We’ve all heard of health, but what is it?

Original article found on USA TODAY Action Sports

No, but really … what is health? There are multiple studies that show stats on what a “healthy” lifestyle is; what the “healthy” choices are; or what a “healthy” physique looks like. Does this really speak to the actual, underlying question that many who strain themselves on rigorous diets and hours in the gym are seeking? No.

So, what is it? By definition, health is the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit*. Ah, now we have a little more direction.

Let’s break this down a bit more.

Healthy Living and RelaxationFirst, the condition of being sound in body. This plays into the activity portion of health. How we exercise, how we diet and how we actively live on a daily basis. We can set a diet plan each week to eat a protein filled breakfast, protein and greens filled lunch, and then a rich in non-saturated fats dinner early in the evening so we are digesting properly.

AH-HA! We have a step toward “health!”

Step two, being sound in mind. This is the mental capacity that we need to adapt. Sometimes this can be found as the hardest step in jumping into the healthy lifestyle. This is where accountability from gym partners, spouses, significant others, etc. can come into play. Once we have created our diet plan (refer to step one), we have to train our minds to accept that this is going to change things up a bit from the unhealthy foods and “laziness” that we may be used to, which is not a bad thing. Change is good and can lead to even better outcomes.

Last, but certainly not least, is being sound in spirit. What does this mean? Whether you are religious, unreligious, unsure, whatever the case may be, you have spirit. You have drive. You have desire. This is what keeps us motivated and calm. It allows us to feel the various changes and allows us to strive for the outcomes that we want most. It gives us the ability to mentally breakthrough the challenges of a new diet or exercise activity, but it also allows us to stay in focus, keep our hopes high and look to the greater good of change.

Health can be a lot of things for a lot of people. It can vary and it’s important to know that everyone has a different health journey. There are those who want to lose weight and tone. On the other hand, there are those who are looking to bulk and put more muscle on their bones. We are all on separate journeys but we all need to be sound in the three of those categories to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves.

Let’s get healthy.

Follow Shaun Melady on Instagram at @ShaunMelady.

*Definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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