to accompany and give back hope

Parish Nursing Bulletin



Health and Well-Being: Why make the effort?

The main reason for working at being healthy is obvious. We will function better, be more alert and will better able to enjoy the life on earth that we have been given. We have heard (ad nauseam) about what we need to do: Eat well, exercise, take time out for ourselves and maintain balance in our lives. NOTHING NEW ABOUT THIS!

But, there are new theories about diet and exercise. Dieting has led to yo-yo dieting, eating disorders, depression, chronic fatigue and obsession with thinness, taking the joy out of eating healthy foods. Choosing lower fat foods, taking control of the amounts we consume, and viewing our new eating habits as "minor constraints" rather than "deprivations", prove to be more successful options.

Being focussed on "no pain, no gain" exercising three times a week in your target heart-rate zone, and burning calories often leads to high attrition rates for exercise programs. An "active living" approach has proven to be more successful. It makes sense to be active your way every day, to enjoy the feeling of your muscles moving, and to value activities that are moderate and fun. Sharing your activities with a friend is not only more enjoyable but also helps to keep you both motivated.

Instead of accepting society's emphasis on being thin, or muscular with rippled abs, we could recognize that healthy bodies come in different shapes. Our focus can* be on being healthy and feeling good about who we are rather than how we look. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

*Notice the positive approach ("can"). "Should" is a guilt word - not helpful.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry