Health is our most valuable asset. It determines the quality of life, work, success and relationships. Health also becomes the first culprit of frenzied lives and misplaced priorities. Good health is a life-long commitment that calls for strict adherence to certain commandments or rules for a healthy and long life.
Food is the fuel that drives the body to optimum performance. Well balanced meals, taken in the right proportion and at least thrice a day, ensure that the body gets the myriad minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates needed for optimal performance. Breakfast is an absolute necessity to jump-start the metabolism for the day, followed by lunch between 12 noon and 2pm, and a light supper after 6.00 pm. One should also drink adequate water as it removes unwanted toxins from the body, purifies the blood and boosts the digestive process.
Physical exercise is necessary for the harmonious functioning of the heart, brain and other vital organs in the body. It keeps the body in shape, helps in maintaining optimal weight and thus pre-empts the growing malaise of obesity, depression, hypertension and other life-style diseases. Physical exercise contributes to a good night’s sleep, leading to higher alertness, energy and concentration during the day. The best time to exercise is four to six hours before bedtime. Mental exercise is also of crucial importance. Reading, solving puzzles, playing music and learning new languages keep the brain healthy, prevent memory loss and sharpen thinking.
Sleep is vital to good physical and mental health. There are many instances when a difficult task seems simple after a good night’s sleep and we get out of bed with an answer to a hitherto insurmountable problem. A consistent sleep schedule is a critical part of good sleep. Sleeping and waking up at the same time each day eases the body into a rhythm of adequate sleep and rejuvenated wakefulness. Curtailing the use of electronic gadgets, especially in the bedroom, help in establishing a sleep routine. Choosing appropriate mattresses and knowing the beds to avoid further enhances the sleep experience. Six to eight hours of sleep a day is invigorating and advisable for every adult. Sleep should be complemented with adequate mental rest during the day and meditation is one of the best ways to nourish the mind.
Strong relationships set the perfect tone for a healthy lifestyle. Emotional bonding provides a huge boost to personal health and well-being. Nurturing satisfying relationships with family and friends is the time-tested path to a happy, healthy and long life. On the other hand, limited social ties are associated with depression, cognitive decline and rise in mortality levels. And by bearing grudges against others, one wastes immense amount of time and energy, loses sleep and injures personal health.
To conclude, in the words of World Health Organization, health encompasses total physical, mental and social well-being. It is up to each individual to cultivate healthy habits and enjoy great health.