Food is a hallmark of the holiday season. We sit around the table, poised to dive into tempting treats, as soon as we have offered thanks.
While we eat, or after we have consumed a great meal, we talk about our comfortable homes, or new jobs, or the chance to spend time with family.
We are being thankful, we think. Being thankful means pausing to think about what is important in our lives as well as why these things are important.
Yet how many of us give thanks for our health? Being healthy extends beyond not having the sniffles.
Perhaps being healthy means that you are able to get up and move around after experiencing a broken leg. If you take that thought one step further, it also means that you are able to take a stroll with loved ones after dinner. It could mean that this year you push yourself to beat your personal record in an upcoming road race or that you enjoy dancing with friends over the weekend.
Maybe your good health is defined by a new pair of eyeglasses. Of course, your gratitude is not really about the eyeglasses themselves. It’s about the fact that you can read a book, see your granddaughter’s smile, and drive a car. It’s about luxuriating in the colors of fall and the twinkle of holiday lights.
Perhaps good health means that your little boy is no longer suffering from croup. Today, he’s outside tossing a football with his buddy, and you can hear his giggle. He’s back to gym class now and able to keep up with the other kids. You feel a break from the worry.
Of course, it’s important to keep good health in mind year-round. To maintain your good health, practice good self-care habits, such as:
- Schedule routine checkups. Make an appointment for a checkup with your family practice doctor to get answers to your health care questions.
- Schedule eye appointments. Even if you currently have no problems with your vision, it’s important to visit the eye doctor periodically. This gives the doctor a chance to observe any changes to your sight over time.
- Exercise. From weight loss to stress reduction, the health benefits of exercise are numerous. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an average adult should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.
- Stay hydrated. It will keep you feeling refreshed and more alert. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, consider carrying a bottle with you throughout the day or keeping a large cup on your desk at work.
- Get your rest. Sleep is your body’s chance to restore itself, and its benefits are numerous. From improved mood to better mental processing to decreased risk for a variety of serious health problems, a good night’s rest is key to your health.
- Meditate. We all know that stress has negative health consequences, so use meditation to help reduce your stress level.
Good health is an expansive idea. It definitely means addressing uncomfortable medical symptoms, but it also means taking care of yourself throughout the year so you can embrace life and all it has to offer on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.
As we at AFC/Doctors Express Memphis extend our tidings to you for a happy and healthy holiday season, we hope that you will reflect on your own health and the ways in which it allows you to create a vibrant rewarding life.