I consider myself lucky in that I grew up in the 70s, one of four children with parents who were active and got us out of the house as often as they could.
We would walk, run, cycle and generally do anything that involved staying outside. Being at home meant bedtime and we would do whatever we could to avoid that.
Summer holidays were spent at my Grandparents and my Grandma taught me to cook and bake. Fluffy, light sponge cakes, crispy pastry filled with jam or meat and hearty stews served with delicious vegetables and mouth watering gravy’s.
Of course I would come home and pester my Mum to let me practice on the family – of which she was only to happy to oblige and so by the time I hit my early teens I was competent enough in the kitchen to cook meals for the whole family.
Both my parents ran competitively and my father still runs at the grand age of 79 so being active was something that our family always was. The local running club that my father’s father had co founded was a regular backdrop to our weekend life and whilst the athletes competed on the track we would tear around the outside ensuring that we were well and truly knackered by the end of the day.
You could stay that the mantra ‘health is wealth’ was instilled in us at that young age and was something that we took with us into our adult life.
Nowadays though, things look very different. Parents, it seems are too frightened to let their children out of their sight and so childhoods are now being spent in armchairs hooked up to internet games. Speaking to their friends on consoles and headphones means they don’t even have to leave their own houses to play together anymore.
Meals are often than not out of packets and boxes washed down with a diet drink (because you won’t get fat if it says diet on the tin).
And once we have grown up we no longer walk anywhere, the car comes everywhere with us or we sit on trains and buses stuck in traffic rather than get up and use our legs. Work days are long and evenings spent slumped in front of the TV waiting for it all to start again the next day.
You only have to take a look around the average town to see how this is affecting our health. Being overweight is now the new ‘normal’ and the rise in mobility scooters is actually quite shocking. How did we come so far in such a short space of time. How in a matter of just 30 years did our grasp on health and all that it means become so skewered.
We are the sickest we have ever been, the fattest and the least mobile. We rely on pills and potions to make us better and when they don’t we just take more of them anyway.
It’s a sad state of affairs that are living through and one that has to change. We have to take the control of our health back and make it a priority in our lives again.
We have to teach our children what good health and diet is all about and if we don’t know then we have to educate ourselves as well.
All change requires dedication, motivation and a generous amount of inspiration all of which we can draw upon as we all have these things inside of us (we just don’t realise it)
A future of being dis-ease free, active and healthy lies ahead for all of us. We just have to want it enough. So does ‘Health equal Wealth?’ absolutely because when you have your health then there really is nothing that you can’t do – and that there is the real wealth.
Helen is a fully qualified Personal Fitness trainer, Yoga teacher and avid raw foodie. Currently training for a series of ULTRAmarathons at the age of 45 she really does ‘walk her talk’. You can find her over at her website Barefoot and Raw or hanging out at The Fit, Fab, 40 Club that she set up to share all her knowledge on exercise, nutrition and healthy living.
When not running, practicing yoga or eating delicious food, Helen can be found traveling around Europe with her hubby and very spoilt three legged cat in their beloved caravan Bessy, living the simple life.