By Jerry Mooney
When Bill and Melinda Gates combined forces in their health foundation, nobody gave the former head of the Microsoft empire the benefit of the doubt. In fact, it’s only when the malaria vaccine received the green light two years ago that the press began to take his desire to eradicate the deadly disease seriously. In fact, there is no comparison globally to the investment that the Gates Foundation has made to the world of health. The foundation commits several hundreds thousands million of Dollar to the research and development of a life-saving vaccine. You don’t need to be looking at this kind of wealth to consider investing in health, yours and the health of others. Health is not a topic to take lightly: Without it, you are pretty much doomed. There can be no life without health, also while there are plenty of cures and treatments available for a variety of issues, ultimately health is what keeps your body and your mind functioning. Everything breaks if you choose not to invest time, energy and money in improving health issues. So this invites an important question of life and death: How do you invest in health?
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Health is a complex topic
Before considering a variety of health investment options, it’s essential to define what health actually means. Is health what you have when you can pass through the winter months without catching a cold? Is health that special gift that keeps dark thoughts at bay when you are on your own? Is health the absence of physical pain or does it relate to emotional pain? Or is health another word for wealth? So many questions, and so few answers! What we’re interested in, here, is the physical and mental health. Your physical health relates to your bodily functions. In most cases, troubles are easy to identify as they leave a physical mark, Mental health is a more complex topic that focuses on your emotional well-being. It’s not about measuring how happy you are in your life, but how you function at an emotional level and whether psychological factors are handicapping. Looking after your health is the combination of these both elements. Unfortunately, as you have probably guessed, mental health can easily go unnoticed. Emotions do not have a physical sign that marks them as an issue. Contrary to breaking an arm or catching a cold, a mental disease doesn’t always show.
Getting the basics right
Investing in your health is a matter of maintenance. If you don’t take care of your health, you can bet that it will not last very long. But thankfully for you, investing in your health doesn’t have to be synonymous with spending money. It is about establishing the rules of a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy starts with looking after yourself and doing everything you can to give your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong. In other words, however boring it sounds, following a healthy diet is actually good for your body. Not specifically because it means that you can drop a dress size, but because it means that you are feeding your body the vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbs that it needs. In short, processed foods, sugary and fatty foods might sound delicious, but they do your bodily functions no good. They build fat cells around your organs; they slow down your metabolism; and more importantly, they increase the risk of developing heart and brain diseases. The least you put your body under unnecessary risks, the healthier it will keep you.
The necessary body maintenance
Giving your body the right kind of food is a kind of health investment. But there are many others that you can make. Think of your body as a machine that you need to keep in a good state if you want it to work. Forget the steampunk imagery about wheels and steam, and focus on more basic functions: Physical activity is key to support the production of hormones, and the blood flows to your organs and your brain. It’s no wonder that doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day. It keeps things ticking properly in your body. Unfortunately, most people struggle to find the necessary motivation to work out. In fact, workouts are too often associated with a form of fitness desire. You should train not because you want a slimmer body, but because your body needs physical activity to maintain its functions. Investing in physical activities means blocking the time in your diary and seriously sticking to it. It demands dedication and efforts. You can also choose to buy exciting fitness gear to motivate your efforts, but in the end, body maintenance is about investing time in your health.
What’s a healthy mood?
Your mental health is a little more difficult than just training. It’s about being able to take care of your mood. Naturally, you can’t force yourself to be happy when you are not. But you can make sure that you do everything you can to maintain your mental health. This starts by ensuring that you have a good night sleep, as lack of sleep can decrease the production of essential mood managing hormones. Additionally, developing positive habits can help your mind to stay focused on good vibes. Being grateful for the good moments in your life supports emotional growth and mental strength.
Keeping up with your health appointments
Even with the best care, there is no guarantee that your health will always be good. External factors can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health. Consequently, you still need to stay up-to-date with essential medical appointments to ensure that you are not taking any chances on your health. You need to rely on health specialists to help you to look after your teeth, skin, and your overall health.
What if you want to help others?
Looking after your health is one thing. Looking after the health of others is a way of investing your skills for the benefit of most. From dental nurses positions – you can find many here – to surgeons; there is an infinity of ways in which you can help to maintain the health of other people. As surprising as it might sound, personal trainers are just as important as they accompany people on the path of health by encouraging physical activities. Creating a healthy path for others to follow demands a lot of patience and specialist skills in addition to the necessary motivation and time.
The external health factors that others control for you
Unfortunately, investing in your health is not just a matter of dedication and wanting to make it work. You can’t control external factors, such as the weather, or more importantly the legislations and marketing of products that are controlled by the government. In fact, your health is nothing but another comma in a governmental budget. As a result it’s not uncommon for governments to choose money over individuals. The latest building fire in London – Grenfell Tower – revealed that governments preferred the cheapest over the safest option. And that, sadly enough, wasn’t an exception. In the great scheme of things, Bill and Melinda Gates are an exception in choosing people over money.
Investing in your health can be challenging at times. It’s a mixture of time, lifestyle choices, physical activity, and medical checkups. In other words, it often sounds like a chore. But if you don’t look after your health, you can’t expect anyone to do it for you. At a governmental level, economic arguments often win when it comes to decisions that could impact the health of others. Gradually the voices of environmentalists and those who want to look after the health of the planet will be heard. But in the meantime, looking after your health starts with looking after the flora and fauna around you.