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Are people placing a higher value on health and wellness than on material luxury these days?
It wasn't long ago that billionaire Jack Ma stood up at his company's Gateway Summit and talked about the growing health craze among people today.
"Today, people want to be healthy and happy, no matter who they are," he said. "Owning the most expensive or the latest goods has taken a back seat to looking good and feeling good. More people are showing an increasing preference for participating in activities and indulging in experiences that promote their well-being—and sharing those experiences with their friends."
Where once the definition of health was merely the absence of disease, today it has evolved into meaning something more. Health and wellness are now about taking an active approach to staying fit and maintaining a balanced lifestyle—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is the pursuit of optimal health that involves the whole person.
When you hear the word optimal, you may associate it with the word perfect.
While no one has perfect health, the trend is to define what optimal means for you.
Like with most things, Hollywood has led the charge in making optimal health a greater focus. Celebrities are often seen speaking up for significant health issues and supporting health and wellness campaigns.
Beyoncé has millions of followers who love her music, but she also inspires her fans with her commitment to a vegan lifestyle. For decades, action star Chuck Norris has been the ninja of helping people achieve greater fitness from their own home. And Kate Hudson's activewear line is stylish and comfortable, and also gives her a stage to show how an active lifestyle can be trendy and cool.
Millennials are leading the way in making optimal health a top priority. Many of them are also taking to social media to show that anyone can make optimal health a priority by:
- Participating in fitness classes
- Engaging in activities that improve well-being.
- Using devices and apps for tracking goals.
- Eating more organic and natural food.
- Taking a variety of health supplements.
But older adults won't be outdone by their younger counterparts. Their focus shifts slightly toward "healthy aging." Their version of optimal health includes a quest for good health, longevity, independence, and active retirement.
Regardless of age, people who wish to lead a wellness-oriented lifestyle care most about issues of nutrition, fitness, and stress management.
There are many obstacles you may face if you're thinking about taking your health more seriously. Here are some of the reasons people cite for not feeling like they can achieve optimal health.
I have a chronic health condition.
While there is no cure for most chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and asthma, you can still keep things under control. Living a healthier lifestyle can reduce your risk of serious complications from your condition. Many symptoms of chronic diseases can improve with weight loss, activity, and proper nutrition. Taking even small steps toward prioritizing your health puts you in a position of control.
Also, if you're at high risk of developing a chronic health condition, you aren't reading this article by accident. By changing your habits of health now, the odds are excellent that you can get yourself out of the danger zone. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
I have bad habits I can't change.
Habits are to our health as rails are to trains. They are what take us where we're going. As years of poor nutrition, lack of activity, and excess pounds stack up, you drive farther and farther in the wrong direction. Allowing that kind of slow, steady damage to your body sets the stage for disease. Don't wait until you get warnings from your doctor. Make changes now that will make you feel better every day while protecting your future health.
I am too old to start now.
Not to be cliché, but you are only as old as you feel. Taking steps toward health goals will enable you to start feeling better. And the better you feel, the younger you'll feel. I stopped by the local YMCA the other day, and there was a gym full of senior citizens doing a Silver Sneakers class. Most of them were sitting in chairs, using flexible bands for strength training. Those who could stand were on their feet. Some were using a chair for balance. 100 percent of them showed up.
I already feel pretty healthy.
Don't rest on your laurels. Go for the optimal health "gold" by trying new fitness activities, increasing the variety of fruits and vegetable you eat, and being a good role model for those around you. Ask yourself if your fitness routine is well-rounded—do you need to add strength training, stretching, or balance exercises? Look for little nutritional tweaks like eating more whole foods, and fewer products made with chemicals.
You may never be able to afford a Ferrari—or even want you, for that matter—but you can have something that is infinitely more valuable. Your health. Think for a minute about how you would define your optimal health for yourself.
Then, set your own health goals based on the lifestyle you can maintain. If it makes you a little healthier, makes you feel better, and is sustainable, then go for it!
What weight is comfortable for you?
What healthy foods can you eat and consistently make a part of your daily routine?
How much physical activity is practical for you to accomplish in a week?
How muscular do you want to be and how much time can you commit to weight lifting?
What steps do you need to take to keep your skin and hair healthy?
Take just one step today that will allow you to be a more optimal YOU.
Start by scheduling a free telehealth consultation with our trained medical professionals. It's easy, and you don't even have to leave your home. We will ask you a set of questions that our medical team has put in place to provide you with the best care and treatment options possible. Then, one of our U.S. licensed doctors will review your information.
You're only a few questions away from better health!