Wellness Pathway #196 Love Your Neighbor

I couldn’t help but notice Ellen Neuborne’s article in this month’s issue of Health magazine, debunking the myth of “coral calcium.” Perhaps you’ve seen the infomercials or tried the product yourself. It’s not that coral calcium is a bad calcium supplement (apart from destroying calcium reefs and ocean floors), reports Neuborne, it’s just that it doesn’t produce any more health benefits than any other calcium supplement.

This despite the claims of Robert Barefoot, an Arizona businessman, who believes that coral calcium, which is in the drinking water of those who live on the Japanese islands of Okinawa, accounts for their good health and exceptional longevity. The authors of the famous Okinawa Centenarian Study, popularized in the 2001 book The Okinawa Program, assert that Barefoot is just wrong. “It’s far more likely,” they said, “that Okinawans live so long because they eat a low-calorie diet based on plants, fish, and soy foods; exercise regularly; and maintain strong social and family structures.”

That statement speaks volumes. Many a study has documented the inverse relationship between calories and life expectancy. The less we eat, the longer we live. Plants, fish, and soy foods are as good as they get. And everyone knows about the importance of exercise. But did you know that the quality of your relationships impacts your health as well?

This too has been documented in a wide variety of studies. Happy families are healthy families. And those families who participate actively in voluntary associations, such as religious communities or service clubs, do even better. It’s not just that they find themselves happier and better able to deal with the ups and downs of life. It’s that they find themselves healthier, with stronger immune systems and fewer afflictions.

If you want to improve your health, don’t neglect your social and family structures. They too have an important part to play.

Coaching Inquiries: What’s the condition of your social and family relationships? Are they strong and vibrant or weak and uninspiring? How you could make things better?

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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