As Parish Nurse, one of my roles is “information-sharing and encouragement for optimal health and well-being.” Today’s topic is: “Beyond Nutrition – Other Contributors to Optimal Health.”
Last month at this site, I shared suggestions for “Eating for Optimal Health.” This month I decided to address other known contributors to optimal health and well-being. Obviously, this is a huge topic, but I found a very readable article that succinctly summarizes what the research shows: “Keep Things Simple for a Healthy, Long Life” by John Henning Schumann, MD. You can read the article here.
As a primary-care physician in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he asserts that “there really aren’t shortcuts to health. This is what you need to do:
- Get enough sleep.
- Move your body throughout the day.
- Eat well – a healthy assortment of foods. Mostly plants, and not too much. (An idea popularized by author Michael Pollan.) [See the Parish Nurse blog from August 9.]
- Interact socially. Isolation is not good for the body, mind, or soul.
- Take some time to reflect on what you are grateful for.”
Dr. Schumann refers to the Blue Zones in the world where people routinely live to 90-100, without modern medical care, but still healthy and active. You can read more about that fascinating subject here.
Although there are many cultural differences, of course, I suggest that there are also valuable lessons for us from the Blue Zones.
– Ann Yeo, R.N., M.S.N., Parish Nurse