Fit For Life: Good Eating + Exercise Is Powerful Medicine
Saturday, July 13, 2013
When you treat obesity like a disease, so the burden on the healthcare system will be even more, it does little to fix this problem at the roots. I get this odd mental picture of someone standing under a bridge with a life preserver, instead of installing a curb and a guardrail before there is a crisis. We do need to address the root cause of the obesity problem, and it starts with awareness, education, and prevention. Once someone is obese, and their blood sugars are abnormally high, their respiratory systems are not functioning properly, and every movement is a struggle. One’s will power, discipline, desire, and sense of self worth diminishes, making it more difficult to stick with any health program. Preventing weight gain from getting to this point should be our goal, particularly as we age.
Avoid getting to this point by becoming personally empowered with accurate information about how to eat and exercise. Of course, the government can play an important role in this regard. Helping with our product labeling, paying more attention to nutrition and exercise in the schools, and providing incentives to employers to promote health and wellness in the workplace are just a few action items that are beginning to happen and can increase. Helping the organic/biodynamic farmers so healthy eating becomes affordable and accessible to everyone, not just the few, is another top down program that will help, instead of giving subsidies, and tax breaks to large industrial farms and food manufacturers, who are partly responsible for our crisis to begin with.
The role of inflammation
Another big problem people face, one that can cause a chain reaction of effects on the human body, is inflammation. What are the causes of inflammation in the body? Some are food allergies, poor diet with lots of processed food, wheat and dairy, unbalanced hormones, chemical exposure, etc. Most cases of dietary caused inflammation can be alleviated by cutting down on wheat and dairy in our diet and doing some basic movement. How could changing our diets dramatically impact inflammation? Our foods have been denatured by processing to the point where the body treats them like foreign invaders, instead of useable nutrients, and the digestive tract goes into a fight or flight response, just like your immune system fighting a disease. Hence, fever and inflammation. Notice when you eat Chinese food you can't get your ring off and your watch is tight? Or your feet swell in your shoes and your ankles look puffy? That's inflammation. And it’s another place we can start to put our own good sense into our diet and reduce the damage being caused to our body every time the inflammation process sets up.
Learn what you can do, and take back your power.
Really learn what you can do about being overweight, or being too sedentary, or how to quit smoking, or drink less. Make a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle, and when you have success at them, make some more. Do what you can to dedicate yourself to health and wellness, prevention, and a natural lifestyle. I don’t believe that you can cure every condition and illness with nutrition and exercise, but I believe you can prevent many of our chronic diseases from setting up in the body this way, I truly do. If you adopt a healthy program before health issues start or before weight gain gets out of hand, you can go a long way to staying out of the medical system. Just think if we could catch a weight problem before it became obesity, before it became arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
We do have more power against disease than we think–we have our own knowledge, people, and resources to help us. In addition to obesity and all the complications it can cause, we can impact allergies, sexual dysfunction, asthma, depression, back and orthopedic problems, and the list goes on and on. We do know the prevention and lifestyle steps we can. We can go for a walk, start a regular exercise program, eat some green leafy vegetables like kale, and turmeric, whole eggs, cinnamon, etc., and so much more.
Take a step back.
To go forward, we can benefit by taking a step back. Learn how we were meant to eat, and how we were meant to move, to sleep, to rest, and rededicate ourselves to that. Not only for us as individuals, but for our children and our families so we can go forward healthier than we have been, smarter than the food companies, educated consumers, and more in control of own health costs and destiny.
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- Matt Espeut’s Fit For Life: Fit at Forty
- Fit For Life: 5 Questions to Ask a Personal Trainer
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