Defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” reaching optimal health is a multifaceted pursuit. To achieve our fullest health potential, it is important to acknowledge that each behavior, attitude and choice we make plays an integral role in our current health landscape. If we exercise daily but pollute our bodies with pessimistic thoughts and artificial foods, we will not be equipped to function at our highest capability. Cultivating and maintaining an abundant body requires both an awareness of our current situation and the follow-through needed to create change. You can take the same steps to building your health as you do in building your wealth. When it comes to boosting your wealth, you must first understand your current financial situation in order to progress. By making an honest assessment of the funds you currently have coming in and going out each month, you can garner a better idea of where you stand. Taking an inventory of the activities and behaviors you currently engage in to nurture your body will also help boost your awareness. Refining an awareness of your current habits will allow you to reach a level where you can assume responsibility for your health and attain your ideal physical destination. From the quality of rest you enjoy each night to the amount of water you drink to the ingredients found in the foods you eat, your health is influenced by your daily decisions. Sleep deprivation has been linked to negatively influencing digestion, the immune system, sexual desire and to suppressing growth hormones. Something as small as a few extra hours of sleep per night can do wonders for your overall health and well-being. Another area that can be overlooked in health maintenance is hydration. If your water consumption is not up to par with the recommended eight to ten glasses per day, your health could be suffering. A low water intake can result in headaches, heartburn, sore muscles, high blood pressure, kidney stones and fatigue. Help your body to stay strong by upping your daily intake. Exercise and nutrition have been championed for years for good reason. By integrating healthy, nutrient-rich foods into your diet, your health and well-being will experience a boost. A healthful approach to eating has the ability to reduce the risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers. While a balanced approach is best, you can turn to various foods for specific enhancements. Eating foods rich in fiber have been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Ingesting foods loaded with Vitamin C will strengthen teeth, gums and improve the immune system. If your diet is lacking proper nutrients, start small by integrating a few fruits and vegetables per day. Physical exercise is one of the most important components of your overall health. The benefits of exercise extend into both the physical and physiological realms. By exercising for at least thirty minutes, three to five times per week, you will be able to better maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, boost physiological well-being, strengthen the immune system and achieve a healthy weight. Other factors such as the joy you cultivate in your life, the lifestyles of the people you spend your time with, the energy of the relationships you keep, and the level of relaxation you enjoy will impact your health. Once you determine the areas you would like to improve upon, the next step is to find ways to reinforce and support your goals. While you may want to join a gym, visit a nutritionist, or enroll at a local yoga studio, maintaining optimal health does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of complimentary services just waiting to be discovered in your community. You can visit your local health food store for free nutritional advice—most have an on-staff supplemental expert who will readily share knowledge and resources. You can also visit peacefulmind.com to educate yourself further. A great online resource for outdoor enthusiasts can be found at localhikes.com. You can find scenic hikes in your area that will supplement your exercise regimen in new and inspiring ways. To increase your physiological well-being, search for “by donation” yoga and meditation groups in your neighborhood. By taking small steps each day to reach your ideal level of health, you will soon find yourself enjoying the rippled benefits of enhanced wellness.
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