Thursday, May 2, 2013
| Category: Function
"I feel like crap...it stinks getting old."
"My mom and dad had that so that's why I have it."
"Every time the weather changes I get a cold (or my body and joints ache)."
Many people like to blame circumstances they have no control over as to why they feel the way they do. The 3 biggest offenders are Age, Genetics, and the Weather. So let's tackle them one by one to dispel these myths.
The one I hear the most people complain about is that they are getting inflicted with their ailments because they're getting older - knee pain, shoulder pain, back pain, overweight, thryroid dysfunction, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. It doesn't matter if that person is 80 or 40 years old.
I ask them the same question every time they say it's because of their age: "So when I'm your age, I'm going to feel just like you???" And what do you think they say? NO!
Then I ask them, "Why not?" Invariably they say it's because I take care of myself right NOW! Not in 5 years, not in 10 years, but RIGHT NOW!
Plus, if it was about age, wouldn't everyone who was the same age be at the same level of health? We all know that's not true. There are various levels of health and they're not due to your age.
Instead of telling people in your life, like your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, co-workers, "wait til you get to my age, then you'll feel like this," wouldn't better (and more accurate) advice be "take care of yourself NOW so you don't end up like me."
This is a tough one because I'm sure you hear in the news how they're working on finding the genes that control diabetes or obesity or cancer or you name it. Here's a brief science lesson:
Genes are the blueprint (or book) for the makeup of your body. They have all the ingredients that your body needs.
BUT, those genes have to be expressed to cause an effect on your body. That means, something has to happen to the gene for it to be read. Like a the building on the blueprint doesn't get built without someone building it, or a book is not read if you don't turn the pages.
Very simply, the choices, activities, decisions, and actions we make throughout our life determines which genes are expressed and which ones are not.
The weather seems to have so much control over our lives. We all want to talk either how great the weather is, or how it sucks! Trust me, I get like that too sometimes.
But one thing it doesn't have control over is how your body feels or making you sick. What!!??
This is very similar to the age argument; why doesn't everyone who is in the same environment get sick?
It's because some people's immune system and body are STRONGER than those who do get sick. If you have a strong enough immune and nervous system, you can fight off infections before you even get sick.
I hate to break the news but no matter how much you use Purell, you are still exposed to tons of germs everyday. So if your immune and nervous system are not functioning correctly, you will not be strong enough to stay healthy.
So What Are You Supposed To Do Then?
If it's not age, or genetics, or the weather that governs the health of your body, what does? Why does your body have some kind of symptom or disease (possibly)?
The GREAT NEWS is YOU control the level of health in your body!
It's all about Good Habits vs Bad Habits.
Any Bad Habit is a stress that will
1) break your body down faster (i.e. make you age faster),
2) express genes that will lead to disease, and
3) make your body weaker so you can't deal with changes in your environment (like weather changes).
Repeated abuse of these stressors cause your body to get out of balance, making it more susceptible to symptoms and disease.
To give you an idea of how these affect your health, imagine your body as an empty glass underneath a leaky faucet. Every drop that goes in the glass is a stressor you are putting on or in your body. Some drops are bigger than others. Not until the water overflows will you feel any symptoms or be diagnosed with a disease.
The goal is to fix the leak and dump the water out of the glass by doing healthy activities which, of course, are the opposite of these stressors.
By limiting your Bad Habits and increasing your Good Habits, your health will get stronger! And when your health get's stronger, you'll have optimal function and can fight off disease regardless of your age, genetics, or environment.
Isn't that AWESOME! You control your own health and future!
So here are some Good Habits to get you going:
Exercising at a moderate intensity for 20-30 minutes three to five times per week. (Moderate intensity means “slightly out of breath” to “can’t hold conversation”: running, walking briskly, jogging, strength/circuit training, swimming, yoga, pilates, biking, cross country skiing, aerobics, elliptical, treadmill, stairmaster, exercise videos/DVDs).
Performing stretching and/or flexibility exercises including Chiropractic treatments and massage.
Get at least six hours of sleep at night.
Get up from your computer at least every 30 minutes and/or do stretches to counteract the inactivity
Use proper bending techniques repetitively or when lifting something heavy.
Holding and/or carrying objects repetitively like children, boxes, equipment, laundry, groceries, luggage
Eat raw fresh fruit everyday.
Eat raw fresh vegetables everyday.
Eat leafy vegetables regularly.
Eat almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds regularly.
Eat fresh organic skinless chicken or turkey multiple times per week.
Use extra virgin olive oil, high oleic expeller pressed safflower or sunflower oil especially with cooking
Drink water (at least half of your body weight in ounces).
Take supplements or vitamins daily (especially Omega 3 or Krill Oil, Probiotics, and Vitamin D)
Make time for rest and relaxation.
Use appropriate methods to relieve stress or manage stress like deep breathing, meditation, massage, positive thinking.
Regularly seeing close friends and family members with whom you have good relationships.
Get involved in activities in which you help others.
Think positively; Don’t expect the worst.
Associate with positive people.
I hope this gives you hope that you are NOT a prisoner of your age, family medical history, or environmental changes. And, the more healthy choices you make will lead you to a long, happy, healthy life and break the cycle of disease!