I am a firm believer that a balanced life is only possible with a balanced diet...a healthy diet of nutritious food for our bodies and a healthy diet of wise words to feed our minds.
Since the body always follows the mind, it is of utmost importance for us to focus primarily on our mental diet rather than our physical diet. Changing the diet you feed your mind is how to easily transform your body by completing renewing your mind.
Positive transformation is always the result of renewal. Renewal is always the result of the spoken or written word. Words have the power to encourage, enlighten, and renew. Words can also depress, defeat, and destroy. My goal in this article is to educate you in order to motivate you to make some changes in your life. The result of those changes will be a change in your feelings and results.
I do not want you to take action because you feel like it. Rather, I want you to take action because you KNOW that you should because I have have sold you on the benefits. in other words, you will GO because you KNOW. As a result, you will GROW in health, strength, and wellness. You will finally FEEL better, and maybe even look better. In my book "Five F-Words That Will Energize Your Life", I call this the THINK-ACT-FEEL process. It is why I am so passionate about helping people know, go, and grow!
What Is Health?
What makes a healthy person? To rephrase the question, what makes a person healthy? Is health the absence of illness? Can one be healthy without being physically fit? Does physical fitness translate into good health? Let’s explore the answers together.
Health, defined simply as a state or condition, is relative. But relative to what? Perhaps we need a standard or benchmark based on the science of medicine and the philosophy of naturopathy.
I believe our common sense is the diet plan each one of us was given at birth. If only we would follow it with some self control, most of us would be better off.
Here are a few tips:
- Stop drinking sugar in your coffee and tea, and in thirty days you will never miss it.
- Avoid adding salt to your foods.
- Quit eating as soon as you feel satisfied.
Before burnout, my eating habits were awful. I would grab a burger and some fries or a sandwich and eat on the run between service calls. I would seldom stop for a decent lunch. Now I relax for an hour while I am eating a balanced meal. I have found that eating can actually be enjoyable.
Zig Ziglar asks this question in his seminars, “If you had a million dollar race horse, would you keep him up all night drinking coffee and alcohol and smoking cigarettes and expect him to race the next day?" What about a ten dollar dog or a five dollar cat? Well, then, why do you do that to your billion dollar body?"
Coffee, soda pop and alcohol are probably the three most common drinks in our society and none of the three are particularly healthy. Limiting my caffeine intake to three cups of coffee a day has greatly reduced the amount of anxiety I experience while under stress. Since coffee stimulates our body to produce adrenaline, we become as addicted to adrenaline as we are to caffeine.
What we drink is as important as what we eat. Dr. Peter G. Hanson says in his book, The Joy of Stress, “I recommend (and drink) eight glasses of water a day. This is particularly important for anyone experiencing a lot of stress."
Exercise not an option. Inactivity kills. It stagnates the brain and poisons the body. This is not some philosophical concept. It is science and medical fact. The fittest generally live the longest and are the healthiest.
Regular and moderate exercise offers many benefits: a feeling of well-being, increased self-confidence, and reduced irritability and fatigue. Above all, research studies show that a person who exercises becomes noticeably healthier.
The more physically active a person is, the lower the risk of suffering a heart attack. Losing an uncle at 38 to a killer heart attack was enough to convince me! Exercise can also help relieve anxiety and tension found in high-pressure work or in challenging life circumstances.
For weight control, exercise offers a double benefit: it not only uses up calories directly, but extra calories continue to be burned up by the body up to 15 hours after the exercise. In general, exercise decreases appetite, helping the body to readjust food intake to energy expenditure.
With all the benefits of exercise, why are more people not doing it? I’ll tell you why. Because it’s easy to do and it’s even easier not to do!
Dr. Kenneth Cooper says that when you exercise, you activate the pituitary gland, flooding the system with endorphins, which are two hundred times more powerful than morphine. As a result, for the next one to three hours, your energy level is higher and your creativity is at its peak.
The Benefits of Exercising Are Many:
- It helps reduce tension, anxiety, depression and other symptoms of stress.
- It improves our ability to think and concentrate.
- It increases our energy level, making us feel great.
- It improves our endurance and the length of our life.
- It strengthens our cardiovascular system.
- It uplifts us mentally, helping us feel positive.
The key is to play hard physically if you want to work hard mentally yet not burn out. The harder I work with my mind, the more time I spend exercising.
Your exercise time can also be your time of solitude. However, if you have trouble with self-discipline, exercising with a buddy can provide the accountability you need. They can keep you going when you feel like stopping.
What will you do to begin the renewal of your mind and the the transformation of your body? Share your commitment with others here in the comments.