“A Generation of Excuses”

“A Generation of Excuses”
By: Alesia Antoine

The theme for the current generation seems to be dependence. Nicotine dependence, sugar dependence, dependence on medication, increasing technologies and television shows—too often we hear “I don’t know what I would do without…” .We seem to forget that not too long ago, humans were healthy, strong people who did not rely on frozen dinners and computers, smart phones and washing machines. Sometimes, putting a little time into a health conscious lifestyle can mean the difference between living a happy healthy life of 80+ years or living a short miserable life—dying at 40 and instilling the same fate upon future generations.

Thankfully there are many simple things that can be done to promote a holistic well being and start a trend that will not only increase your value of life, but that of your posterity. Three simple aspects of health that can prove to be very beneficial are: exercise, good nutrition and the importance of a clean and healthy environment. These are the basic steps that can result in a happier and healthier you, which can increase not only your longevity but your quality of life as well. As you implement these three things, you will find that your self-awareness will increase and you will be able to determine what other positive changes you need to apply in order to improve your personal health.

The first step to increasing your health and happiness is exercise. Although this is very cliché, it is unavoidably true. While not everyone is a runner, it is easy to find things that you like to do that also involve physical exertion that can qualify as exercise. For example, going shopping requires physical exertion, walking your dog; you can join a zumba or spinning class. The difference is if you move at a moderate pace, and focus on improving your health, then you will have greater success. Exercise not only helps to keep the walls of your blood vessels clear of buildup and helps your blood flow properly, but it helps to reduce anxiety and cope with stress in a positive way. Simple ways to begin this step are to park further away from your destination in the parking lot. Not only is it easier to find parking (saving you the anxiety of searching for one) you can now walk briskly into the store or your job and get a bit of exercise in.

The second step to improving your quality of life is to think about what you are eating. I have met many women who complain about not being able to lose weight, but they eat every 20 minutes. These women are dependent on eating! The most important aspect of eating is self -awareness. You need to know WHY you are eating, and how much. I stop eating when I am no longer hungry. I avoid nervous eating and snacking. Snacking is also an important part of being healthy. There are so many healthy foods in the world that are not manmade. Try to eat a cup full of cranberries, they have cancer fighting abilities and promote urinary health. Strawberries and yogurt have positive effects on teeth and gastrointestinal health respectively. Drinking diet sodas is not a way to lead a healthy lifestyle, as a matter of fact, switching from soda to water or green tea can add years to your life. In the 50’s women were healthy because they made their own food and knew what went into it. Obviously these foods are unavoidable, but to eat them in moderation is the key. If you take your vitamins in the morning, and eat a proper breakfast, you will not need to snack throughout the day. Take the time to prepare meals, and include a green vegetable with dinner. Simple changes like these can help you control your cholesterol and blood pressure, which can prevent future heart attacks.

The final step to the beginning of your healthful journey through life is to change your environment to a healthy one. Free yourself of clutter. Cleaning and dusting can give you a new lease on life, help you to discover things that you have forgotten about yourself and raise your morale to new heights. Dust and allergens are hidden in messy houses, along with microbes that would be terrifying if they were visible on a macroscopic scale. Pay attention to your air vents and prevent mold from growing in your home. Do not clean with toxic materials. These can cause phthalates to build up in your blood vessels and result in irreversible problems. Taking pride in your home will translate to taking pride in your body, resulting in a clean happy home and a healthier you.

Although these steps may prove to be difficult at first, these simple changes in lifestyle can help you to become the person you have always wanted to be. People fail to realize the body is a system, and if one area fails, it leads to failure of the other parts as well. Health not only has a physical aspect but a spiritual one as well. Being open minded towards changes and accepting life as it comes can help to improve your health and well being. Taking time to deal with anxiety is an important aspect to leading a holistic lifestyle and embracing a healthier way of living. With more energy, and a freedom from dependence on the things that enslave you, your life can finally become your own. You can be free from a sedentary lifestyle and truly live a long healthy life to the fullest.