In 2016 follow eight steps to wellness and be healthy and happy.

Kin Coulee Park, Medicine Hat. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)
Kin Coulee Park, Medicine Hat. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved,” says George Sand, a pseudo name for a female French novelist. I guess she was happy to be a woman and use a man’s name.

It is important to be in love and be loved. It is also important to be healthy.

Those who are familiar with my columns and my books will know that I espouse eight steps of wellness for long-term good health and happiness. These are: healthy eating, no smoking, regular exercise, stress relief, adequate sleep, sexual empowerment, laughter and meditation.

Generally speaking, the most common desire is to lose weight. Sixty per cent of the people are overweight. We know why one should not be overweight. We know what one should do to lose weight. But the problem is how to implement the plan that will make us lose weight. A simple plan is to lose one pound a week. Can you imagine if you lose one pound a week, you can lose 52 pounds a year? That is amazing. Slow and steady wins the race. Rome wasn’t built in a day. OK you get the point.

Don’t just give up on eating. Be a smart eater. Make sure a healthy eating plan is one that has fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, bean, eggs, and nuts. And is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Isn’t that easy?

Eating smart (not dieting or starving) is one step in the grand design to be healthy. The second step is regular exercise. Again you don’t have to have a grand plan to join a club or run a marathon if you have children and a busy life. On a good day you just have to go outside your house and walk for 30 to 40 minutes a day. If the weather is bad then go to the mall and walk for half-an-hour and do window-shopping. That is not difficult. If you do that five days a week then you have burnt enough calories to lose some weight. It will also make you feel healthier and happier with no sense of guilt.

Smart eating and regular walking should not be difficult. If you are a smoker then you can quit on your own or seek help. Neither option is easy to implement. There is some success and lot of failures due to the addictive nature of nicotine. But success can be achieved if you have the determination. If you are serious about quitting then seek help. That would be the smart way to go. Talk to your family doctor.

The next five steps are important too – stress relief, good sleep, sexual empowerment, laughter and meditation. These five steps are more mental than physical. You need to devote more time and mental discipline to achieve your goals. You can read more about it in my previous columns or my books.

I have tried to keep this column short and to the point. This is busy time of the year. Make sure you spend lot of time with your family. Do not drink and drive. Be happy and relax so you can charge your batteries for 2016.

I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and may you all be blessed with peace, good health and happiness.

Have fun but be safe.

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