I talk a lot about personal and professional growth. Taking action. Learning to trust yourself and the decisions that you make. Leading a motivating and inspired life. Discovering what energizes you and doing your best to stay on a path of emotional well-being.
And, on the flip side, not to buy into the hype on the social media frenzied spin-go-round where you can buy smoke and mirrors on every block.
And yet, in the face of all that, today I’m here to share more specifically about your well-being. My roots. The very foundation where everything else I’ve learned stemmed from.
To provide some context. For four decades after becoming an exercise physiologist, I studied with world experts in the areas of brain health, flexibility and functional movement, all aspects of fitness and performance, periodization, peak performance and marathon coaching, mindfulness, emotional well-being, active aging, chronic disease, obesity and weight management, nutrition and supplements, intermittent fasting, cold therapy, mental health, smoking cessation, Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide intervention. I’ve spoken and written about health, wellness and fitness, and resided on boards as an adviser to set policy for better health.
…. and why on earth did I feel the need to mention this?
Because despite ALL of this and the research I’ve read, we as humans are declining in our overall health and well-being, and quite frankly …
I’m a little discouraged.
Sure, in my little corner of the world, and immediate bubble of care, I’m thrilled to see that those who care about their health are taking action toward ensuring a better quality of life for themselves, and yet it’s a relatively small number.
Every time I read the facts and statistics about global health declining; I realize that in my perfect imagination every single human being should take actions toward leading a healthier quality of life. Did I mention that this resides only in my mind?
Imagine, and It’s not that farfetched. Prevention is the key to achieving health improvements. Just think if you made better health a priority. It would shift your thinking and actions from disease treatment to health promotion.
McKinsey Global Institute posted their report in July 2020; Prioritizing health: A prescription for prosperity
where their analysis showed that “investing in health can be a critical lever for future growth and an important part of the economic policy debate. Instead of thinking of health as a cost to society, focusing on health as an investment can deliver significant social and economic returns.”
We actually know this, and yet it takes effort on our part to decide that it’s important enough to want to take action. We tend not to, why? It’s not easy. It’s tough to get motivated and out of bed, let alone get a sweat on.
Did you know that when someone starts to talk about exercise, eating healthier, getting enough sleep most people start to tune out? It’s true. And yet all ears are perked when you read about anti-aging.
How can you turn this around? Take something for example that you struggle with and add one of your strengths to make the activity or task more tolerable, even fun for that matter!
Let’s say you dread exercise, and/or find any excuse not to do it. One of your strengths is that you love to lead and facilitate. Gather some people together (virtually or outdoors) and ask someone, who enjoys exercise, to guide the workout. Make it social.
When you put accountability around something, it tends to stick. It’s not easy getting started but I can absolutely say, based on my experience, that you will start to get into a groove.
This applies to other areas of your life. You know, or I hope you know, that leading a healthier life would prove beneficial to overall well-being and yet getting started can seem daunting. When that happens, take one of your strengths and wrap it around something that you find difficult to do. Rally people around it and make it fun. I say ‘make’ it fun because it actually takes work to get there when you’re not (fully) on board.
Try not to think too much about it and (just) GO!