December 13, 2011

what makes the biggest difference in your health?

After many months of treating really sick people and watching them take drugs with life altering side effects, undergo procedures with lost of risks, be connected to tubes and pumps and monitors to stay alive, and  return to the hospital still not feeling very good, I truly believe we have to focus more on preventing people from getting to the point where it's clear they forget what "healthy" feels like.  

We learn about all the amazing ways we can fix arteries that are clogged, lungs that aren't opening, knees that aren't able to hold body weight, hearts that are too big to pump well, livers that are too clogged with fat to detoxify our blood, blood pressure that is so high it is shearing off the insides of blood vessels, and kidneys that are too full of sugar to filter well,  and I think: 
and people wonder why our health are costs are skyrocketing?  Why you see a gazillion doctors when you're in the hospital?  Why our health system is going broke?
It's because we aren't protecting health enough.  Maybe it's because the consequences sometimes take years to show up, or maybe it's that our society doesn't promote healthy behavior nearly enough by what's cheap, what's available, how much time we have, but those all pale in comparison to what you do now determines whether or not you are ALIVE in twenty, thirty years, much less whether you are connected to a tube or can keep your leg, or need a kidney transplant.

Especially because so much could be prevented with just creating a slightly more health lifestyle!  
here are my 5 easy health rules 
(medical school really has just filled in the details)

1. don't smoke...anything...ever.
2. eat mostly greens and fiberous grains, avoid too much meat and processed food
3. walk (or just move!) as much as possible but at least 30 minutes every day
4. stay connected to a community - any community in any way.
5. get enough sleep (whatever amount like enough to you and is marginally feasible)

check out this awesome video a friend shared with me about the one thing that makes the biggest difference in your health:

in summary, the positive effects of this wonder medicine:

  • Knee Arthritis: reduces rates of pain and disability by 47%
  • Dementia and Alzheimers: reduces progression by 50%
  • Diabetes: reduces progression by 58%
  • Hip Fractures: reduces risk of fracture by 41% in postmenopausal women
  • Anxiety: reduces by 48%
  • Depression: 30% relieved with low dose, even up to 47% with higher dose
inspiration enough to get off your computer and go for a run, or even just go pace around the house as you talk on the phone to your sister for half an hour?  yeah, me too.

"walking is man's best medicine"

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