What Does "Healthy" Mean Anyway?

One weekend my brother and his girlfriend were at my house. We were cooking up some fabulous, healthy meals. As we prepared dinner one night he said, "You guys are so good about eating mindfully." His girlfriend, who puts salt on her butter and butter on her filet mignon, snapped, "We are healthy, too." That was a true statement, as far as we know. She and my brother were, and still are, "healthy."

They were also in their mid-twenties.

Call me crazy, but I don't think it is that hard to be "healthy" in your twenties. You just haven't had much time to see the negative effects of your actions. Case in point: my husband was a sun worshiper as a teenager and swam on his college and high school swimming teams. Guess what? He was diagnosed with melanoma at 45. It took decades for his bad habits to catch up with him.

I think it is safe to assume that too much mindless eating and too little exercise would catch up with you as well.

Do you think you are healthy? If you answered yes, is it because you are thin? Is it because you exercise? Is it because you believe you eat well? Is it because you go to the doctor regularly? How do you know?

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently published an article about the aging process. It said that 30% of the process is genetic while 70% is in our control. That leaves a lot up to us, and I am surprised that this is not a huge motivator to more people. To me, it is not just how long I and my family members live, but the quality of our lives that keeps me focused on "health."

So what do I do?

I stay abreast of the latest nutrition trends. I look at the big picture and try not to be wowed by the latest diets. (Actually, this is not always that hard. Have you heard of the Alternate Day Fast diet, otherwise known as ADF? I don't think so).

I exercise to feel good, look great, and function optimally in daily activities. I do cardio to strengthen my heart. I do Pilates to maintain and improve balance, muscular function, agility, posture, and bone health.

I know you may feel like you don't have time for exercise or cooking, but really. Shouldn't your health be at the top of your list? You don't want to be that granny who can't get out of the armchair to enjoy her grandkids...

Popular Posts