It is not possible to achieve optimum health without knowing what it is. Optimum means of the greatest degree. It is the highest level that can be obtained or achieved. When applied to health, it means, on the surface, the healthiest we can be. It is more than that.
Many people believe that health is nothing but the absence of disease. If the medical establishment has not pinned a disease on you, then you must be healthy. This cannot be further from the truth. Health exists on many levels. It is physical, mental, and spiritual. All must be at their best for optimum health to be achieved.
But what does it mean to have achieved optimum health? In achieving maximum health, you have maximized your ability to move, work, and think while minimizing you potential for injury and fatigue. You are able to handle all the challenges that life has to offer.
To me Optimum Health is more of a process and a way of life than a destination. I liken it to Nirvana. The steps and tasks that are required to reach it are as, or even more, important than the achievement of the goal itself. In order to achieve optimum health, you will need to have optimum nutrition, optimum exercise, optimum physical activity, and optimum rest. It is also required to maximize ourselves mentally and spiritually. Our physical health is greatly influenced by the way we think.
The two most important things in achieving optimum health is nutrition and exercise. Without either, it would be impossible to do so. The foods we eat today are void of micronutrients, and are in fact artificial by all sense of the word. “At best, this conflict between genetic design and modern food reduces physical performance and longevity. Some researchers also contend it is a major factor in the decline mental performance after age 40 that is now apparent in America. At worst, numerous experts believe, it likely responsible for most of the chronic degenerative diseases of western life”. (Colgan, Nutrition For Champions, 2007) But it is more than our food that is killing us. Researchers have found that the sedentary lifestyle we have adopted over the past 50 to 60 years causes widespread body damage that occurs independently to other factors such as smoking, alcohol, age, and others. (Colgan, The New Nutrition: Medicine for the Millennium, 1996)
It is clear that in order to obtain the nirvana of optimum health, you must begin by eating whole live foods and exercising. It is not rocket science, but many people seem just not to get this simple fact.