UNITED STATES—Health, it’s a loaded word, especially when people ask you how is your health. We are always inclined to say all is great, even in some incidents where that may not be the case. We like to hide or not fully deliver the truth when it comes to our health and where things stand. You sometimes have to be honest with others, but I would argue your health is your own private information and sometimes you have to take a hard look in the mirror and say “I’ve got to do better.”

I will be one to admit my health has had some challenges of late and it’s a direct result of me not taking more care of my body.  This is not to say I’ve ignored my health, it’s that I’ve allowed other things to take focus, instead of making my health a top priority. What does that mean? It means taking a moment to realize what food or foods I’m placing into my body, to exercise or to not exercise and the biggest: stress. I think stress is so crucial to discuss because many of us fail to acknowledge how it impacts the body. It does it in a major way, it causes constrictions with your blood vessels, impacts your blood pressure, can impact blood sugar levels, puts strain on the body. The biggest stress does for me is prevent me from having a moment of solitude. I just find it so hard to disconnect from work sometimes and because of that I feel overwhelmed always trying to do or have things completed. I don’t like to have things linger because it only adds to the stress levels.

To alleviate some of that stress I don what I know needs to be done and I don’t worry so much if I don’t get everything done. I’m only one person so it has become a realization to me that I cannot do it all and I should not feel guilty if it doesn’t transpire. With that said my stress has not completely vanished, but I have found myself being able to manage it easier which is great for me.

With that said food is important, you are what you eat. I’m certain we have all heard that phrase and food can make us feel good or make us feel bad. Eating fast-food is not great on a daily basis, I might eat out 2-3 times a week; I’m really trying to lessen that more to like 1-2 times a week or maybe once at the most. I know the amount of calories from fast food is nearly double that of what you would consume if you were eating a home-cooked meal. Home cooked meals just satisfy the body and soul in a way that fast-food cannot. You tend to be hungry right after you eat and the bad thing is the amount of calories you consume are huge, we’re not talking about minor amounts people we’re talking hundreds to thousands of calories from your consumption of just 2-3 items. Not good people.

Its ok to snack, but if you’re going to snack try to go for items a bit healthier like fruits, veggies and various nuts, not tons of sweets or carb-driven foods. That is never a good sign for the body people and it should not take a rocket scientist to realize that. Exercise is the thing I have to work on more because I want to do it more often, but I always find myself running into that pickle where I feel like after such a long, stressful day of work, my body just doesn’t have the energy to do it.

It’s not an excuse, so if I can take some time to exercise at least 30 minutes before I begin my day or at least 15-30 minutes after getting off work, it’s better to do something then nothing at all. An idle body is the most dangerous thing rather you eat health or not, but more so if you are not eating healthy because those carbs just turn into sugar and that sugar turns into fat that just tacks onto the body. That is never a good thing. You have to move the body in order to protect your temple.

With that said, a final piece of advice is you know your body better than anyone else. If you feel something is wrong and you know something is wrong, go to the doctor, don’t wait, do not delay. It is better to know than it is to not know at all people.

Written By Zoe Mitchell