Welcome back to my series on building a foundation to have the freedom to follow your dreams. I introduced the idea behind this foundation in Part I. If you missed it, you can go back and read it here.
The first essential element to creating freedom in your life is good health.
We all need a basic level of health to be able to create change in our lives. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to define this. Then one morning I thought to myself, I feel good … I feel good in my body. I wasn’t tired, worried, or in pain. It occurred to me that this is one of the best definitions of good health.
Good health is more than our weight, size, blood pressure, or cholesterol. Good health includes our minds, bodies, and spirits. Our physical, spiritual, and emotional health are intertwined and depend on each other for complete health. When these are in sync, we have a feeling of wholeness.
Good health is the foundation for each of the other three areas. You’ll be better equipped to serve others in supportive relationships when you are serving from a full cup. You’ll have more energy to improve your earning potential while reducing your current and future healthcare costs. And your well rested and clear mind will help you take your personal growth to a new level.
There are five essential ingredients to good health. I will cover each of these in-depth below. For additional resources, be sure to check out the underlined links throughout this post.
1 – Eat Real Food
The foods we eat have the power to heal us or make us ill. I’m not saying that we can’t celebrate with cake from time to time. What I am saying is that the majority of what we eat should be clean, nutritious, real food. You can learn more about this philosophy and how to do it with little time and money here.
2 – Move Your Body
Some people who know me cringe when the subject of fitness comes up. My husband and I love cycling, hiking, and outdoor adventures and aren’t afraid to spend a whole day on our bikes or on the trail. But you don’t need to commit to this level of activity to have a healthy body.
The CDC recommends 30 minutes of cardio, five days per week and two days of strength training. 30 minutes per day is doable for anyone. Think about the fun activities you already enjoy doing, and commit to moving your body daily.
If you’re not a fan of working out, focus on natural movement. Spend time working in the garden or start walking or biking to work. Park in the back of parking lots and always take the stairs. You don’t need to be a gym rat to improve your physical fitness. You just need the desire to commit.
3 – Get Enough Sleep
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This isn’t something you want to skimp on. In addition to feeling good, a lot of biological functions occur while we’re sleeping. Getting enough sleep is essential to good health.
4 – Spiritual Foundation
Whether you prefer prayer, meditation, or a combination of the two, investing in your spiritual health will change your life. These simple acts can improve sleep, reduce stress, and help you live longer. Nurturing your spirit can improve all aspects of health and make you feel happier too.
Just like physical exercise, it takes time to strengthen your spiritual muscles. I’ve been meditating for quite a while and I still struggle from time to time to be able to quiet my mind. Just stick with it and believe that your spirit will continue to grow stronger.
5 – Hydrate
Up to 60 percent of the human body is water. Water is an essential ingredient to good health. A great rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day, more if you exercise.
While we’re on the topic of water, did you know that you can lose as much as a liter of water while sleeping? Through respiration and transpiration, we can lose a significant amount of water. That’s why it’s a great idea to start each day with a big glass of H2O.
By slowly implementing these five habits, you’ll have the energy to begin working on the other three elements of the foundation to freedom. Keep in mind that as you begin to make changes in one area, you’ll begin to see positive changes in the other areas as well.
Creating the foundation to live our best lives if a lifelong journey. Give yourself the grace to be okay with where you are while finding the determination to keep moving forward.
Don’t miss the other five parts of this foundation series. Here’s what you can expect.
Part I – Building a Foundation to Freedom
Part II – Freedom through Good Health
Part III – Freedom through Supportive Relationships
Part IV – Freedom through Financial Fitness
Part V – Freedom through Personal Growth
Part VI – Tying it All Together and Taking Action