Optimal health requires a balance that comprises the whole person.
When you hear the word optimal, you may associate it with the word perfect.
I think you’ll agree that no one has perfect health.
But optimal is different from perfect, and it all depends on the person.
Keep reading to find out exactly what optimal health really means and how you can achieve it!
What is Optimal Health?
Many health professionals’ metrics on how they judge your well-being may be very different.
As a result, their path to optimal health generally differs.
If you consult an internist, he or she might consider optimal health as weighted against a person’s age and sex.
A 21-year-old male’s optimal weight, blood pressure, muscle mass, and percentage of body fat are very different than those of a 60-year-old woman.
The internist may recommend changes in diet, exercise, and social behavior, such as not drinking or smoking, as a pathway to better health.
For a chiropractor, the reference point for optimal health may be focused on a person’s spinal alignment and posture.
Chiropractors see a person’s spinal alignment as integral to the health of the entire body.
The chiropractor’s solution would probably focus on physical adjustments of the body to align the spine to reduce pain and allow the body’s natural healing mechanisms to bring about optimal health.
A nutritionist may base a person’s optimal health on their blood levels for various nutrients and toxins.
The nutritionist may focus on eliminating refined foods, drastically revising the patient’s diet, and recommending supplements to replace certain nutrients that the patient’s body may be deficient in.
Each of the suggestions described above can benefit the patient in some way, but who’s right, and what’s best for you?
The answer is there is no right answer.
Optimal health depends on the individual needs, desires, and goals of any given person.
So, it’s up to you to decide what optimal health looks like for you and find the right balance.
How do You Achieve Optimal Health?
The real question is, how much effort are you willing to put forth to achieve your optimal health?
We all know someone who has started an exercise program or diet to improve their health.
Some have succeeded, but most have not.
Someone who is generally healthy but slightly overweight may see the path to optimal health as exercising more and watching what they eat.
For someone who is suffering from a chronic condition or disease their health goal might just be freedom from pain.
Obtaining optimal health as defined by various health experts may not be practical or even possible for you, but you can set your own personal goals when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and self-care.
Everyone is entitled to their own individual health goals.
Think for a minute about how you would define your optimal health.
What weight is comfortable for you?
I’m not talking about weight according to a doctor or some fitness chart, but a weight that you would be happy with and believe that you can maintain.
Think about your diet.
What healthy foods can you eat and consistently make a part of your daily routine?
You know yourself.
You know how much time you have available to go grocery shopping or cook meals.
What positive goals can you set regarding your diet that you believe you can maintain?
How much physical activity is practical for you in a given week?
Let’s suppose that you don’t exercise at all now, and your doctor recommends three hours a week.
You can still set a personal goal to get started on the path to a healthier you.
How about starting with a goal of 30 minutes every other day?
If you’re starting at zero, that may not only be doable but sustainable.
It’s a Lifestyle
My suggestion is that each person set their own definition of optimal health and then work toward a lifestyle that will help them maintain it.
Your personal weight goal may be 10 or 15 pounds heavier than what your doctor would recommend, but that’s OK.
Your activity level or diet may not be optimal by someone else’s standards, but if it makes you a little healthier, makes you feel better, and is sustainable, then go for it!
Think about what will fit into your lifestyle.
Set goals for yourself that you know you can maintain.
Determine what you feel is sustainable, then start living your life around those goals.
Don’t let the experts’ definition of optimal health keep you from making positive changes in your physical and mental well-being.
Take the steps today that will allow you to be your optimal you.
What does optimal health mean to you?
What lifestyle changes have you made towards achieving greater health and well-being?
Please tell us in the comment section!
We would love to hear from you!
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