THE BLOG

There's More to Health Than Physical Beauty

10/19/2015 01:10 EDT | Updated 10/19/2016 05:12 EDT
Jamie Grill via Getty Images
USA, New Jersey, Portrait of young woman holding measurement tape

There is an issue with health and wellness in this world that I think needs addressing.

It begins with our "Health and Beauty" sections in stores, and it ends with our kids not being taught about the value of health, while over emphasizing physique. We further hurt our chances at living healthy by our choices in role models in social media, and magazine covers.

Why is make up placed in the health and beauty section? When did supplements replace food? Why are there reports from companies like Labdoor.com that our kids throw away 73 per cent of their vegetables, 47 per cent of their fruit, 19 per cent of their entrees and 25 per cent of their milk?

The full report is worth reading. We need our youth to understand health, value fitness, and increase activity. Placing value on the basics again is necessary for health. Living healthy is not what we do so we can get likes on social media or become the latest Instagram celebrity, it's what we do to be able to get outside, play and make memories.

The question becomes, what are we showing our children? There are no quick fixes, yet at the drop of a hat, we spend big bucks on pills with promises. The weight loss supplement industry has been estimated around the $60 billion area.

So, I ask it again, what are we showing our youth? How do we get fooled into buying these products? Take a look at Garcinia Cambogia, one of the latest weight-loss miracles to finally get looked at unbiased and scientifically. It didn't come close to standing up to the claims made about it. So, why did it hit the market, sell like hot cakes and earn multiple millions for large companies?

It's because we have made body image more important than body function. You can be healthy, beautiful and happy at any size. You can be unhealthy and unhappy at any size as well. If our children hear us say all that matters is health, but see us with fitness magazines on our coffee tables and weight-loss products in our cupboards, what message do they really get?

We show before and afters, make promises and before you know it, smart people are making purchases that make no sense. There are a lot of great things on the market, and a lot of science to support healthy living. Go to your healthiest friend's house, you won't find much with the words "diet," "fat-free," or "weight loss" on it. You'll see a lot of real food and products in the house to enjoy the outdoor world.

My favorite thing is a good pair of shoes so I can go for a walk, just because. It's not exercise, it's relaxation. I like to relax for hours at a time. It's a massive bonus that the relaxing burns calories and keeps my weight healthy.

You'll also find a few whole food based supplements in my cupboard:

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Cinnamon balances blood sugar, and may help with muscle spasms and erectile dysfunction.

Fish oil, an essential fat, has a long list of health benefits. Lowering cholesterol and defending against heart disease are my favourites.

My list of supplements stays small, most of my choices are based on recommendations from natural path doctors or dietitians I have sat down with. These EXPERTS review MY eating habits and exercise routine, and give ME recommendations. I also use a protein powder after my workouts, and I add it into oatmeal once in a while. For the most part, real food and well-planned meals are my medicine.

If you do one thing, let it be this.

Sit down with a team of health professionals. Your benefit package at work should cover most of the cost. Ask questions, get informed and start moving towards living healthy. Most people have a couple hundred dollars each year to spend on massage, accupuncture, dietitian, chiropractic and more.

These are the people that will help you get healthy. Spend a year putting your money into learning health. Make a few appointments, keep them, learn at them and grow your understanding of your body and how it works.

Leave the magazines on the shelf for a little while. Get rid of the supplements that don't make sense for you. Sit down with people who know the human body and can help you be your most healthy.

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