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Retire Healthy – Health and Wellness is important

When it comes to retirement planning, most people think it’s all about the money.  As much as money is important and you need money to retire, I’ve been very vocal about the fact that retirement planning is about more than just money.

One of the aspects that is critical to a successful retirement is the importance of healthy living.  If you think about it, it may even be more important than money.  You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have your health, how important is the money?

The Retire Healthy Series

I am very excited to announce that for the next two months, I will be running a weekly feature every Thursday devoted to helping people retire healthy.  Some of you may be asking “What’s an overweight financial guy doing talking about health?”  The truth is not much.  I am very excited to announce the content for this series comes from Wholesum Nutrition, a wonderful nutrition consulting company with a mission to promote better health through expert advice. I’m also proud that my wife Elizabeth stepped up to put together a lot of the content for this series. Let’s kick off the series with some really basic information on Health and Wellness.

Defining Health and Wellness

Health and wellness are terms that many people hear and read about in everyday situations but do not have an easy time defining.

What is health?

Traditional definition – Traditionally, health was defined as freedom from disease, reflected in the notion that if a person was not ill they must be healthy.  As such, in the past, health was only a major concern if a person was in danger of losing it through injury or disease.

The current definition – In the contemporary world, however, it has been recognized that health is much more than just the absence of illness or disease.  This is evident in the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.  This definition recognizes that spiritual, emotional, biological, genetic, behavioural, and societal aspects of life all play important roles in health.  This definition conceptualizes health at the individual level as being positive, multidimensional and holistic.

What is Wellness?

The concept of wellness is multidimensional and is generally considered to include social, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of an individuals life.  Wellness is defined as an active, lifelong process of becoming aware of choices and making decisions toward a more balanced, healthy and successful life.  This definition emphasizes that wellness is a process and, as such, we can never arrive at a point where there is no possibility of improving.  It also emphasizes that wellness requires individual awareness, meaning that we must continuously seek information about how we can improve.  As well, the definition emphasizes that we have choices, can consider a variety of options and can select those that seem to be in our best interest.  Making individual choices about our lives and the priorities that determine our lifestyles is at the core of wellness.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the content coming (I am so excited to share this great information with you):

Reducing the risk of health problems
Improving Physical Health
Tips to getting active
Reviewing Nutrition and Canada’s Food Guide
Using Vitamins and Supplements as you age
The importance of getting rest
Strengthen your mental health
Your spiritual health links the mind body and soul together
Ideas to improve spiritual health
Changing your habits to healthy ones

Written by Liz Yih

Elizabeth Yih is a registered dietitian who specializes in Eating Disorders at the University of Alberta Hospital. She also consults for Wholesum Nutrition and has a general passion for living healthy and helping others do the same. Most importantly, she sets a positive example to live life healthy and happy for her four children.

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