Overall health and wellness encompasses many things — and certainly transcends just exercise and diet regimens. Being well means different things to different people, so we’ve asked some thriving Coronadans to share what it means to live a healthy life.
“Going on walks makes me feel healthy and happy. I’m happy when I get to see stuff. Like fairy houses.” ~ Christopher Sturm
“In 2002, I nearly died after suffering a traumatic brain injury when I crashed my bike during a ride in Mexico. I was transferred back to the United States in a coma, and when I woke up, I was told my legs would never support me again. It was with the help of my parents that I began to speak, make my way into a wheelchair and, despite the grim prognosis, relearned how to walk with the help of chiropractic care, acupuncture therapy and, most importantly, Bikram yoga. Not only did I walk again, I hiked the entire 500 miles of Camino de Santiago in Spain, and as I practiced yoga to aid the aches and pains of my own journey, others began asking me to guide them in the practice as well. I found that teaching yoga was my passion and what gave me the control I needed back in my life.” ~ Barbra Chakos
“I was assigned to work with a group of women, all of whom had recently been released from prison and were living in a transition-from-prison home. These women were eager to learn about healthy alternatives to the lifestyle they had prior to their incarceration. Their goal was to be gainfully employed and living independently and, of course, to leave behind the lifestyle that lead to their incarcerations. We went back to the basics with our teaching. We spent a lot of time on healthy eating, something most of the women had never been taught. We also addressed healthy interactions with people and taught them ways to respect themselves. They may seem like small steps, but they were important ones. Their stories reminded me that we are never too late to make lifestyle changes.” ~ Jan MacLeod, R.N.
“They say that laughter is the best medicine, but I think it is also the best preventative medicine. Even a wry, smile-causing comment can ward off an attack of the doldrums or the pressures and concerns of a difficult day.” ~ Ed Lohlein
“For good health to become part of the fabric of your life, it helps to start young. Because my life has always revolved around athletic pursuits (I’ve been playing tennis since I was 6 years old), I have found myself with a fulfilling career, a husband who shares my love of tennis, many fun experiences with my family, and, at 60, the energy to do whatever I choose and feel great doing it. Healthy pursuits resulted in all these benefits, which in turn keep me healthy!” ~ Narelle Pettee
“As I understand it today, health goes beyond just being free of disease. True health enables us to perform optimally, to receive peak enjoyment out of every day, and to maximize the high quality years we have. For me, it boils down to maintaining optimal brain function, vision, and mobility. I teach that the ‘ESSENCE’ of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is spelled out by that word: Education, Stress Management, Spirituality, Exercise, Nutrition, Connections, and Environment.” ~ Dr. Patrick Yassini
“Cancer and cancer treatment are life changers. Staying healthy after beating the illness meant giving up some things, but also gaining new ones. I miss the exercise my body can no longer tolerate. But I’ve found less stressful workouts that I enjoy. I think about what I eat more carefully now — and appreciate vegetables and salads and healthy food so much more than before. But I still love sweets … thankfully, some things didn’t change!” ~ Jack Monger
“I was born with two failing kidneys. But in 2010, I received a kidney transplant from my mom, Mary. With a second chance at life, I have been granted insight and perspective for which I am eternally grateful. Now, I realize that being healthy is about finding a balance between all aspects of life. Life without balance is stressful. Our bodies and our minds know when we are unbalanced. My personal routine is aimed at achieving happiness through my everyday choices; starting with the most basic of necessities: eating well, exercising daily, and surrounding myself with positive energies in my social relationships.” ~ Benjamin Street