Morning! I thought I'd share part of my response to one of the essay questions on my Clinical Somatics Educator Program application. The directions read: Give a description of your state of health and overall bodily competence. As part of your statement, 1) give your definition of what you understand as “health,” and 2) describe what you do to maintain your state of health.
As a personal trainer and health coach, I’m pretty sure my definition of “health” differs from that of the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization or my fellow fitness professionals. The desire in our culture to stay young (which many translate to mean “healthy”) has become a multi-billion dollar industry. But to me, being healthy comes from within, and is a state of mind that keeps us feeling young and, therefore, healthy.
To be truly healthy, one must look inside oneself to maintain/recapture the vitality, enthusiasm, exploration, movement and desire to learn that we were all born with and exhibited in our youth. Babies and children take things slowly, have dreams and are creative. They are aware of what’s going on within and outside their bodies, and they do things with intention. No amount of supplements, drugs or potions can recapture youth because you can’t bottle a child’s perspective.
For many, growing up means growing still and set in their ways. They develop faulty habits. They lose their sense of wonder. They’d never want to admit they don’t know something for fear of it being a weakness rather than an opportunity to learn and explore.
So, how do I maintain the kid in me to maintain my health?
- While kids don’t think in terms of moving their bodies in different planes, I incorporate plenty of natural movement such as walking, swimming, hula hooping, playing soccer with my dog, dancing around the house, and jogging.
- My husband and I intentionally live in the Pacific Northwest and chose desk-free professions that keep us active and outdoors as much as possible.
- I predominately eat whole foods and home cook my meals. But I also figure stress is more likely to negatively effect my body than the occasional “bad” treat. Everything in moderation.
- I try to be an active part of my community. I started neighborhood walks and a crafting group, and I volunteer weekly at my local library.
- I try to use technology as it was intended—to help me in my tasks, not to consume all my time and attention.
- I enjoy creative hobbies in which I “lose myself” and my sense of time when I’m on a roll. I love to study and learn new things.
- I value quality sleep, as well as alone time and quiet time.
- I listen to and work with my body when I have a pain or injury instead of turning to medications.
- I laugh a lot and try not to let things out of my control stress me out.
What's your definition of "healthy"? What do you do, or want to do, to stay healthy and happy?