I was shocked recently when one of my friends decided to go back to his old eating habits that had kept him in poor health for so many years. The reason for the change was that he had read a book proclaiming the advantages of a fast food diet. He went on to say the whole eating and living healthy thing was a vast conspiracy.
As I listening to my friends flawed reasoning I couldn't help but think that perhaps this type of thinking is exactly what has landed the United States in the middle of the pack when it comes to life expectancy.
Research tells us that 80 percent of all heart attack victims have high cholesterol and 40 percent fail to get enough exercise. Being overweight and stress are also major contributing factors.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are other conditions where inactivity, diet, and poor weight management play a role.
Doesn't sound like much of a conspiracy to me! What about you?
We very much live in a world where we except our doctors to fix whatever ails us. As a society we seem to be approaching our health much like we approach taking care of our car. In other words if something goes wrong we simply take it to our mechanic, get it fixed, and pick it up the next day only to repeat the cycle somewhere down the road.
But the difference with cars and our bodies is if our car ever wears out we simply trade it in for another one whereas if something goes terribly wrong with our body (heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, serious autoimmune diseases, etc...) we are faced with a lifetime of disease management, that is if we are lucky enough to get that chance.
So until our medical professionals come up with better solutions disease prevention is still the best way to avoid becoming a victim or looking back in retrospect and saying "If only I had listened!". Furthermore it is never too late to get started on a preventative wellness program. That said, oftentimes it is difficult to know just where to begin.
While wellness plans vary greatly here are a five tips that could help you swing the pendulum away from reactive medicine and towards preventative medicine.
* Consider herbal and homeopathic supplements when possible: There are times where prescription medications are essential and must be taken but always keep in mind they are chemicals.
On the other hand there are times when herbal and homeopathic remedies could be worth considering. Let's look at a few of these. For example if you are struggling with your eyesight herbal remedies containing bilberry can help. If you are suffering from mild anxiety St. Johns wort can help. If you are man suffering from male pattern balding or an enlarged prostate saw palmetto might be an herbal supplement worth considering. If you are a woman suffering with hormonal imbalances dong quai could be an option. The list goes on but my point here is you do have options that are generally affordable, considered safe when taken as directed, and widely available.
* Omega 3 supplements: My family and I have been taking fish oil supplements high in the omega 3 fatty acids DHA/EPA for about a year now with very good results, especially in the area of cardiovascular health.
* Diet: Our approach has been to hold saturated fat intake to around 15 percent of total calories while eating more high antioxidant fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to eat beef in moderation, substitute fish when possible, and stay away from over processed foods.
* Stay active: If you consider yourself inactive talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program. A good rule of thumb is to start small with low intensity and work up from there.
* Don't overlook water quality: Tap water is filled with chemicals and impurities that should be filtered. There are many options for accomplishing this but the bottom line is if you aren't filtering your water you are leaving the door wide open for any number of potentially serious medical problems.
In conclusion, the above five steps helped me and my family get on the road to wellness but by no means are they the only options. You may want to put together your own plan, or pick and choose from the list above. There is no better time than now to start saying no to reactive medicine and yes to preventative medicine. So what are you waiting on!