Do ever wonder just how healthy (or unhealthy) you are living? Perhaps you already have some idea about your health status but you are not really concerned about it. You are just too caught up with the “busyness” of life or you know you need to make some improvements, but you’re not quite sure how to start. Sometimes asking questions is the key to finding answers that will help you on your journey to a healthier and happier life. Below, are several questions to help you get some clarity on whether or not you are living a healthy lifestyle. You can call it a “healthy life survey.” This personal examination is for you (and whoever you decide to share it with) so be honest with yourself.
Do you ever overeat?
Overeating can cause some real problems, such as digestive issues, weight gain, sleep disorders and more. Portion control is not always easy, but if you can gain the victory here you’re on your way to a healthier life.
Do you enjoy physical activity such as a brisk, one-mile walk?
Sedentary lifestyles have become too much of the norm and is killing scores of people every year. Lack of regular physical exercise is responsible for many inflammatory challenges, including poor circulation, insulin resistance and blood clots. We were created to move and getting regular physical exercise will energize you and make you stronger.
Do you have a set mealtime and bedtime?
Most people eat whenever they want and then go to bed late (well past 10 PM). This may not seem like a big deal, but it is actually very important and can have a huge impact on your health. You see, the human body works on a 24-hour cycle that influences all of the functions of the body such as metabolism, eating, sleeping, hormone release and much more. When you eat the same time everyday and go to bed no later than 10 PM every night, you work in harmony with the body’s rhythm and begin to create an environment for greater well-being.
Do you use tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine?
Lung cancer (caused by smoking cigarettes) is still the largest, most preventable cancer worldwide. Even moderate drinking of alcohol (2-3 servings a week) has been found to be a risk factor for several forms of cancer. Caffeine can cause nerve damage, irregular heart rhythms, stomach ulcers and cancer. Letting one or more of these substances go can be very hard to do, but your body will soon begin to reward you as you stick with your commitment to resist using these toxic substances. You may consider using substitutes such as caffeine-free peppermint tea, taking invigorating cold showers in the morning, and exercise.
Do you have one or more bowel movements daily?
Many people have become accustomed to having just a few bowel movements (BMs) a week, but this should not be seen as normal or good. If you eat everyday you should have at least one BM a day. In order to have good health you must not only take in good nutrition but get rid of waste products regularly. When your body routinely is not cleansed of waste, health challenges such as digestive issues and colon cancer may arise. In order to avoid constipation (which is happening if you are not having a daily BM) you and I need to drink plenty of water everyday. The body also needs to have high-fiber foods that will clean out the colon. These foods include fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Do you have pale urine?
As mentioned above, drinking plenty of water is essential for avoiding constipation and cleaning the colon. Drinking plenty of water is as equally important for cleansing the urinary tract and to help avoid infections. Having adequate water daily will aid in proper circulation of blood, hormone release, and regulation of body temperature. You may ask, “how much water should I drink everyday.?” Generally speaking—enough to keep your urine clear. This may be hard to do if you take vitamins or certain medications. You can aim for around eight glasses a day.
Do you ever feel depressed or gloomy?
Wise old King Solomon once said, “as you think in your heart [mind], so are you.” Another person once said, “you may not be what you think you are, but what you think, you are.” These two expressions help us understand that feelings (and even behaviors) actually arise from thoughts. It is important to ask, if you have feelings of gloom or depression, what you are telling yourself? What are you saying to yourself about who you are, about what you have (or have not) accomplished in life, about relationships, or any other challenging situation? This is important to discover because it is not your challenges that are responsible for how you feel or what you do, but rather what you tell yourself about your challenges. Another insightful proverb from King Solomon states, “a merry heart [mind] does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones”. Having a healthy life is linked very intimately to having a healthy mind. If you regularly have feelings of depression or gloom, begin to re-direct your mind to thoughts that will lead you to a greater sense of well-being. You may want to start a gratitude journal and write down one or two items everyday for which you are thankful. Feeding your mind with uplifting material is also helpful, such as choosing to read the proverbs of King Solomon in the Bible or the Psalms (most of which are written by King David). A Bible promise book can be inspirational as well.
This healthy life survey can be the beginning of wonderful new life if you approach it seriously and with determination to overcome your challenges!
Photo by: Paola Aguilar