We need to strive for better health. Too often we just focus on treating pain, injury and disease, not looking the person as a whole. We need to seek better health and well-being. We need to thrive, flourish and feel great!
- Your recommended daily intake keeps your cells functioning
- Your 30 minutes push-play per day keeps you moving and maintains minimal levels of health
- Your daily Vitamin C keeps the colds away
- Your yearly check-up ensures you aren’t at risk of dying…
The problem is being healthy does not just mean you have no disease, injuries or illness. No?
As Alex Jeded and Laura O’Grady put so well;
“Health is a state of absolute and complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absense of disease or infirmity.”
Why are we always trying to get the recommended daily intake and be happy with that? Who wants to just be average, to just have enough to keep functioning?
Too many people put up with pain on a daily basis. So many times I ask my patients – “have you been having headaches lately” “Oh, no more than normal”. Or I might ask how a past injury is doing and I get the response “oh good, I’ve learnt to deal with it”
We become so happy with just surviving, dealing with it and having aches and pain on a daily basis. We have been cultured and conditioned to be happy with average, to sell ourselves short and settle for less than our potential.
And this is a global problem:
Britain is now the most obese nation in Europe. They have among the worst rates of sexually transmitted infections recorded, a relatively large population of problem drug users and rising levels of harm from alcohol. Smoking alone claims over 80,000 lives every year. Experts estimate that tackling poor mental health could reduce the overall disease burden by nearly a quarter. Health inequalities between rich and poor have been getting progressively worse and the wealthy can still expect to live longer than the poor(1).
In the USA, more is spent on health care than any other country in the world, yet are among the worst in terms of health outcomes among western nations. (Horoho 2014)
Our current health care system is focused on finding and ridding you of illness and disease – but does not have time to get you fully healthy and improve your well-being. It has time to give you antibiotics to fight infection but not to show you how to boost your immune system through eating right, exercising right and sleeping better. As a clinician, I know as well as anyone how rushed, health care professionals can get – allowing only time for treating your injury, giving you a couple of rehab exercises and out you go. And because of this – you, the general public, don’t get the information you need to make a full recovery – leaving you at the mercy of the mercy of the supplement, exercise and drug companies with the big marketing dollars, pushing the latest fad, the latest diet or 12 week challenge. There things don’t last, they aren’t effective in empowering you and changing your health in the long-term.
This is something that has grinded at me for a while now and why I decided to start this blog. To empower and help as many people as possible by giving them the tools and information to change their lives, little by little.
What heals people and gets you healthy is what happens outside the doctors or physio’s room, it is what you do every minute of the day. Every decision you make during the day affects your health. Stairs or the elevator? White or brown bread? Bike or drive to work? Twitter or go for a walk? – All of these small decisions affect your health. Health is a state of complete wellness and to achieve this we need to alter and tinker with our lifestyles, habits and behaviors.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – If you do this, you can change your life, even live longer…
A recent study (Ornish et al 2013) showed that with comprehensive lifestyle changes the participants in he study actually lengthened their telomeres – for you to know how awesome and amazing this is, you need to know what telomeres are though. A telomere is a region of repetitive DNA sequences at each end of the bodies chromosomes (our packages of genetic information inside every cell), which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration. Telomere shortness in humans is a marker of ageing, disease – they show how old or unwell your body really is.
This study had the participants follow lifestyle changes which altered their diet, activity, stress levels and social support. And low and behold when the tested them after 5 years they found that the telomeres had lengthened – not just stayed the same length, but got longer.
This just shows what an amazing piece of machinery your body is – you give it the right conditions and it can thrive!
Do you want more? Everyone’s answer should be YES.
There’s no recipe for this, because we are all different, what drives each of us unique, what we need to thrive is unique. That is why you need to get in tune with yourself, look in the mirror, and listen to your body.
Make the most of the information freely available, on my blog and the many other sites, in books and in the heads of many experienced professionals out there wanting to help you. Take charge of your health and well-being.
I would love your thoughts on this, whether it be through social media or comments below – Join the discussion.
***Note: I am not saying you should take over the recommended daily intake of everything – Some of those intakes and warnings are there for your own health and safety! It is just a metaphor.