How Healthy Are You Really? 8 Signs Of Good Health
Do you consider yourself to be healthy?
When I ask that question I inevitably hear a resounding yes from the crowd.
But then let me ask you this…
What is the definition of the term ‘healthy”?
Read more to find out so you know if you need to address your health…
What does healthy really mean to you?
Most probably say something like…
“It’s not being sick”.
We determine our health by measures of being NOT healthy. Even Wikipedia defines healthy as “the state of being free from illness or injury”
I increasingly witness people around me who claim to be healthy but they are constantly catching colds, look frail and weak, they’re tired and take medication or pain killers daily.
So it got me thinking, are we really that healthy after all?
Lets look at the overall health of Australians for example…
- 1 in 4 Australians are deficient in Vitamin D
- 1 in 5 experience symptoms of IBS such as bloating, diarrhea and cramps
- 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 12 children are obese (That’s 3 million people)
- Diabetes is heavily on the rise
- 1 in 10 Australians report depression and anxiety symptoms in the severe to extremely severe range
- 742,000 medicines were dispensed last year
- Fewer than 1 in 10 Aussies aged 12 and over eat the recommended servings of vegetables
- Almost 60% of Australians don’t get enough physical activity
It’s predicted that by 2025, 83% of men and 75% of women will be overweight or obese
So hold the phone, how can it be that we are all healthy?!
Healthy up until the point that we have a heart attack maybe. Is that what we mean?
Healthy but stressed out, suffering depression, overweight, popping pills and exhausted. Yeah, healthy…
Well this made me question how we truly define ‘healthy” in the first place. I took it upon myself to build a summary of criteria that one could use to assess the state of their health (and you helped me to collate the criteria).
This is what we came up with.
YOU ARE HEALTHY IF YOU...
1. Energy Levels
You wake up feeling rested, nearly bouncing out of bed ready to take on the world. Your energy levels get you through your day without much struggle (and without a massive afternoon dip into lethargy) and come evening you start to unwind feeling more relaxed and tired and ready for bed as the light begins to fade.
2. Mood & Mental State
You have stable moods (yes even at that time of month ladies). You feel happy and positive most of the time with a general easygoing outlook on life. You don’t get uptight for no or little reason and your stress levels aren’t anything to write home about. If you do have a bad day, or feel sad for any reason, you talk with your family or friends and openly communicate with them about it. You have a general passion for life and challenge yourself each day to be a better person in every aspect of your life.
3. Digestive State
You visit the loo at least once a day (for number 2’s – and they resemble a sausage shape, smooth and soft) and you very rarely suffer from any bloating, constipation, flatulence or diarrhoea. You don’t suffer from food sensitivities, or if you do they are well managed and you don’t indulge in those foods. You also make an effort to heal your gut using probiotics and fermented foods and sometimes play in the dirt to aid your gut bug diversity.
You get 8 hours of sleep minimum a night. You go to bed easily and sleep a deep sleep and wake up feeling rested, not relying on stimulants such as coffee, coke or energy drinks to get you through your day.
5. Physical Appearance
You are a healthy weight and manage to stay at that weight, without fluctuating. You look fit, healthy and have clear skin, with shiny hair and strong nails. You get a regular dose of sunlight and therefore vitamin D.
You eat a diversity of real foods (preferably picked from the ground or sourced from a local farmer) with a diet consisting mostly of a diverse selection of vegetables (especially the green ones). If you are a woman, you eat about a palmful of protein at every meal, two if you are a man. You eat some fruit and limit sugars. You avoid food that comes in packages and toxins such as drugs, alcohol, any high allergy foods such as gluten, and never smoke. You eat fat. Yes, full fat (not that processed sugary, chemical shit storm they call “low fat”).
You don’t count calories, follow restrictive meal plans, or binge eat and you aren’t obsessive with food or have insatiable cravings. You don’t take regular antibiotics, pain meds or rely on supplements to keep you “healthy”.
7. Sex & Relationships
Sex. You have it. Regularly. You have a strong desire for sex and intimacy with your partner (and yourself). Your libido requires a good service at least a few times a week and you work hard to ensure you give and take on a well balanced scale.
You spend good quality time with positive people who make your day better. You are constantly expanding your circles by meeting new people and interacting with various groups and your local community.
8. Active Living
You spend more time outdoors enjoying nature than on the couch or behind your desk and easily spend more time living actively and talking to your partner or family, than on your phone or your iPad. You hike, play sport, hit the gym, walk or you undertake a variety of activities that have you moving at least 3/4 of your waking hours.
So let me ask you the question again, this time using the criteria we have outlined above…
Are you really healthy?
Healthy living takes effort and consistency. We should be evolving and thriving everyday, always pushing ourselves to be better and stronger, healthier and happier. Every. Single. Day. Of our lives. Even if work is one of the most important things in your life, you still need to invest in yourself because without your health, you have nothing.
What if you don’t fit the perfect health picture?
I assume most of us wouldn’t so we just do the best we can. Find out what foods you should be eating more of and what foods you should avoid. Hire a nutritionist to review your food diary. And stop playing it safe with your meals, always buying the same packaged food that you know isn’t good for you. Expect more for yourself and never settle for being unhealthy or unhappy.
And finally, eating a diversity of real food will bring healthy rewards including a thriving gut flora. Make them happy, we are well on our way to them making us happy too!
Have I missed something that you consider vital to good health? Lets make this list even longer shall we! Drop me a line and let me know what you think…