men and women, exercise & fitness, diet & nutrition, environmental wellness, personal development and more.
Nutrition.gov A service of the National Agricultural Library, USDA.
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