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Apr 062011
 

The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil (by Kate Ter Haar)Health is wealth. Good health is the best gift that you can give to anyone. It is also the perfect gift that you can ever give to yourself. Of what use will your perfect gift for her or your perfect gift for him be if you yourself are sick, unhealthy, and not functioning well?

You may search all corners of shopping malls, spend all the spare time you’ve got, max out your effort, and drain all your energy looking for perfect gift ideas for friends. But, have you ever saved some of that for yourself? When you look at yourself right now, can you say you are on the pinkest side of health? Or do you look stressed, seem out of shape, and/or stuck with an unhealthy lifestyle?

If giving is an act of love—the noblest, if I may add—then you need to give yourself some loving first before you can extend your generous hand to others. Give yourself the perfect gift of good health. Read on for my top three suggestions for giving the best gift of health to yourself.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being. It is not just the absence of disease or infirmity. To achieve optimum health, you have to target three key areas: body, mind, and spirit.

Sweating Your Way to a Healthy Body

Jogging (by Denis Todorut)Among the three key areas, the body is the primary indicator of your health because it is visible. If you get sick, your body will manifest signs and symptoms related to that sickness. To safeguard your body from sickness, you have to increase your body’s defenses and avoid stress. That doesn’t sound easy, huh? Sorry to disappoint you, you lazybones, but it is actually very easy to accomplish.

One of the simple things you can do is to exercise regularly. Brisk walking or jogging under the early-morning sun for 15-30 minutes is a great way to release stress and keep your body fit. Be sure you are properly equipped with running shoes and a comfortable top suitable for running. Have a personal trainer or a buddy to guide you in your routines everyday. If you can, keep track of your progress by using a heart rate monitor watch to keep track of your heart rate and your exercise performance everyday.

A little change in some of your habits could also go a long way towards having a healthy body. Make sure you are eating the right kinds of food and at the right amounts. Get enough sleep—the body needs it to rebuild and recover, as well as boost your immune system. Avoid smoking and control alcohol intake. Stay away from stress. These are some of the easy things you can do everyday. Nothing special, huh? But, who says you can’t give yourself the perfect gift of good health from out of these little things?

Then what? (by Mayr)

Sharpening your Mind

The World Health Organization defines mental health as the state of well-being of your mental faculties in which you discover your abilities, are able to cope with stress, are productive, and are able to contribute to the community. If you do not show these characteristics, you are probably mentally unhealthy, and it is important for you to know why and how to deal with it.

Mental illness is something that we deal with daily and at varying levels. Some are less mentally ill, while others are more mentally ill, even reaching severe and debilitating levels. Anxiety is the mother of all mental illnesses. Anxiety towards yourself, your work, your relationships, or your community can cause stress, which, in turn, can lead to mental illness.

Anxiety is not an enemy. Rather, it is your ally. The moment you are able to harness your anxiety, you regain full control of your life. One way to create an alliance with anxiety is to befriend your fears, and own and embrace them without letting them take control. Those fears, whether realistic or not, are part of you. But, give them an inch and they will become your ruler. Fear is a natural emotion, but it can also be a paralyzing emotion, especially if left unchecked.

When you feel the tension caused by fear and anxiety, try to ease it. For instance, laugh your head off. Laughter is still the best stress reliever. Find friends who can make you laugh or whom you can laugh with. Change your environment once in a while. Go out for a quick walk and get some fresh air. Mingle with your neighbors and friends. These are some of the ways to stay sane.

Enlightening your Spirit

Meditation - Into the Mystic (by Ian Burt)Some traditional religious practices have been associated with health. Tai-chi, yoga, and meditation are some examples. These activities have been proven to help your body relax, soothe your mind, and relieve your body of stress. Try them to keep your spirit alive and healthy.

Another way to refresh your spirit is to go on a retreat—either in private or in a group. You can organize a retreat with your family or friends. Go out and commune with Nature, preferably away from the hustle and bustle of your busy city. Do away with all potential distractions. Turn off your gadgets because they will just remind you of your hectic schedules in the city.

In this fast-paced society, it’s important to slow down a bit and check whether your body is receiving just enough for it to function well daily. Are you eating right and enough? Have you rested enough? Are you socially active? Are you living a healthy lifestyle? If not, then I think it’s the right time to make your move towards the pink side of health. When you have given yourself enough in this way, then it would be the time to extend the perfect gift of good health to your loved ones.

Photo Credits:

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/4481575790/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/denis_todorut/5519916732/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mayr/2336177470/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/3705388300/

 

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