What does it mean to have freedom? Do we really have the freedom to be as healthy as we can be? As Americans, we are “free” to pretty much do as we please – free from restraint with the ability to speak, worship, and choose how we think. We are given a boldness to pursue our own dreams and live in “the home of the free” that gives us boundless opportunities to be who we want to be. And yes, we also have the freedom to take care of ourselves how we see fit (no pun intended). Just like our country, most of us are hoping to keep ourselves as strong and independent as possible.  Comparing our bodies and health to that of a strong country really isn’t far-fetched. After all, we have the responsibility to stay united not just as a country, but as a body of health.

Strong countries and strong bodies have many things in common. Strong countries are built on a strong foundation. They are open to diversity, risks, and change, and they want to support others. Can you imagine if you took these same strides in your own personal health? Let’s see how we can build our courage and use our freedom to stay as strong and independent as we can. What better way to kick it off than Independence week!

Building a healthy and strong foundation of health is the key to success. Like anything, if you don’t have a strong foundation, you won’t have the support you need to be successful. How is your health foundation? Do you have a primary care doctor? Are you making time for preventative checkups, dental appointments, and screenings? Are you eating well, exercising, and sleeping for overall good health? These are all the important parts of building a strong foundation of health. Take a look at your own health and wellness and see what you can do to improve your foundation so you can build from there.

When it comes to achieving the greatest health as a country and keeping up with our bodies as they age and change, we need to change too. Regardless of our activity level, we need to keep our bodies moving. For some, that is walking and for others it is kickboxing. When we add variety to our workouts and change them up we also get greater results! The more variety in your workouts the more added benefits you get. The same goes for diet! Change it up, try new foods and recipes. Variety will ensure you are getting different types of nutrients and keep you from getting bored and overeating. If you keep doing the same things you get the same result. Shake it up and you may see the scale finally budge or that you can run that mile even faster. If you aren’t sure what that change should look like, go back to your foundation, and ask your healthcare provider for support.

Building on top of that, increasing our health independence isn’t a solo mission – we all need support. This includes people who will encourage you to make the best choices and decisions, to stay healthy, and safe, and live a long independent life. Support can be found in personal relationships such as family and friends, and also by choosing doctors and care from professionals you trust. Increase your support system by finding support in like-minded people who want change or emotional care in the same areas as you, such as in a support group, art class, or even a fitness class. There are many virtual options and social media groups that can support you where you are now. Freedom in your health doesn’t mean going it alone – build a strong army of people around you.

The 4th of July is a great time to sit back and consider who we are and where we want to be in our own health. Most of us want independence to be able to do all the things we want to do. To do that and to have that freedom, takes work! Both as a country, community, and as a person, we all need to be working towards our greatest health, and to be the best we can be, we need to be healthy, independent, and strong. What can you do to be the best you? How can you build a stronger foundation? Where can you make little changes for greater results? How can you find better support and give better support to those around you? This 4th of July let’s celebrate not only our freedom as a country but our freedom to be a healthy you and me.


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center