“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
Three weeks ago, in this column, we fleshed out “The From Cradle to Grave” solution to Challenge # 6 – Intellectual Stimulation, the sixth of eight challenges, as we commit to working smarter towards the benefits of holistic prosperity and happiness in 2018.
This week we return to this sequence and propose “The Holistic Health” solution to Challenge # 7 – Total Physical Fitness. The five practices which will lead to total physical fitness are good nutrition, frequent exercise, adequate sleep, regular touch and peace of mind.
Where there is food in abundance at a reasonable price, there is the temptation to eat to your heart’s delight. This type of lifestyle feeds chronic diseases and is inimical to addressing the challenge of physical fitness. There is plenty of good nutritional advice easily available on the Internet but if you are inclined to be pampered seek the professional opinion of an experienced nutritionist and plan a balanced custom designed daily diet.
Regular aerobic exercise for an average of 30 minutes a day is recommended for persons of all ages. If convenient, the services of a personal trainer may be engaged, especially if dealing with specific health problems. Younger persons may be able to participate in walking, running, cycling, swimming and gym activities but as the age of the skeleton and muscles increases do not ignore the benefits of aqua exercise to ease discomfort due to arthritic and joint pains.
The human is not a machine which can be lubricated and plunged into service for another shift of human workers. We need to sleep to recharge our batteries and function for another day. The recommended number of hours of sleep averages around eight hours per day however the way in which this eight hours is distributed through the day varies from individual to individual. There are some people who are gifted to sleep uninterrupted for the eight hours but the rest of us distribute it over the 24-hour daily period.
At all stages of life human beings thrive on touch. We feel better when touched and this often supersedes the comfort that words can offer. A new born baby will grab on to a single finger as if life depended on it. Children and adults thrive on embraces as an expression of different forms of love. Friends and colleagues greet each other with handshakes, hugs and kisses. The spirits of animal lovers are raised as the pet snuggles back. Older people need to hold on to you, sometimes as a measure of physical support but often to fulfill the need of closeness to another human being.
Negative stress is a silent killer. The antidote is positive thinking which translates into peace of mind. We must always be in the mode of accentuating the positives and eliminating the negatives. God is Love and we are all children of God. Ultimate peace of mind takes us into that space of Love which is a universe of infinite possibilities.
Let us always look after our holistic health with a balanced five point plan (peace and love, nutrition, exercise, sleep and touch) which is essential for mental and psychological well-being. Remember the popular Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” which translates into “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Also, “I am–therefore I can–therefore I will“, a quote from “The Hidden Power” by Thomas Troward (1921).