This is the 12th annual National Women’s Health Week! Hurray for health! Hurray for women! Hurray for us all!
Here’s some good news ladies, we are living longer now in the US. Women’s life expectancy is up to 80.4 years1. Living for a long time is one experience, thriving is an entirely different experience. Me? I want to thrive as long as I live, and currently my family’s life expectancy for women is averaging about 87 years. That’s at least an other 45 years I am looking forward to LIVING!
What helps us to thrive? What is a healthy lifestyle? Most people would say that diet and exercise are key factors in for a healthy life. Yes, regular physical activity, healthful eating, healthy weight maintenance, stopping or not using tobacco, preventing injuries and regular physical check-up with your doctors a few of the many actions that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle2. But is that enough to thrive in life?
It’s easy to overlook all of the things that contribute to our sense of nourishment and fulfillment – in other words a healthy lifestyle that supports you thriving. It’s not just the food we eat and how often we exercise, but all of the other factors present in our daily lives that create a healthy lifestyle. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, is one of the largest nutrition schools in the county (and works in partnership with the State University of New York, Purchase), suggests that there are “primary food” we all need in life to sustain and fulfill us. These include a fulfilling, career, our relationship with family and friends, our spiritual lives and personal growth, our financial situations and our relationship to money, our personal physical environments, time for play, and our personal/intimate or romantic relationships. When these “primary foods” are balanced, what you eat becomes secondary. Secondary foods nourish our bodies, but are not able to give us the joy, meaning or fulfillment that primary food provides. I could not agree more.
“It’s Your Time” is this year’s National Women’s Health Weeks theme. So tell me what are you going to do for your health this week? Your whole health, body, mind and spirit?
Xu JQ, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: final data for 2007. National Vital Statistics Report 2010; 58(19).1
CDC. Tips for a safe and healthy life. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2006. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/family/tips/index.htm.2