Do you know someone who, when faced with health challenges, seems to always muster the strength to get stronger, while fighting the weakness or disease…someone who won’t give up?.
Hero is defined as: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. – Oxford Dictionary
Wellness is defined as: the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. – Oxford Dictionary
Wellness hero…what in the world does this mean? For me, a “wellness hero”is someone who is focused on leading a healthy, active lifestyle, and understanding that this is the key to long-term health and happiness. When faced with one challenge after another, a wellness hero has the courage to stay strong and committed, even when it appears to be fruitless.
When we’re healthy, we can take for granted how the choices we make impact our health. However, over time, our bodies change, and we have an increased probability of acquiring an illness and/or disease. So during challenging times, we must harness our courage, strength and understanding so that no matter what we face, we are more physically and mentally prepared to overcome these obstacles.
My wellness hero is my 94 year old father. He can’t run marathons, bench press heavy weights, or have 6 pack abs. He does walk ½ mile a day, enjoy a primarily plant based diet, strength trains daily in a special chair and has a personal trainer who works with him weekly. But that isn’t what makes him my hero.. He’s my wellness hero because he has always had a healthy lifestyle (or should I say fairly healthy)…he played golf and tennis regularly, walked all the time and generally ate healthy foods.
My father was always a healthy man until around the age of 68, at which time he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and only given 2 years to live. He survived the cancer but within the next few years of his recovery he had both hips replaced and bypass surgery. This man was determined to get healthy, to further grow his business and enjoy life with friends and family. He meditated, ate healthy whole foods and exercised daily. He worked full time until the age of 90, at which time he suddenly (within 3 weeks) became legally blind. Learning to go from complete independence, to dependence on others, was a challenge.
At the age of 90, many may have given up. But not my Dad. While he did suffer from depression, he was determined to continue to lead an active life. Today, in addition to his daily exercises he eats lots of vegetables and fruits, has a glass of wine and meditates. I’m so fortunate to have this man as my father. He is extraordinary, courageous and admired.
We live in a country where people are getting sicker, not healthier. Lifestyle diseases, many of which are preventable, are on the rise. Like my father, you can incorporate good habits into your daily routine. This includes regular exercise/movement, eating nutritious, non-processed foods, getting a good night’s sleep, and enjoying friends and family. Some studies say, life expectancy for today’s youth may be declining (NPR report by Rob Stein, December 8, 2016). Do you want this for your children or grand children?. If not, lead by example. You are never too young to start creating a healthy lifestyle.
So, who is your wellness hero? What have you learned from this person? What do you admire? If you haven’t already told them how special they are to you, go ahead and reach out.
I have always lead a fairly healthy life, but as I have gotten older, it has become increasingly evident that my good health and vitality are a result of how I have lead my life. As a baby boomer myself, it is increasingly important both for my physical body and emotional well-being to stay as active and vital as possible. Two years ago, I was playing duck duck goose with my 3 year old grandson. We were running around the yard, having so much fun. It was there that it suddenly hit me…now I know why I have been healthy, it’s so I can act like a child with my grandson. Maybe one day I will be his “wellness hero”.
I would love for each of you to share on this blog who your hero is. And don’t forget to let them know how much you admire them and proud of them.
To the hero in each of you!
For more information on creating a wellness programs inspired by your “wellness hero” get in touch for a free consultation.