Health Equation

A few posts back, I had a brief little poll that inquired upon people’s thoughts on the meaning of health.  After receiving a handful of answers, all but one agreed that health was an all encompassing term that deals with both internal and external factors.  These physical, mental, and emotional factors all work together to create one cohesive state of health, though every individual has a differing equation.

In order to better understand what all creates our image of health, so many variables have to be examined. My own equation is very extensive, but I’ll do my best to examine as much of it as I can in time.  For now, I’ll just focus on five main points:

1. Physical State of Being

As I grow older, I’m really starting to notice slight differences in how my body reacts to and handles various things: I can no longer go nights without sleep and live to tell the tale; Coffee has become a staple, and not just a favored drink; Stress physically effects me; Working out feels awesome; Late night snacking turning into a cruel joke when I put pants on later, etc…

Although I may be average in size and stature, with some muscle, I am totally out of shape and I can’t stand it.  My days of having a super metabolism and twig-like figure are totally over.  Aside from all of that, I’m really starting to feel how crucial proper nutrition truly is.

2. Mental State

Like mentioned above, stress is starting to affect me for the first time.  I’ve always been busy and a great multi-tasker…but college is new ballgame.  Although I can still manage everything very well, I sincerely have to find ways to maintain the stress and not let myself get overwhelmed, even in my fourth year.  (My drumset being 2 hrs away doesn’t help much).

Though I may be struggling with stress here and there, I try to remain calm and keep my normal down-to-Earth vibe about me.  So many factors work their way into the equation of my mental state.  For now, I’ll just cap it there.

3. Gender

Where do I even begin?! This could and probably will be a post of its own here soon enough.  For the time being, I’ll just keep this one brief.

Gender seems to be everything in this day and age, politically, personally, and in other ways.  This election season (for example) seems to be a constant battle of health and gender, focusing on how and why these two terms go hand in hand.  One moment, we progress forward.  The next, we make a screeching halt and go flying back to the 40’s.  Womanhood is constantly on the line, and somehow religion, economics, and two-party systems find their way into the mix.  Why does the stuff between my legs determine my rights as a human in every aspect, especially something as sensitive as health care?!

4. Media

With all of the technology readily available today, messages are smashed in our face every single moment of the day.  The number of mediated messages that register in your brain each day would probably astound you if you sat down and thought about it.

The media has a huge hand in what is deemed as healthy, proper, right, wrong, and so much more.  This could be anything from skinny mini models in magazines, to the font used in advertisements.  Therefore, one is swayed in different directions without even realizing what’s going on.

5. Family

In the most basic of ways, family and upbringing has a lot to do with what I deem as health.  I was raised with a very health conscious, fit, happy go lucky family.  Because of this, I listen to Enya while I relax and write papers, I love hiking for fun, brain power is wealth, being personally fit is important (that doesn’t mean I have to be a stick), happiness is a virtue, food is vital, awareness is key, and so much more.

Health can mean any number of things to someone and I’m sure those closest to me have a different set of variables in their own equation, than I.  There is no right answer for what health is and isn’t.   

Olympic-Sized Surprise

As I’m sure you all know, it’s Olympiad time across the globe!  Of course, I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics over the years, during both the winter and summer time.  No matter what the season, the Olympiad always makes a wonderful statement for unity and friendly competition.  In the past, various historical moments have happened between athletes and nations alike.  I am particularly proud of the all around outcome of this years’ games.

Gold medals are often the main goal of competition, but I have become overly excited in other arenas of the games this year.  First and foremost, it is the first time in Olympiad history for every participating nation to be represented by both male and FEMALE athletes.  Whether or not some may consider this a big deal, it certainly is.

Along with the female athletes, came an outstanding performance by a woman I am a huge fan of: Dame Evelyn Glennie.  During the opening ceremony, one could catch Glennie playing various drums that powered over the entire city.  She has been a major role model for me ever since I caught her on a rerun of Sesame Street, way back in the day.  Being a percussionist myself, I rely on a woman such as her to bring a positive feminine face to the world of drumming, which tends to be male dominated.  (Note to self: Make a future post about that issue.)  Not only is she an outstanding musician, she is the world’s first solo percussionist, and on top of all of that, she is deaf.  Because of this, the rhythms she ignites, which pour from her soul, are vastly without comparison. Here are a few pics from her historical performance:  http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Dame+Evelyn+Glennie/2012+Olympic+Games+Opening+Ceremony/dCp6UTiHPzL

Changing gears slightly, I’ll touch on another major success noted around the Olympics.  While I was eagerly watching the games one night with N, I was quickly drawn in to a commercial.  Thanks to my health comm prof and mentor, I can no longer watch TV like a normal person…I always have to point out the subtleties of everything I see; I try my best not to though.  Anyhoo, I was very impressed with a commercial by Chevy.  I may not be the biggest fan of most American cars, hence my adoration for my 13 yr. old Camry, but I am now a fan of Chevy.  In this outstanding ad for a Silverado, entitled “Like Father, Like Son,” a little boy is seen playing at home while he waits for his dad to return from wherever.  The little boy is playing around with a mini-sized Silverado and other masculine toys, until the camera pans around a bit, and we see the boy playing with a multitude of rather feminine and “girly” dolls, pony trailers, and other various toys.  Again, this may not seem like a major step for some, but to me, this is a firm statement made by a popular, American brand name, and deserves to be congratulated.  Gender stereotyping begins at such a young age, and it is essential for children to be exposed to gender equality, and not discrimination.

The commercial closes with a simple message, spoken by Tim Allen.  His fatherly role on Home Improvement was a favorite of mine, as well as my entire family.

Thank you 2012 Olympiad, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Chevy, and Tim Allen.  With strides such as these, that impact the entire globe, perhaps the world is truly moving forward.