Today Gallup-Healthways well-being index of the happiest states was released. While pristine and paradisiac Hawaii claimed the top honors, I was forced to ponder on some of the factors ranking my own state of Ohio at only 46th place. This comprehensive index factors in five essential measures of well-being, which are: Purpose, social, financial, community and physical. The three areas of focus in this piece are – purpose, social, and physical. Let’s identify what impact these have on daily life and well-being.
Social – having loving support. Often when we commit to better health and well-being we can start off like a house on fire, in a short time however, it is common to hit an inevitable plateau and begin to backslide into old self-defeating habits. When you have the loving (not begrudging) support of friends and family it becomes less of a challenge to meet wellness goals. A recent Mayo Clinic report suggest forming a support group in order to help you meet your wellness goals, by taking this simple step you can form emotional bonds to help you past those late night cravings and even help you during exercise when you feel those muscle groups that haven’t been fired in a while start to ache. Nothing gets you to push past that period more than a person saying, “If I can do this, so can you!”
Purpose – being motivated to achieve your goals and liking the pathway that gets you there. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines motivation as “the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something.” According to the latest CDC figures chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths annually and 86 percent of the U.S. population suffers from one or more chronic disease processes. On a state level, according to data from Healthy Ohio, we rank 40th for overall health in the U.S. Sadly, Ohio ranks among the worst in the country for cancer deaths (41st), cardiovascular deaths (37th) and diabetes (45th). Chronic disease mortality accounts for a whopping 62 percent of Ohio’s deaths annually. As a wellness coach I live wellness and try to mantra by example and mentor others to do the same. If these figures don’t prove to be a purposeful motivation to DO SOMETHING right now to better your nutritional health and physical exercise routine, I don’t know what will.
Physical – having energy stores available so that you’re not whipped out at the end of the day. Without the nutritional foundation in place you won’t have the necessary stores to draw from at the end of a busy work day to exercise. The World Health Organization expounded on this subject in its Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. In this indicative global prospectus key findings relating obesity to declining energy expenditure of participants due to sedentary lifestyle choices, and intake of excess calories from sugar, starches or fat had a direct link to diabetes from excess weight gain and physical inactivity. Additionally, these findings linked increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and infections. It is notable that increased physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight play critical parts in preventing or stabilizing diabetes and linked similar positive outcomes impacting cardiovascular disease and cancer.
What it boils down to though is do YOU want it? Do you want to live with energy, vitality and a more positive frame of mind? Do you want to free yourself from chronic disease processes and complications from such? You will never know if such outcomes are possible if you don’t start living more health conscious today. While the top cities for overall well-being are beautiful places where it is hard not to focus on eating and living well, there is a factor of interest to all faltering states in this overall report, that is the fact many states have great room for improvement in quality of life outcomes. More specific, we here in Ohio have a great way to go to achieve better outcomes. What are we waiting for fellow Buckeye’s? What are we going to do to make 2016 the year we move up on this index?
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