The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Unfortunately the focus of the U.S. healthcare system has been on sickness and disease, not on prevention, wellness, or optimizing one’s health. With the all the uncertainty surrounding the proposed changes to healthcare, now more than ever patients must take a proactive approach to their health. Taking ownership of your health and the health of your family shifts the responsibility away from insurance companies, employers, and the government back to where it should rest, with the individual.
By investing in our health we become more educated and empowered, and are in a better position to pursue our goals. Let’s look at health on a continuum:
(from “What is Fitness?” by Greg Glassman, October 2002)
On the left we have sickness. No matter who we are, we will all get sick from time to time. Certainly there are many factors that affect and influence disease, some of which are beyond our control. As we shift our focus to Wellness and Fitness, the frequency and severity of the illnesses we face diminish.
In the same article in which he introduced the concept of the Sickness-Wellness-Fitness continuum, Greg Glassman, CEO and founder of CrossFit, states: “Done right, fitness provides a great margin of protection against the ravages of time and disease.” A focus on Wellness and Fitness adds not only years to our life, but life to our years.
No matter who we are, or at what point we are at in our lives, it is never too late to reap the benefits that assuredly will follow as we strive to optimize our health. Not only will those benefits be ours to enjoy, but our families and those around us will be influenced by our example. We can count the number of seeds in an apple, but we cannot count the number of apples in a seed. As we sow seeds of health we will reap the rewards of greater strength, stamina, energy, and vitality. When the unexpected illness does confront us, we will be better prepared to fight it off, and its impact on our productivity and quality of life will be less.
Start now. Commit to take ownership of your future and your health. There are many resources at your disposal. In September 2012, WellFit Medicine and Nutrition will be open to help patients discover their full potential. We are a membership medicine clinic designed to help you reach your health, nutrition, and fitness goals. At WellFit Medicine and Nutrition Jackson we approach health by focusing on Wellness and Fitness. We also address sickness, knowing that we will all get sick from time to time, but the focus is on Wellness and Fitness.
Featured Image by: Greg Westfall