According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. However, the organisation considers one third of the population to be unhealthy because they die before 75 years of age.
Also, nearly 1 in 5 Australians (4.5 million people out of a population of 25 million) have a disability and 1 in 3 of those people have a profound disability.
Yet many of those disabilities, which are a result of diseases such as some cancers, coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity disorders and mental health problems, are preventable and the result of lifestyle choices.
Also, many people who do manage to live to 75 experience poor health and are taking a range of medications to keep them alive, which frequently cause side-effects and reduce their quality of life.
Answer these questions:
• Is your diet promoting or detracting from your health?
• Do you spend more money on your health than on your car?
• Are you spending more time at the gym or exercising than watching television?
• What work do you do on your mental health every day?
• How dedicated are you to your health?
• Do you have love in your life?
Everything you put in your mouth either promotes or detracts from your health.
The problem is that we are so bombarded by advertising and propaganda put out by food manufacturers that most people do not know the difference between healthy eating and junk food.
Of course, the government tells you to eat healthily, but then takes taxes from and supports companies that make food that is slowly killing you.
Television, computers, cars, houses, holidays, family expenses and utility bills may swallow up your income and you may be managing the budget the best that you can. You may also be working yourself hard to pay for those expenses, but for a person who wants to live a long and healthy life, your first investment is in creating a life that allows you to be healthy.
You live in your body all of your life. It needs maintenance and exercise, even if you are in a wheelchair, and like any machine, you either use it or lose it.
For most people, not using their body and exercising it is a form of self-abuse or negligence. Like any machine, when you service it regularly, it works better.
Mental health is not free either, and like the body, exercising your mind creates better function.
Learning new things and engaging in thoughtful processes improves our mental health all of the time and should be practised each day including meditation, self-hypnosis, visualisation or prayer.
People who live to over 100 nearly always have a dedication to their healthy lifestyle.
What they create is routine in the way that they live through many different health-promoting activities each day. It is part of the structure of the way they live and they do not make excuses such as not feeling like taking care of themselves on particular days.
Finally, studies have shown that people with love in their lives tend to have better health.
The source of that love does not make difference as it could be from partners, relative, friends in the community, interaction with animals or from yourself; it still initiates good emotional experiences which seem to promote better physical and mental health.
So to create and maintain health you need to take charge of your own life and make changes by becoming more fit and healthy.
To get help from a naturopath and mental health professional who walks her talk, call my clinic to book your naturopathy appointment on 02 8021 6429.