Friday, October 30, 2009

Preventative Health--Now that's a Concept

Happy Friday! I do plan to post a couple more chapters of Happy Hour over the weekend. However, today I wanted to start something new--Fitness Fridays! As a writer, I sit on my butt a lot and I could probably fill my gut with lots of junk throughout the day and never get my exercise in. Fortunately for me, I have my own personal trainer, stretch therapist, and nutritionist living in my house--my husband John. Now, John doesn't train me (he's a great trainer and a sweet man, but I can be a bit obstinate when someone is telling me how to work out). I have my own regime. What he does do is fill me with all sorts of information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So, it got me thinking that a lot of people could benefit from his words of advice. Much of it is common sense and stuff we all know, but he'll be posting on things we may not be aware of on Fitness Fridays. I hope you'll be joining us for Fridays.

Without further ado, welcome my husband John.

Don’t you think America’s current approach to health is kind of like a dog chasing its tail? Think about it. Most people in this country are so busy and overwhelmed that preventing illness doesn’t become a priority until illness actually begins to occur. It just doesn’t make sense to not take the time to shop and plan healthy meals, take nutritional supplements and exercise in order to stay healthy. By following this simplified approach, we could prevent numerous types of illness and disease. It just doesn’t make sense to wait until we get sick and have to go to see the doctor and then to the pharmacy for antibiotics and then we miss several days of work etc. This is more like a Disease Management System than a Health System! We could save ourselves the time, misery of being ill and the expense associated with doctors’ visits and medications by just consistently doing the small things that help us develop our immune systems and stay disease free. It’s the small things that you do everyday that add up.

So much of today’s illnesses and disease stem from a poor diet. Take for example teenagers who consume nearly a full cup of sugar per day. This consumption is at least 4 times the recommended daily amount. With that in mind, consider that a single serving of processed sugar can shut down a child’s immune system for as much as six hours. Heart disease has long been the number one killer in America…(now closely followed by diabetes) and it can be prevented by a change in one’s diet. For years, the medical community has blamed heart disease on a diet high in saturated fat. The major factor in heart disease is damage to the walls of our arteries by free radicals. Typically, the free radicals are a product of oxidized vegetable oils found in fried foods, cookies and other processed foods. Once the damage is done, it is often permanent and now the arteries calcify and the cholesterol that normally runs freely in our blood stream begins to gather at these damaged sites and starts to clog one’s arteries.

The need for proper vitamin supplementation has never been more serious than now considering that with our busy lifestyles, it is almost impossible to get all of the nutrients we need to stay healthy from our diet. Considering we need about 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies per day, we’d have to spend numerous hours daily just shopping and preparing our meals to meet these important recommendations. Additionally, our foods are basically depleted of nutrients due to the poor soils that they are grown in. This is where vitamin supplementation is so crucial. All one needs to start with is a Full Spectrum liquid vitamin supplement to get over 100 necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, omega 3,6 ,9 and essential amino acids. It is an inexpensive and easy regiment to follow. Just by doing this alone, one can develop and increase one’s immune system and have a much better chance of preventing colds and viruses as well as serious disease.

The benefits of exercise on health are numerous. It is safe to say that at least 30 minutes of exercise a day can help prevent major ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure just to name a few. In addition to preventing disease, exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety as well. So it goes without saying, that we need to find a fun way to get exercise at least 4-5 times a week.
I realize this is all stuff you’ve heard before. It’s no secret that eating healthy and exercising will help you live longer and live disease free, but I think reminders of this are very important, especially considering that we are now in our flu season.

So, when you go to open that bag of potato chips, or pop that cookie in your mouth or drink one of those thousand calorie mochas, or turn the TV on after dinner ask, yourself if it’s really worth it. Take note of those you love and who love you and maybe consider a healthier choice—baked sweet potato slices, trail mix (and yes—you can add a handful of dark chocolate in there), tea instead of mocha—a thirty minute walk after dinner (the TV will always be there). These things don’t taste the same, I know that. But that isn’t to say they aren’t as tasty and satisfying. And even if you disagree about the taste, you can’t argue that they are healthier choices, and you can’t argue that healthy choices do lead to a healthier life.

Enjoy your weekend, and stay healthy!


No comments: