Welcome back! Last time we set out on a little journey to find a workable definition of what health is.
To many people, health is an abstract concept, understood vaguely only as the absence of illness in perhaps the same way an abstract concept like “Evil” is often defined as the “Absence of Good”. They know it’s important, they know they want it, but what IT is exactly is hard to pinpoint.
So I presented the AA35 Pillars of Good Health framework as a way to illustrate components that make up good health. By understanding what these are, we will be able to start doing something concrete to support each pillar, building up a storehouse of good and robust health.
We have so far looked at the first two pillars, Freedom from Illness and Freedom from Injury. Today we look at the other three.
I recently fell sick for two weeks, causing a snowballing backlog of things to do, from work to personal projects to business planning and… yes, writing in this blog.
That got me thinking about health: what it is, and how we often take it for granted. The effects are not just the immediate suffering but also the aftermath – having to make up for lost time, lost work, and lost opportunities.
In my consulting and speaking engagements, I often ask people:
What is good health?
Almost always I get an answer that defines health as the absence of illness or disease.
That vague idea is a huge problem and obstacle to actually having good health, because it’s so abstract.
Theres’s nothing more abstract than having to define something as the absence of something else. And this definition ensures that people have little motivation to understand what health is as long as they don’t feel anything is wrong.
Recently, I’ve had a number of friends come down with injury from a variety of activities. Some were in competitive sports, some were in intensive training for dance performances, and yet others were just unlucky and got into accidents.
Invariably the most common question is: What do I do?
Unfortunately, the most common response is:
PRICE. Protection. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
Yeah, I know. Boring right? There are not a lot of people who would immediately apply PRICE for a few common reasons. Inability to rest, need to continue to compete, obsession, addiction, and even laziness. In addition, what to do has a lot to do with the nature, type, site and other factors of the injury itself. So PRICE may not be nice for all.
While what to do may vary depending on the case, what can quite uniformly apply to a large variety of cases is advice on what not to do.
So today, we’ll talk about how to practise the Hippocratic oath – first, do no HARM.
In part 1 of this article, we presented an overview of the six pack quest. Why you might want one, and what the components of this lofty goal are. We ended by talking about exercise, one of the supporting pillars of the 6 Pack tripod.
In part 2, we touch on nutrition and recovery, the other two pillars.