In this series of blogs we are exploring the 5 areas in which all humans should thrive, at age-appropriate levels – Physiological, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical, and Social.   Physical Thriving is the 5th and final of the 5, and perhaps an underestimated topic, purely because we take it so much for granted.

Until we lose a percentage of our ability to thrive physically, we forget how lucky we actually are.  We kind of get used to having less mobility, being a bit achey and creaky or having to ‘defrost’ in the mornings.  We accept that headaches, backaches and tummy aches are a part of our daily lives.  We don’t think about how often we pee and poop and whether we pass more winds than the next person.  We accept that we’re getting older/paying the piper/suffering the consequences, and each stage of discomfort makes the next one easier to brush off, until before we know it we are truly compromised physically.

Here’s the complicated bit: all of this impacts every one of the other 4 areas in which we should be thriving…

  • Even mild discomfort often prevents us from leaving home, negatively impacting our social lives;
  • Not being mobile and being in pain may result in poor food choices – it’s hard to shop, harder to cook and more hassle than it’s worth to clean up after.  This slippery slope can result in physiological issues like constipation (and haemorrhoids – more pain), bloating and gastric discomfort, food intolerances and even malnutrition (yes, we see it all too frequently, even in our affluent society)
  • Cognitive health definitely takes a beating when our physical health is compromised! I know I  can’t think clearly or manage my stress when I don’t sleep well cos I’ve been tossing and turning with sore joints
  • How can we feel good about ourselves and be comfortable in our own skin when we’re bloated or itching, if our armpits smell bad or our hair is greasy?  Emotional health is intimately connected with physical health.  It’s so much easier to be happy and upbeat when you’re feeling good!

For most people, good health is simply an absence of symptoms.  For me, that’s feeling meh…. Vibrant, energetic, vigourous good health should be our goal as humans of every age.

Anything less than that is a choice you make every day.  You are either feeding health or you are feeding disease – with your food, your friends, your thoughts, your choices of books, movies and social media, the way you spend your ‘free’ time and the attitude you bring to each situation you find yourself in…

You might read to the end of this and think that these are high ideals.  You might have a frisson of excitement that this picture is possibly in your future…  it is. 

But you have to take the 1st small step – ask for the best way to reach these goals!  Email healthcoach@1smallstep.co.za