The Triad of Health

As I walk along the streets and avenues of Manhattan, I enjoy gazing upon the architecture of the many great buildings. I enjoy the imaginations of great men. I think of the pride they took in their work.

If you were going to build a great building, and you wanted it to remain a showplace for many years, you would consider carefully the skills and abilities of the construction workers. You would choose the building materials carefully for this masterpiece. You would follow a strict maintenance plan and keep a fine maintenance crew always checking and following through to keep the crew always building or repairing things before they become a big problem. This is how a great structure is built and kept in top condition. Would you consider any less for the structure responsible for housing your very life? I am talking about your body.

Are you healthy? Most people will answer yes unless they feel some sort of symptom, like feeling run down or having an ache or pain. Is that real health? When you evaluate your health, do you consider more than the absence of symptoms?  You ought to.

Real health comprises your entire being. Consider your mind…energy level…complexion…internal chemistry…emotional state…diet, even your teeth.

In order to lead a healthy, full life, there are three aspects of health to balance: Physical, Mental (which includes emotional and spiritual), and Chemical (which includes nutrition). This is the “Triad of Health.”

Physical

Physical health is the most conspicuous side of the health triangle. You quickly notice when physical functions of your body stop working. If you can’t walk, can’t breath, can’t function, something is obviously wrong with your health and it gets attention.

Complete physical health is more than getting around and getting through the day. Physical health includes physical ability, appearance, and function of your body: heart, lungs, immune system, muscles, eyes, hair, teeth, etc. Keep a keen eye on your physical health. Problems usually start small and gradually grow. Watch for the warning signs. By keeping things in check you will be able to maintain a physically healthy body and decrease the number of big health problems you have to tackle.

Periodically take inventory of your physical health. Be sure to include these items on your checklist:

  • Are my eyes bright?
  • Are my fingernails healthy and growing?
  • Do I breathe deeply and easily?
  • Am I free of pain?
  • How are my energy levels?
    • Do I have energy to take care of my responsibilities?
    • Do I have energy to help others?
  • How do my joints and muscles feel?
    • Am I flexible?
    • Do I get sore easily
  • How is my sex drive?

Chemical

You have all heard it: You are what you eat. In fact, you are what you eat…drink…swallow…inhale…absorb…or consume in any way. The major component of chemical health is your nutrition. All things you consume are broken down within your body to their chemical compounds and (a) used as building blocks, (b) go to waste, or (c) wreak havoc in the system, causing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other lifestyle diseases.

It takes high quality materials to build a quality product and your body is no exception. Be cognizant of what enters your body. Give your body what it needs to be strong and healthy. Stay away from things that slow you down or break down functions. In nutrition, little choices add up to make a big difference.

Here are some things to consider as you evaluate your nutritional health:

  • Do I drink plenty of clean water every day?
  • How many servings of fruits and vegetables do I eat in a day?
  • Can I cut back my intake of refined sugars?
  • How much caffeine and alcohol do I consume?
  • Am I getting enough fresh air and sunshine?
  • Do not overeat.
  • Be cautious with medications you may take.

Mental = Spiritual + Emotional

What we think and how we feel affect us physically and chemically. There is a literal chemical reaction within the body with each thought and feeling. Mental health is more than being sane. True mental health takes work. You’ve got to continually work on your attitude, train your mind, and study.

The mental aspect of health may be the hardest to gauge. There is nothing physical to gauge it by. It is completely internal and this can make it easy to ignore. A keen mind is important in every part of your life. Take the time and put in the effort it takes to stay in mental shape.

  • Consider these points as a starting point:
  • How many books do I read each year?
  • Do I balance recreational and intellectual reading?
  • Do I take time to meditate, or pray each day?
  • Do I get adequate sleep?
  • There is good and bad in most situations and people. Which do I choose to think and talk about?

Balancing the Triad

When any two sides of your health triangle change, the third will follow suit. If you are eating well and getting exercise, you’ll find your attitude improving. People with a positive outlook who are physically active, make better food choices and drink less alcohol. Someone who has a positive attitude and eats good food is more likely to be physically active.

How do you want to live the last 10 years of your life? Running and going, or drugged up and delusional?  Actively building your Health Triad is the recipe for a gratifying, prosperous, quality life. Right now, choose two sides of your Health Triangle to build up. Revel in the success over the next few weeks and months as you see the third side follows suit.