February 8, 2011

bene-fit Answers: What IS Good Health, Anyway?

As you already know if you found your way to this blog, bene-fit is a health and wellness company specializing in personal training and fitness education for individuals and groups.  In short - we work to keep you healthy!

But what does "healthy" really mean?

To some, it means walking two miles a day - but to others, it might mean running a marathon per year, getting out of bed without pain each morning, or working a vegetable serving into each meal.  However, the folks over at Kaiser Permanente recently put together an easy guide to understanding the dimensions of this thing called "health" and offering some ways to optimize it in your own life.

First of all, they offer that good health is a process.  It is a pursuit, if you will, of "indulging in moderation in everything except laughter and love."  Easy enough, right?  But there's more:

Good health is being smart about sugar.  Diabetes is one of the number one risk factors for health problems and mobility limitations later in life, but if you are in control of cravings (an ounce of dark chocolate instead of a whole Snickers bar, for example), you can keep your blood sugars in the healthy range.

Good health is bending without breaking.  Even a midday stretch in your office is better than nothing - and a weekly yoga class is really something!  Hold stretches for 15-30 seconds per side and move through all your major muscle and joint groups, head to toe.

Good health is stopping to smell the roses.  Yep, they mean this literally - getting outdoors and limiting "indoor activity time" (think computers, video games, and TV) can reduce your risk of obesity and other diseases of a sedentary lifestyle.  Gardening, walking, and doing outdoor housework are all good options.

Good health is spring-cleaning your mind.  Do you keep a journal?  Write poetry?  Go to church?  Do puzzles?  Meditate?  All of these - and many more - are great opportunities to keep the mind fresh and the heart peaceful.  Try and identify one positive think in your life, and offer thanks for it, each day.

Good health is getting enough sleep.  Creating a cocoon of a bedroom - heavy shades, no TV, and no outside distractions - is both fun and a great move toward a solid night's sleep.  Move your books, work, kids, and pets outside the bedroom to ensure your nighttime routine goes to plan - and ends early!

Good health is skipping the sizzle.  You've heard it enough times to sing its tune-  sunscreen, sunscreen, SUNSCREEN!  Sure, we all need a daily dose of Vitamin D, but get regular skin exams and monitor any funny stuff on the outside - it could be a sign of serious stuff on the inside.

Good health is finding the right support.  Your closest inner circle says the most about who you are and what you value - so make sure to surround yourself with people who join you in making healthful choices and stay positive about your healthy lifestyle.  Life is too short to be dragged down by others!

Finally, good health comes one step at a time - and bene-fit means that literally!  As the old saying goes, "the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" - and bene-fit is here to help you make that step as easy and meaningful as possible.

Check out our services today for more information on how to make a powerful change in your health and fitness lifestyle, whether through personal training, endurance event training, yoga instruction or one of our group exercise opportunities, and start defining your version of "healthy" today!

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