This week, Dr Les has summarized what I shared with you in a post I wrote in November 2010 titled, "Lifestyle Choices for Positive Health". The following are the four habits to live your life by to avoid the most common chronic health issues that are so prevalent within our healthcare institutions. If you integrate these four simple habits into your daily routine, your body will repay you with a long, healthy and active life.
So if these habits are so simple, why do we see our healthcare institutions struggling to treat an increasing number of people with serious, preventable diseases?
I don’t believe anyone wishes for poor health at any time in their life, but unfortunately North Americans and cultures that have adopted their lifestyle have not made the four habits Dr Les describes below, part of their daily routine. They would rather wait for a serious health crisis to occur before springing into action, but unfortunately, it’s often too late and these people end up fighting poor health for the remainder of their years.
Just remember, if you don’t make health a priority today, you will probably have plenty time to be ill in the future.
Enjoy the Ride….Rob
Four Habits to Live By.....Dr Les
In a previous blog, I made the comparison of great health to great snow. Different elements in the weather determine the quality of snow just as the combination of measurable “lifestyle elements” determines the quality of our health.
You probably aren’t thinking about snow right now. You are probably thinking about summer vacations, building a new deck, having friends over for a BBQ. You might have signed up for a triathalon or marathon and are wishing you had more time to train. Life is complex with many competing priorities.
Yet consciously or unconsciously you have made lifestyle choices that have created the habits that have determined the quality of your health. Your habits, more than your words, articulate the principles that you live by. Your guiding principles then are your beliefs in action. In other words, what you do is a better indicator of your beliefs than what you say. The validity of the principles that guide your life is determined by the outcomes of adherence to these beliefs.
I want to share the principles of my health paradigm.
- The body is an ecosystem that must be kept in balance.
- In order to maintain order and balance, the primary communication is through the nervous system.
- If order and balance are maintained, the body has an inner wisdom that allows it to be self-regulating and self-healing.
- Health is an outward expression of the inner state of order and balance of our body’s ecosystem.
Our body’s ecosystem is much like the earth’s ecosystem. It is not just one element that keeps our ecosystem healthy and in a state of order and balance.
Thurman Fleet was a distinquished WWI vetern. After surviving horrific wartime experiences and a prolonged recovery from severe injuries, he studied health and healing extensively before deciding to become a chiropractor. While I don’t agree wih all his teachings, his description of the quality of health being the interplay between four basic elements is excellent. Our health is either improved or compromised depending on how much we keep these four physical elements in balance.
The four elements are:
- Nourishment: Clean air, water and fuel for energy and the building blocks of repair.
- Movement: We are designed for movement. Recent studies have shown that sedentary jobs increase the risk of ill health.
- Recovery: This is rest and the restorative miracle of sleep. Inadequate sleep results in elevation of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. This in turn leads to myriad health concerns including weight gain.
- Elimination: We must eliminate the waste products of energy production and the cellular debris created with our body’s building and repair processes. Toxins inhaled, ingested or absorbed from our environment must also be eliminated.
Most of my patients are aware of the importance of a good diet and regular exercise but they often ignore the value of quality sleep and regular elimination. This model (based on Fleet’s teachings) reflects the critical interplay and influence of each element of our ecosystem. Nourishment and movement directly impacts our quality of sleep and elimination, just as movement is impacted by recuperation and elimination. Ignore any of these separate elements at your peril. At some point your capacity for training will be dictated by the quality of your ecosystem!
Remember: “First we make our habits; then they make us.” Which is more important – sitting to watch TV or going for a bike ride or hike with your family? Your choice.
Adding Life to Your Years....Dr Les.