Thursday, November 25, 2010

Is Personal Health on Your To-Do List?

We all know people whose lives are scheduled from dusk to dawn. They're in meetings or travelling or glued to their computers and blackberries, with "no time" to get any physical activity or choose healthy meals to eat. Yup, when it's time to eat, it's all about pre-packaged or prepared meals and lunches are often synonymous with meetings in restaurants. The end result? Often overweight, hypertension and eventually heart disease. It is completely understandable when people have an excess of obligations, whether in work or otherwise, that they end up prioritizing by deadlines - the sooner something is 'due', the more attention it needs. So when is health 'due'?

Since we imagine health as an abstract concept that we can't always wrap our heads around, it's difficult to know how to prioritize it or where it belongs on our to-do lists. Today? Next week? After this deadline? Well, just the same as we have to eat and shower and breathe each day, health should be something that we just 'do' every day - and it shouldn't be so difficult. But to begin with, it wouldn't hurt to actually schedule it, just like an important meeting, so that we're prompted to take action.

Did you know that the definition of mental health includes a balance between work and leisure time? That's right - you simply have to take a little time off here and there to gain some perspective. An in terms of physical health, how about spending an hour or 2 on the weekend getting your meals prepared for the week to save time, including blanching some veggies and pre-cooking some chicken breasts and whole grains so they're easily accessible in your fridge. Or what about buying healthy snacks like fruit, veggies, granola bars, yogurt and so on - it's not that hard. You can even do your groceries on-line if you don't want to take the time to go to the store, and finally you can always have healthy meals delivered to your door, so there are no excuses!

Mental and physical health are of the utmost importance and deserve as much if not more 'scheduling' and priority on your to-do list as anything else. So go on. Take a breather!