Our society has a complicated relationship with health.
On one hand, in 2014 alone, Americans spent $24 billion on gym memberships,  $30 billion on athletic apparel  and $60 billion on weight loss.  New diets, eating plans, and studies telling us what we should eat or not eat spring up at a dizzying pace. Our book-store and grocery-store aisles are lined with literature offering six-pack abs, toned arms, and firmer butts.
And yet, despite our cultural fixation on health and beauty, 70 percent of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight, including 35 percent who are considered obese.  Only one in five adults meet federal guidelines for both aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening exercise.  And we spend over $100 billion dollars per year on fast food  and average 34 hours per week watching television. 
“Complicated relationship” may be an understatement. We desperately desire healthy bodies and healthy lives—but seem to have difficulty living it out.
That is why we chose “Health and Wellness” as the theme for Issue 002 of Simplify Magazine.
Our physical bodies are the instruments through which we accomplish our unique purpose in this world. And how we care for them matters.
No matter what our greatest pursuit is in life, our physical bodies are essential to accomplishing it. Whether we desire to be good parents, spiritual mentors, world travelers, successful businesspeople, or any combination of the above, our physical bodies are either an asset or liability.
That is why this conversation is important—not because health is the greatest goal of our lives, but because intentionally caring for our health better allows us to pursue those goals that are the greatest.
In this issue of Simplify Magazine, you will find articles related to sleep, health, nutrition, clutter, and how we perceive the world around us. You will find helpful research and simple, practical ideas to embrace healthier habits in your life. You will also discover a range of voices, including contributions from a clinical psychologist, a health coach, a nutritionist, a trained chef, a cancer survivor, and some of our favorite writers focused on issues of health and wellness. The topics are varied, in-depth, and important, but they have all been chosen intentionally and specifically.
It is unlikely that anybody reads through this issue and begins implementing every action step immediately. Instead, read the articles and slowly digest the content. Make one change for the better in your life or family, and allow it to take hold. Then make another.
The stakes are high. We only get one life—and the world needs us to live it well.
With you on this journey,
Joshua Becker and Brian Gardner
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