The Basics: Building Your Base with an Active Lifestyle, Good Nutrition, and Preventative Care Part IV

September 14, 2012

Have you ever heard the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure?” According to my research, this is a quote from Benjamin Franklin regarding fire safety, but has been applied to many things throughout the years. Your health and wellness is another area in which this statement applies. It is far better to work toward the prevention of disorders and dysfunction as opposed to waiting for a problem to develop and then trying to cure it. For example, if you can decrease your risk of getting diabetes by changing your nutrition and activity level, then this better than having to check your blood sugar daily, take medication (oral medications or shots), and run the risk of having neuropathy (decreased nerve function that can cause decreased sensation, numbness, and tingling), vision loss, loss of limbs, and alterations in your state of alertness and arousal due to excessive or low levels of glucose in the blood. I know some forms of diabetes are not preventable, but I am speaking of type 2 diabetes that is prevalent in the United States (US), and that can be prevented by lifestyle change.

Preventable health disorders have become increasingly more prevalent in the US, with heart disease and diabetes at the top of the list. Not only are these disorders often preventable, they can be deadly. Around the world we have worked to create vaccines and to institute protocols to prevent the spread of and promote the elimination of disorders such as polio, measles, hepatitis, and so on. As technology has advanced, we have found ways of making our day to day activities more efficient so that we can get more done. More people drive cars and spend time sitting idly when traveling, as opposed to walking or riding a bicycle. We have lawnmowers that propel themselves, or that we can ride. We have food processors and garage door openers, remote controls for numerous items, and even little robot vacuums. It is the way of the world. I love the advances in technology. The problem is that now most people don’t participate in very much moderate to rigorous activity. This is one part of the problem.

Another part of the problem is that we have a food industry that has developed exceptionally well. That in and of itself is not the problem. It is much harder to starve in America in this day and age, but it still happens. The problem is that much of our food is treated, processed, and designed to last. With foods that last come consequences. We consume more grains, cereals, and rice products than are necessary, which can contribute to excess weight gain in individuals that are not participating in activities to compensate for the food intake. We eat foods that are high in sodium, fats, and sugars that are there to enhance flavor as well as increase shelf life, but wreak havoc on the body and body systems. We consume pesticides, steroids, and growth hormones that are coating the plants and soil our food is grown in, as well as fed to the animals we eat. So, not only are we likely to be inactive, we are also likely to be eating too much, consuming too many unhealthy food components (fats, oils, and sugars) and consuming harmful chemicals (pesticides, steroids, growth hormones, and more).

I have already discussed diet and exercise in previous posts, so what am I getting at today? Seeing the doctor…all of them. Many people do not have a regular routine of seeing their doctors. It is important to regularly see the eye doctor, dentist, a primary care physician, and for women, the gynecologist. These healthcare professionals can identify health disorders, and provide preventative care in a timely fashion, which can help decrease the risk of developing worse health problems. Your dentist may be the one that helps prevent your development of a heart condition. Your eye doctor may discover your diabetes. Get to your doctors. This is an important part of your health and wellness that you can control.

One more thing. It is important to educate yourself so that you can work toward living a healthy lifestyle. Healthcare professionals are not always knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise. In fact, your healthcare professionals may not be the healthiest individuals. We are all living in a fast paced society. There is so much to do, and often we find it difficult to research health and wellness, prepare a fresh meal at home, and work a bit of physical activity into our day. The bottom line is that you have to decide to live a healthy lifestyle, and then do what it takes to be healthy. Make time for good nutrition, and make time for exercise. Make time to see your doctor, and make time to follow up. Read something about health and wellness from a reliable source once a week, but at least once a month. The take home message for today is to work toward prevention whenever you can. It may save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

~ Cece

One comment on “The Basics: Building Your Base with an Active Lifestyle, Good Nutrition, and Preventative Care Part IV

  1. jimrollince says:

    I have a quick question about your blog. Could you please email me?
    – Jim

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