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Improve Your Health: Things that actually work.



First, what is health? What does that mean?


Old school terminology suggests it’s one of these:


‘Health is the absence of any disease or impairment’


‘health is a state that allows the individual to adequately cope with all demands of daily life’


‘health is a state of balance, an equilibrium that an individual has established within himself and between himself and his social and physical environment’


These are all flawed in different ways.


I like this idea proposed by Huber et al. (2011) a bit more:


“Health is the ability to adapt and self-manage in the face of physical, emotional, and social challenges”

All in all the term ‘health’ is a dodgy topic that most definitely gets misconstrued on social media.


If someone tells you something ‘improves your health’ you should ask them ‘What do you mean by that?’ and follow up with ‘so how does product/ modality/ lifestyle change X improve my health in relation ta that definition?’.


The image above presents a few factors that I believe are important for working towards or maintaining a state of biological, psychological and social wellbeing.


- BMI & waist measurement. BMI alone is of questionable use but combined with waist measurement is a useful indicator of someone’s risk level for many disease states. See the NHS reference below for how to take your waist measurement and calculate BMI.


- Regular exercise that’s a mix of both cardio and resistance training. Swipe left to see the AHA guidelines for adults.


- Aiming to consume 25-35g fibre per day from wholegrain, fruits and vegetables.


- Aiming to consume 5+ fruits and vegetables per day to achieve vitamin and mineral RDIs and contribute towards fibre intake.


- Learning about calorie intake and the nutrient composition of foods via a method of logging and assessing food intake (app, food diary, meal planning).


- Falling asleep quickly and sleeping 7-8 hours per night.Forming and maintaining meaningful interpersonal relationships.


- Managing or minimising life stressors.


These things will have a more meaningful impact on health long term than any supplement, fad diet, single food item or group, specific exercise or program etc. will.


Your time is precious, stop spending it googling the alkaline diet and listening to quackology from the medical medium et al. and start giving it to the things that matter.


References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2080455/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51523299_How_should_we_define_health

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/

https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/