The Three Pillars of Health
Stay young forever. Lose twenty pounds a month. Improve your memory. Reduce allergic symptoms. Get rid of that flabby stomach. Raise libido. Eliminate tired blood. Restore normal bowel function. Buy this product. Take this pill. Eat this food. How many health-related commercial appeals can you think of?
Whether they are for an exercise machine, a pharmaceutical product or a nutritional or herbal product, many health commercials have two elements in common: they offer "magic bullets," or quick fixes to health conditions, and the touted products address a purely physical level of being. I can't think of one conventional medical product whose advertising campaign offers a holistic, or multi-dimensional approach to meeting health challenges. And, although complementary medicine is multi-dimensional by nature, the pills and potions are pushed in similarly one-dimensional ways. But deep, lasting changes in ingrained health patterns are rarely one-dimensional. And profound changes always entail movement on more than the physical level.
All life depends on a balance of elements or forces. Night and day. Oxygen and carbon dioxide. Activity and rest. Yin and yang. Where there is imbalance, systems operate out of synch and function is compromised. Human beings are not exempt from this equation. Think of the forces that support a human being in terms of the pillars of a triangle. For radiant health to occur in humans, a balance must exist on all three points of the triangle -- spirit, mind and body.
Achieving and maintaining physical health is largely dependent on two lifestyle choices: nutrition and exercise. Except in cases where there is a functional or organic health limitation, appropriate food and exercise will control weight gain and maintain our physical systems in optimal condition.
Choice of exercise is a personal matter. The best exercise is one that raises the pulse rate above 120 beats per minute for more than 15 minutes, five days a week. Within this aerobic guideline, it really doesn't matter which exercise regimen you choose. Brisk walking will accomplish this goal, especially when carrying two to five pound weights in each hand so the upper body gets a workout while you are walking. Positive results will be achieved as long as you are consistent with an exercise pattern and avoid the obsessive behaviors that hurt, rather than help your body. Leave the "no pain, no gain," approach to testosterone-saturated locker rooms.