One of the highlights about my job as a Chiropractor at Mullumbimby Integral health is that you get to notice a few patterns over the years.
Taking an active interest in health you get to wondering “what really makes a person healthy?”, “Why do some people enjoy good health whilst others are always suffering?”, or perhaps more selfishly “How can I enjoy good health over my life time?”.
Below I hope to share some of my observations. Please bear in mind I’m not offering these up as any scientifically proven techniques but rather my opinions and observations. Ask around. If you know any other practitioners run these suggestions past them.
1. Don’t smoke
It’s pretty obvious but there it is. Whilst not everybody gets the cancer boogey man I can guarantee that your spinal discs and joints will degenerate more rapidly if you smoke. I noticed this when I was looking at smokers x-rays. They always appeared far worse than non smokers of the same age. Quitting smoking can be challenging because your brain actually has nicotine receptors in it but if you do smoke, quitting should be your number 1 life priority.
2. Decrease Stress any way you can
When you’re constantly stressed your adrenal glands are turned on making adrenalin. This is great when you are being chased by a bear but has a long term counterproductive result on your health. There is no easy way to stop getting stressed but one technique somebody shared with me is to view the problem in the context of your entire life and then see how big it looks.
3. Exercise a little bit most days.
I have the noticed that nature rewards consistency over time. I have several ex footballers on my books here that at one point were supreme athletes but stopped exercising at the end of their careers. They are in far worse shape than the bloke that walks around the neighborhood every morning.
I don’t know why but something I have noticed is that people that swim regularly just have a glow about them there entire life. Swimming seems to be the perfect low impact cardiovascular workout as we age.
5. Do a physical exercise that your passionate about.
If you hate the exercise your doing find something else. Did you used to play a team sport? Find a master’s game. Were you a boxer or martial artist in her younger years? Consider doing Tai chi.
6.Work on your core stability.
Our western life style is incompatible with our genetics. Do a Pilates class, Yoga or simply walk on rough uneven ground as much as you can. Work your balance systems or you will loose it. Loss of core stability is the single biggest cause of low back pain.
7. Drink lots of water
Again obvious but this one appears time and time again as a simple way to extend life and maximise health. When I ask all the super fit 70 something’s that come through this clinic time and time again they reply that drinking lots of water is part of their daily routine.
8. Have a positive mindset
Pain and discomfort can easily transform into a victim type mindset. I have noticed a big difference in recovery times in the way people perceive there injury. Don’t let your symptoms or diseases define you. Focus your mind to enjoy the activities that are still open to you rather than resent the ones that aren’t.
9. Have a positive mindset
No this is not a typo. Having a positive mindset is so important I believe it should take up 2 points. The single biggest thing i have noticed is that nearly everybody that I observe that enjoys good health has a positive outlook on life. Conversely most people that have a victim type mindset are always in pain and poor health. You have to look a bit harder in some situations to see the funny side but it’s usually hiding there somewhere.
10. Eat the best fresh food you can
Don’t follow the fads. Long life “experts” have been shown time and time again to die early. Just eat well balanced fresh food as much as you can. Do this before you worry about any “supplements”. Make your own curry pastes and spaghetti sauces. Pre-maid simmer sauces are high in salt and lower nutritional value.
If you find out how to do all the above all the time please come and show me. I hope some of my observations may be of benefit to you and your health.
Brent Verco (Chiropractor)