How Happy Is Your Health?

This post is part of Sophie Keller's "How Happy Is" series on The Huffington Post. This week, Sophie offers advice on your health:

Your health is number one. That's it. End of story! You can have a great marriage, a great career and a great family but taking care of your health has to come before everything else.

When it comes to your health, you need to think long-term. The question you need to ask yourself is, "how will the way I treat my body now affect it five years, ten years and forty years from now?" If how you are taking care of your body now will support your long-term vitality and help slow down your aging, then go for it, otherwise you need to change some habits before it's too late.

My new book "How Happy Is Your Health?" provides fifty unusual and original health tips, four of which I'll offer here on The Huffington Post this week. All fifty are easy to implement and have the capacity to make a big impact on the quality of your life. If you follow them, I promise you they will help prevent disease and assist you to live to a ripe old age! My goal is to give you knowledge so that you can make your own informed choices and decide what is best for you.

My personal health journey began at a very young age. When I was fourteen, I hurt my back and shoulder while playing competitive tennis. I was in excruciating pain and had problems sitting and standing. I went to a host of medical doctors, who said they couldn't help me and insisted I would never be better. As a result, I took my healing into my own hands and explored holistic and drug-free therapies. I did Pilates to strengthen the muscles in my back, started meditating to release stress and clear my mind and went to therapy to understand why my back, "my support system," had given up on me. After seeing the incredible results I could get naturally, I began a lifelong journey to discover more about optimum health and how to achieve it.

Over the years, I realized, among other things, that it is probably better to eat fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with poison, that the mind and body are completely intertwined--when one is suffering, the other often follows suit-- and that it is a good idea to treat my body as if it is my best friend, since we'll be spending a lifetime together.

I studied under many different doctors at the forefront of complementary medicines and trained in numerous different bodyworks, mind therapies and spiritual practices to heal myself and to gain insight in the field of personal development and happiness. I became a life coach, master practitioner and trainer in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnosis, as well as a qualified yoga teacher. Bringing together the knowledge that I gained over the years, I eventually became an expert in the field of happiness.

I've taken many things that I've learned about health and distilled them into the simple and easy to follow tips you'll read this week.

But before you read the tips, I'd like you to take the quiz below (you'll find a longer 20-question version in the book itself). The purpose of the quiz is to determine just how healthy you are already in your own life and depending on how you answer it will guide you to the tips that will help you to understand what food to eat, how to reduce your exposure to toxins, show you how the mind and body are intertwined and make you aware of preventative healing practices that really work.

I promise that answering these questions - and following the tips -- will make a big difference in how you look and feel.

I wish you a long, healthy and happy life.



QUIZ: How Happy Is Your Health?

1. If you are near a landline and someone calls you on your cell phone, do you:

A. Talk on your cell phone without worrying about the time spent on it?

B. Ask if you can call him or her back from the landline?

C. Talk on your cell phone but minimize the amount of time you stay on your cell?

2. Are you aware of the quality of the water that you drink?

A. Not at all, and I'm not particularly concerned about it.

B. I do my best to know about the quality of the water that I drink.

C. I sometimes think about it, but it doesn't influence my choices too much.

3. When you buy cleaning products for your home, do you:

A. Buy the cheapest products you can find?

B. Think about what would be good for your health and the environment?

C. Go for whatever catches your eye first?

4. When it comes to body care and beauty products, do you:

A. Look for the most natural and organic brand?

B. Look for a brand you recognize?

C. Look for the cheapest brand you can find?

5. When you use plastic products, are you careful to limit your exposure to potential toxins?

A. No, I am not aware of toxins in plastic and don't really think about them.

B.Yes, I am aware of toxins and try to lessen the amount of plastic products I use and choose them carefully.

C. I think about this sometimes, but I don't let it influence my choices too much.

6. When you have an injury or common illness, how do you go about healing it?

A. I go straight to my medical doctor and ask for the quickest solution, whether it's a pain pill, antibiotic or some other therapy.

B.I make lifestyle changes to try to holistically treat the ailment before going to see alternative health practitioners and medical doctors.

C. I ignore the injury or cold and hope it will go away on its own.

7. How is your posture?

A. Excellent. I'm very careful about my posture and always sit or stand up straight.

B. I never really think about my posture and have no idea.

C. Sometimes I think that I could sit or stand straighter.



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