What Does Health Mean to You? Laying the Groundwork
This week the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge, a blog that essentially gives bloggers voluntary writing assignments, encouraged people to reflect on health and what it means to them.
I have been thinking a lot about my health over the last year, in part because I turned 40, which really had me in a prolonged existential funk. This milestone birthday prompted me to scrutinize my physical health and well-being, and reassess how I was spending my time in order to better allocate it.
Through this process I discovered– or in some cases reaffirmed– how I want to live, and I have continued to adapt my environment so that it facilitates a lifestyle that is healthy for me.
This post focuses on laying the groundwork for the more physical aspects of health, but these bleed into other areas of wellness, too.
First, I made my bicycle my primary mode of transportation. I use it to commute to work, fetch groceries, meet up with friends, and to do most other errands.
Over time I cultivated a network of friends who encourage, support, and even accompany me in my physical pursuits. I married a person who shares my passion for being active.
My recreation almost always involves physical activity. That is one of the primary ways I relax from the day-to-day.
I go bike touring on my vacations with Felkerino and we participate in randonneuring events together. I don’t randonneur for my physical health after a point, but its mental benefits keep me coming back to it.
We have a great group of friends who accompany us on weekend whatevering rides. I even started running a little with Ultrarunnergirl.
It’s important for me to live where good food choices are available within a walkable or rideable radius. The part of town I live in now is not ideal in that regard (we have a grocery store but fresh veggies and quality protein are not its strengths), but I am a short bike ride away from stores that have tasty produce and protein options.
My work environment promotes fitness. We have an on-site gym. As noted in previous posts, my office is located in a runner-friendly area.
My colleagues respect my workout habit. When people see me going to the gym, they almost always say something encouraging. This kind of workplace is new to me and I have a great appreciation for it.
Finally, I live in Washington, D.C., a place where I do not have to rely on a car to go places. It is not unusual to see others out biking or walking, living car-lite or car-free.
My ability to meet all of my daily needs via walking or by bicycle is a basic threshold for my own health, and I hope I can continue to live this way for many years.
If you read this blog I suspect you have an active lifestyle, too. So tell me, what does health mean to you and how do you weave it into your life? I’m curious…