Why are diet and lifestyle considered alternative health care? Despite research that suggests that changes in diet and exercise will have a profound impact on health, wellness and longevity.
In our clinic we see primarily patients with chronic degenerative disease and illness. It surprises me how so few of them have been prescribed dietary changes or exercises. Currently our health care system focuses on “sick care” and there is no emphasis placed on preventive care. When the time comes when we finally interject medicine to help conditions such as Neuropathy, Alzheimer’s, Spinal Stenosis and Parkinson’s it is almost too late.
What I am telling you is not a secret, or is it?
Exercise can help shape your destiny and the effects have been shown to allow you to live a healthier, happier life. It has proven to lower blood pressure, improve diabetes and insulin resistance. It will help your depression, anxiety, sleep better and most importantly reduce and lower your risk of chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
So how much exercise is enough? It is estimated that 5 times a week for 30 minutes is ideal. That is just two and a half hours a week to carve out time to help shape your destiny. This investment in well-being can be accomplished through brisk walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, or even joining an exercise class.
If your body can handle High Intensity Exercise this has even proven to be better for you and it can be accomplished in half the time.
We should all strive for 10,000 steps per day and make sure we keep moving.
We used to think genetics was a factor in some of our issues but we have since learned that we control our destiny not the genetics. Through diet and lifestyle we can turn genes on or off. This was proven in a study called the Human Genome Project.
However, there is another study that when after reading it really got me thinking about genetics in an entirely different way. The study involved genetically compromised mice. These mice aged prematurely. They took one half of the group and placed them on a treadmill to run three times per week. At the end of the study the group that exercised had not aged at all and appeared healthy in every respect. The group that did not exercise, they were holding on by a thread. There were numerous physiological changes of aging that occurred.
Remember it should not be a Secret. The single best and most effective therapy is exercise. Sometimes the statement Exercise is good for you is simply not enough to motivate the average person to put in their two and a half hours per week. In fact approximately only one-fifth of all Americans exercise this much.
We have developed into a sedentary culture that eats an inflammatory diet. This is a recipe for disaster.
If only those patients believed that diet and lifestyle changes were mainstream medicine and prescribing medications with all the known side effects should really be considered “Alternative Medicine.”
Our system became so focused on labeling a condition so we can provide an ICD code to bill insurance and provide a medicine that can change symptoms that match this label or diagnosis.
We need to focus on not only the long-term benefits of exercise such as the prevention of these chronic degenerative diseases but also on the short term. How it affects our overall mood and energy level and allows us to sleep better.
The burning of calories and losing weight is not a bad side effect either.
It is important to choose an exercise you enjoy. I always tell my patients the best exercise is the one that you will do. Then you must commit to this regimen in no uncertain terms and develop a good habit that is not open for negotiation.
Once you begin this routine the benefits will be seen in a relatively short period of time, which should be enough motivation to continue.
Time to get moving and have no regrets when the future becomes the present.