Happy Holidays! It is at this time of year that we celebrate life with great hope and faith. People of many faiths take time to reflect, respect, and resolve. Christians celebrate Christmas, the miraculous birth of Christ, the Son of God, and the Messiah. Jews celebrate Chanukah, the miraculous festival of lights, when one night’s oil provided enough light and safety for 8 nights. Both major faiths promote healthy lifestyles for the mind, body and spirit. These faiths are grounded in hope, faith, love and peace. It is no surprise that studies repeatedly demonstrate that people of faith outlive those without!
With this in mind, I purport, that to be truly healthy, one must have faith because complete health is multidimensional. Socrates preached this message to his students thousands of years before Christ. One must have a healthy mind, which requires intellectual stimulation with attainable goals related to education and intellect. One must have a healthy body by eating well, engaging in physical activity and have attainable goals related to his/her body. Likewise, one must have a healthy spirit with faith, hope, prayer and meditation, comrades and counsel, and set attainable spiritual goals.
TIPS FOR MIND-BODY-SPIRIT BALANCE
Each day make time to engage in all of these healthy behaviors…
- Take Time to Quiet Your Mind and Meditate: According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, meditation is described as a state of restful awareness in which your body is resting deeply while your mind is awake though quiet.
- Recent studies show that meditation has multiple benefits: lower blood pressure, reduces anxiety, with less depression, insomnia, addictive behaviors and heart disease.
- Make Time for Restful Sleep: In our culture, lack of sleep and working overtime is a “badge of honor.” However, adequate sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Overtime, lack of sleep contributes to a weak immune system, fatigue, irritability, depression, weight gain, and inability to handle stress.
- Eat a Healthy Diet: With Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
- One cannot have a healthy mind or body without a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet (high in fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, with fresh fish and low in red meat and saturated fats) has been highly regarded for its health benefits. Also, some experts like Deepak Chopra, purport the use of astringent tastes for good health for anti-inflammatory and increase in metabolism properties. Some examples include: radishes, ginger, mustard, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tea, lentils, and lettuce
- Move Your Body: Engage in Exercise.
- The benefits of exercise are endless. Researchers have found that the benefits of regular physical activity are numerous. Some of the more important benefits are:
- Loss or Maintained Body Weight
- Reduces LDL /Raises HDL Cholesterol
- Improves Circulation and Blood Pressure
- Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
- Prevents Bone Loss
- Reduces Stress/Muscle Tension
- Lowers Risk of Depression
- Improves Sleep Pattern
- Improves Strength and Flexibility
- Improves Balance/Reduces Risk of Falls
- Improves Immune System
- Improves Pain Threshold: Physical activity is one of the most important factors in improving a lifestyle in a positive way. But, it does not have to be complicated. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity, 3-5 days per week will many positive effects on your body.
- Establish and Maintain Loving Relationships: There is no substitute for the love and support of family and friends and the mental and physical health benefits are many. They offer a place of refuge with unconditional love and support in times of need. They are good advisors and have your best interests in mind. If you are lucky enough to have such relationships, treasure them, don’t take them for granted, nurture them!
- Belly-Laugh: Science has shown that laughing, especially deep belly laughing, releases hormones which boost your immune system similar to the endorphins and serotonin released with exercise. It is one of the benefits of spending time with people with positive energy. They celebrate life, have a good sense of humor and uplift everyone they encounter.
SOURCES: Deepak Chopra, is an Indian-American author, public speaker and physician who is considered a “new age guru on alternative medicine.” www.deepakchopra.com
Read Dr. Mackarey’s Health & Exercise Forum – Every Monday in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.