Can You Make Yourself Healthier and Happier?

By Chrissy MacDonald

Many health problems, pain and unhappiness can be helped (not necessarily alleviated altogether, but often helped) with regular exercise, a healthy diet and effective stress management techniques.

How do you feel? Do you have any of these issues: Lower back pain; sore neck; stiff joints – hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, bad knees or ankles; arthritis; osteoporosis; high blood pressure; diabetes; high cholesterol; constipation or bloating? Are you overweight, overtired, overstressed or depressed?

Why do we sometimes put up with ill-health, pain and unhappiness when a few simple steps can help?

Sometimes I wake up a bit cranky and down (yes, it’s true!). For some reason I tend to focus on the negative when I first get up. It takes a while for me to get going. After breakfast I feel better. Then I go for a walk with my little Vizsla puppy, Indi. Today it was a beautiful spring morning. A bit of morning exercise, fresh air and sunshine made a big difference to my state of mind. It felt good to walk and move my body.

Do you feel as good as you would like to?  What could you do to feel better? If you sit all day at a computer, there are exercises you can do to help your sore neck, aching back and tired wrists. Don’t slouch at your desk, get up every half hour and walk around for a break. Do figure eight motions with your wrists to keep the muscles from getting sore and stiff. Stretch your neck and shoulder muscles often throughout the day: Do shoulder shrugs. Turn your head from side to side, then up and down. This will help the neck and shoulders from becoming stiff.

If your hips are getting stiff, make sure they get movement all around the joint, not just forward and backward as in walking. This will help increase circulation and may help prevent future problems. Sit cross legged on the floor more often.

Oftentimes our health can be improved with simple awareness. Good health is often a choice we make. Poor lifestyle habits can contribute to ill-health. What would make you feel better right now? What is one small change you can make today to help yourself? Sometimes it’s just a matter of identifying the problem and then finding a way to help it.