As a 20-some-year-old attending a university, it’s difficult sometimes to see the importance of health. Culturs mind/ body expert, Yvette Vega, says, “Creating a healthy mental and physical life early is like putting money in the bank because you will reach so many awards and improve your immune system.”
Vega says each individual’s chronological age is based on the flexibility of his or her spine. For Vega, she looks 15-20 years younger than she actually is because of her practices of holistic health. “I didn’t know the value of holistic health. It happened by accident when I started teaching and it became my job description,” Vega said.
Most 20-some-year-old students don’t understand the importance of health, but Kerri Diamant, founder and executive director of AlterMed Research Foundation, knows how essential good health is. “I’ve seen human suffering through chronic diseases, and I don’t think anyone should have to go through that,” Diamant said. She also stated that 8,000 baby boomers will retire each day until 2028. “This is a big economic burden if we can’t understand how to prevent chronic diseases,” Diamant said.
The mission of her non-profit is, “Be a change agent through research and education, to achieve full integration of evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine into conventional healthcare so all people can enjoy optimum wellness.” And this healthy life needs to start now. Diamant suggested D.A.R.C.I.E. to help you attain this optimum wellness. The acronym stands for:
- Diet/ nutrition: Diamant gave the quote by Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This quote shows the importance of eating food, not junk food, but actual food. Don’t ever eat more than your stomach wants you too, and eat more plants and less meats since most meat can be harmful to our bodies.
- Active living/ fitness: Staying active will reduce the risk of developing various diseases. Exercise can also have an immediate benefit as well as the known long-term health benefits.
- Relaxation: Take Yvette Vega’s tips on self-affirmation, Qigong and meditation. Relaxation is key to achieving optimum wellness.
- Coping positively: When something bad happens, seek help, whether it’s through a counselor, friend or family member. Do the above steps and find what works best for you.
- Interconnectedness: Know what’s around you and how it all can affect you in a positive light. If you’re having a bad day, walk outside. My mother always told me to go touch a tree. Oddly enough, it works, for me at least, because it helps me realize there are bigger things in life that are grounded and help me to be the same.
- Environmental impact awareness on health: Outdoor air quality, water quality, hazardous wastes, infrastructure and so many other environmental factors can impact our health. Knowing this and making a difference in the way we live our life and treat our environment will also benefit our optimal wellness in the long run.
Maybe you’re only 20-years-old, and don’t let that stop you. A healthy life needs to start now.