How to Be Healthy: Quotes From Famous People on Health
Health and the Interlocking Pieces of a Jigsaw Puzzle
Health can be seen as a jigsaw puzzle. You can’t see the whole picture until all the pieces are in place. Keep in mind, the pieces aren’t separate—they interlock. Think of the advice of famous people as the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle.
A Jigsaw Puzzle for Health
The preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference in 1948 states that, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The following inspirational quotes about health are organized into a discussion about a sound mind in a sound body followed by, "The Four Prescriptions for Health."
A Sound Mind in a Sound Body
A Sound Mind in a Sound Body
Philosophers, doctors, and people of wisdom have always known that the body cannot be healthy without the mind also being healthy. Likewise, the mind cannot function well when the body is unhealthy.
Juvenal, a poet of ancient Rome, said “Mens sana in corpore sano”—a sound mind in a sound body. A sound mind requires control of attitude and emotions and positive social interactions. A sound body requires attention to nutrition, exercise, and to the prevention and cure of disease.
Unhappiness and stress can wreak havoc on the immune system and thereby cause poor health. People can literally become sick with worry or die of a “broken heart.” The mind can have a placebo effect upon the body. Sometimes, you may be what you think you are. Here are a few quotes about the interaction of the mind and body:
Buddha: Spiritual Leader
"To keep body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."
John Locke: Philosopher, Physician (17th century)
"A sound mind in a sound body...he that has these two, had little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little the better for anything else."
Jean-Baptiste Moilière: French Playwright (17th century)
"The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there."
Rx for the Mind
A Prescription for a Sound Mind
Having a positive attitude towards life can help create good health, or when you do become sick, it can help as a cure. The well-known placebo effect is an example of the mind healing the body.
Everyone needs to have relaxation and positive experiences to maintain a healthy mind. Take time to enjoy the beauty of nature; learn how to reduce stress in your life, cultivate friendships and love.
It is important to enjoy life. Oprah (actress, talk show host, entrepreneur) says “Cultivate an attitude of gratitude." My favorite dictum is, “Find the joy.” (I don’t know if anyone has said this before me, so I’ll take credit for it.) It means that in every task or relationship, even those you dislike, you can always find something to like. Find that something and focus on that, not on the negative.
Seneca: Philosopher (Ancient Greece)
"It is part of the cure to wish to be cured."
John Muir: Author, Naturalist
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
Buddha: Spiritual Leader
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
Cicero: Philosopher (Ancient Rome)
"Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body."
"The 'I' in illness is isolation, and the crucial letters in wellness are 'we.'”
Rx for a Healthy Body
A Prescription for a Sound Body
So far, we have been focusing on the “mind” part of the proverb. Now, let’s focus on the “body” part.
We need to take care of our bodies. That means good nutrition, regular physical exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Jim Rohn: Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
"Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live."
Hippocrates: Physician (Ancient Greece)
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Benjamin Franklin: Founding Father, Printer, Scientist, Inventor
"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
Adelle Davis: Nutritionist, Author
"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are."
Michael Pollan: Author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
"Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food, stay away from these."
John F. Kennedy: 35th President of the United States
"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity."
Edward Stanley: Earl of Derby (1826-93), British statesman
"Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness."
Kenneth H. Cooper: Doctor, Author
"We do not stop exercising because we grow old—we grow old because we stop exercising."
Rx for Healing
A Prescription for Healing
When we get sick, doctors have expertise and medicine for us. I’m in favor of regular check-ups and tests so that disease can be caught early and treated. (I’m a breast cancer survivor. I survived because a mammogram found my breast cancer early.)
Follow your doctor’s advice, but use the advice found in the previous quotes to supplement the doctor’s work and to prevent sickness. The best thing we can do for our health is not to get sick in the first place. Even doctors want that for us.
William J. Mayo: Doctor, Founder of the Mayo Clinic
"The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life, the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician."
Albert Schweitzer: Physician, Philosopher, Theologian
"Every patient carries her of his own doctor inside."
Thomas Edison: Inventor
"The doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the causes and prevention of disease."
Quentin Regestein: Psychiatrist
"Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop."
O. Carl Simonton: Oncologist
"Healing is simply attempting to do more of those things that bring joy and fewer of those things that bring pain."
Dr. Fabrizio Mancini: Doctor, Author
"The greatest miracle on Earth is the human body. It is stronger and wiser than you may realize, and improving its ability to self-heal is within your control."
Rx for Laughter
A Prescription for Laughter
Have you heard the expression, “Laughter is the best medicine?" Laughter improves health by providing relief from tension. It helps us to put things into perspective. It provides an aerobic workout for the body. It facilitates social interactions.
Lots of people have funny things to say about the quest for health. Just remember, "Many a true word is spoken in jest," Chaucer in The Monk's Tale.
Johnny Carson: TV Talk Show Host
"I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."
Doug Larson: Journalist
"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as
Cher: Singer, Actress
"Fitness--if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body."
Mark Twain: Author
"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not."
Randy Glasbergen: Cartoonist
"What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"
Robert M Hutchins: Educator
"Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes."
W. C. Fields: Actor, Humorist
"I cook with wine. sometimes I even add it to the food."
Just For Fun
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2014 Catherine Giordano