When asked, what is foundational to optimal health? It’s your lifestyle! Lifestyle is defined as a way of life. It’s what you do routinely day in and day out without giving it much thought. Automatic behaviors that translate to your daily habits.
Take a few minutes to recall the past few days, months, or even a year of your life. Did your daily habits contribute to improve or maintain good health? Or have they been slowly diminishing the function of your body and mind, even perhaps your spirit? Are you at the point where your health isn’t thriving the way you’d like it to?
On my journey as a health coach, I’ve seen the disheartening health statistics of the U.S. population. Only 20% are thriving and according to the latest Mayo Clinic study only less than 3% live a healthy lifestyle. I was a part of this statistic years ago until I realized my unhealthy lifestyle was leading me closer to prediabetes. In fact 75% of all chronic diseases are caused by lifestyle behaviors.
This June 2020 infographic developed by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine revealed the health problems prevalent in both active military and veterans. Highlights from this infographic:
- When recruits entered the military, they are healthier than the general population. However veterans tend to be at equal or worse health than the general population.
About 51% of service members are overweight and 14.7% have obesity.
50% of male and 75% of female veterans report chronic pain
Over 30% of veterans have hypertension
Forge Ahead to Better Health
Despite the challenges, there’s always hope for healing. The power of healthy lifestyle behaviors are transformative. Studies upon studies show that when routinely practiced, they can change the course of your health. Check out the overwhelming scientific evidence on the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. And I’m hopeful because I’ve experienced the transformation myself and have interviewed a number of women who have done the same. You can read more about my story here and watch the interviews here.
Can you guess what lifestyle behaviors are nourishing to your health and wellbeing? I bet you’re already familiar with all of them! A change in these areas will make a big difference to your health.
Seek Help to Move Forward to Action
What are typical reasons people would ask for help to change their lifestyle? One of the main reasons is the inability to do it on their own. Can you relate? You’ve tried a number of times to eat better or to manage your stress, however you tend to return to ingrained unhealthy habits.
Another reason to seek help is a sense of accountability. When you have someone to hold you accountable, you’re most likely to follow through, particularly in the beginning stages of your lifestyle change.
Unhealthy habits might be a challenge to change, however it’s more than possible to rewire your brain to adopt new healthy behaviors. With support and consistency, you can take charge of your health and experience the power of a healthy lifestyle.