Working on the Fundamentals of Health and Well-Being Can Have a Tremendous Impact

Writer / Mindy Irish
Photography Provided

Have you ever wondered, “How good can I feel? Is this my normal or is there something more optimal for me?”

Health and Well-Being

If you’re like me, I am always working to look, feel and perform my best. That mission has led me to discover the possibilities for the aging body. I learned not to accept that we’re definitely going to slow down, get sick and degrade with time.

The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”

It’s empowering to me to know that even as we get older, we can each use our choices and activities to define our lifestyle, and therefore our outcome of our own health and well-being. What if we can improve with age? What if we change our mindset to thinking that as we age, we can actually get healthier, stronger and in better shape – all the opposite of what we’ve always been told?

I believe we can, and here are some tips for how to start!

A rhyme by Wayne Fields in his 1990 book “What the River Knows” has really helped me define my current habits:

“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”

I am personally leaning into the “six doctors” to evolve my lifestyle. To sunshine I would add grounding to touch the earth, to rest I would add sleep and recovery, and to actually make it seven “doctors,” I would include the activity of sweating.

On this list, when we mention diet, let’s work to view that as the foods we choose to feed our body versus being “on a diet” and cutting calories. Keep to the mindset of eating a diet “of the earth,” which is made up of colorful, real items that grow, spoil, and are made of plants and proteins. This is what truly nourishes our minds and bodies best!

With this list and these perspectives in mind, our well-being is complete, and the positive health possibilities are endless. Yet it’s not something we have to tackle and master all at one time. That’s the beauty of the process.

How do we get started making progress?

Step One: Choose one to two areas of “low-hanging fruit” and get baselines on those. In what areas do you currently feel the most familiarity and mastery? Spend time measuring and monitoring those, and then work to take them up from there.

For example, if you already drink a lot of water on a daily basis, then that’s a positive for you. Track your intake in daily ounces and set benchmark goals of progression.

Once you have a few of the seven areas under your belt, choose several more to improve upon and spend time measuring and monitoring those. In time you’ll be making progress across the board, developing new habits and outcomes along the way.

Step Two: Focus on what matters to you. What are you initially most passionate and familiar with on this list? If it’s movement, go do more of the activity that you love and know. If it’s getting outdoors for fresh air, do more of that. Save the harder areas for later on.

Step Three: Align with a community. There are tons of groups of like-minded people doing the things you enjoy doing. Find your interests and align with your people. You don’t have to go at this alone!

Step Four: Be territorial on who gives you advice. Choose a few tried and trusted sources who can guide you and will listen to you. If you pay attention to everyone, you’re most likely going to derail from the process out of frustration and confusion from too much information coming at you all at one time.

We don’t have to have all the answers or see the complete journey at our start. Have hope in knowing we can begin right where we are, taking small steps and working to improve upwards and onwards from there.

You’re worth it!

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