By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Do you know what the most common New Year’s Resolution is year after year? Consistently, it is some version of getting healthier like to diet or eat healthier, exercise more, and lose weight. This may not come as a surprise to you as it may be or has been on your own list.
But, here’s a better question for you. Have you ever stopped to think why health is so important? Here’s why! Health is one of the foundational or basic needs of life along with shelter, food, clothing, safety, and financial stability. These basic needs must be filled and replenished regularly for a stable, stress-free, sustainable life. Like building a house, once you have a stable foundation you can start building up; start building before you have a solid foundation and your walls come crumbling down. That’s why health is so important; it is the foundation of the life you can lead, not the life you want to lead or dream of leading.
Here is the truth, ready or not. If you do not have your health, nothing else matters.
Did you catch that? Your health determines if you can live the life you want. Want the energy to play at the park with your kids? Want to coach your kids? Want to play a sport yourself? Want to run a 5K, 10K, half marathon? Want to walk around Italy with your partner or friends? The list is endless, right? But, you catch my drift. To do all the things you want to do, all those things from everyday life to bucket list dreams, you need to be healthy enough to do them. I am not talking so that you can just enjoy them, I mean so that you can actually do them at all. When your health is in jeopardy, you may literally be prevented from doing the things you want to do, either self-limited or limited by a medical professional. Or, you might be limited in how much or how well you can perform; or, let’s be real, you might be so sore or stiff afterwards that it takes you days to recover from the activity. I don’t know about you, but living a life of limitations is NOT on my agenda.
Reclaiming your health is the most important thing you can do for yourself now and your future self, for those you love, for your life. It will not matter the house you have, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, the vacations you take if you ignore taking care of your health. And, moms, you are not only reclaiming your own health but you are also reclaiming the health of your family. Why? Because you are molding, and literally feeding (lol), the next generation of adults. Reclaiming your health with not only change the outcomes of your generation but will also impact future generations. This is the legacy that you can help build, one amazing, healthy kid at a time.
Have you ever stopped to think of that? The word legacy brings to mind something that lives on past you, that is left for future generations. This isn’t just about you! Your children learn many of their behaviors from you. If you demonstrate healthy choices, your children will learn these as well. Raising our children to be healthy from the start means they will not need to waste time or energy relearning behaviors and habits. What is a better legacy than teaching your children about health so they can teach their children and their children’s children? That is an extremely empowering realization on health.
I will be the first to admit healthy habits have not always come easy, and I am a nurse practitioner with a background in cardiac surgery. Talk about seeing what poor health choices over time can do! To top it off, my father had significant heart disease at an early age; he had an emergency quadruple bypass surgery at age 46 and narrowly missed a fatal heart attack (more to come on this in February, which is heart disease awareness month).
Heart disease is very prevalent in my family, especially in the men. With the knowledge I know now, my father’s heart disease started many years before it was discovered. Chances are his heart disease could have been delayed or maybe even prevented if he would have made healthier choices starting in his childhood. I have two sons and a daughter, and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle not only for myself but also for them has never been more apparent. I have struggled myself with making healthy choices at times; I am right in the trenches with you on this, busy moms! But, if I could prevent my children, my sons and daughter as well as my future grandchildren and great grandchildren, from going through open heart surgery at a young age, that is all the motivation I need to keep trying and improving my efforts and teaching my kids.
One more quick truth bomb, my busy moms. Some of you might be thinking, we already eat healthy or I am at my ideal weight or there isn’t heart disease in my family like you. When we think of health, we often go to what those common New Year’s resolutions focus on...diet, exercise, losing weight. And, yes, these are important parts of good health. However, these are only 1 of the 3 pieces that combine to create your health.
Health is made of three components, your mind, your body, and your soul or self. The nutrition and exercise piece falls under body but to have complete health, you need to also work on your mind and self. Have you ever failed at your exercise or dieting or healthy eating goals? I am willing to bet it is because you neglected to work on the mind and self pieces. You are not alone; I have also been there! Make sure to work on your mind, particularly your mindset, and your self, especially how you deal with stress and making time for self-care, as you work on the healthy eating and exercise part. Teaching your children how to be healthy in all these areas will serve them, and your future legacy, in infinite ways!
We never want to leave you hanging! Check out some easy tips tomorrow on the SoulShine Life Connections Facebook and Instagram pages for tips to start you and your family on a complete health journey. And, stay tuned for future posts that will dive deeper into creating your health legacy.
P.S. Have a topic you would like us to cover? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.