January 22, 2015

Making Health a Priority

We live a society where we hear “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And sometimes there is truth to that statement. And when we DO need to fix “it” (injury, illness, ailments, etc) we thankfully have outstanding physicians, nurses, athletic trainers and health care professionals to care for our injuries and ailments all around us.
But what about preventative care? Let’s focus on that. Preventing injury, illnesses, ailments, and promoting strength, healthy eating, and peace of mind. Because we all know that preventative care is typically cheaper and its outcomes can be sometimes priceless In order to avoid or reduce tertiary care (illness, injuries, ailments). Many times, the outcomes of preventative care are lifelong lasting.
What is preventative care? Here are a few examples…
It’s exercise- strength training, building muscle, stretching your muscles, movement.
It’s eating healthy most of the time. Yes, I said it. Most of the time. Ideally we should eat “clean” or healthy at least 80% of the time (or day, to be time specific).
Avoiding tobacco use and secondhand smoke (or quitting now). There is some data which shows that exposure to secondhand smoke can be hereditary, especially for young women.
Preventative care is my passion. Preventative health care is a priority.
Why?
We all know why. Really, we do.
So what don’t we do it?
It takes effort, time, energy, and sometimes planfulness. Effort and energy to move and exercise when we don’t want to because we are a tired, we don’t have time or the resources, we are not confident in how to begin, etc. We have to do research to find out what is best for us, or the best healthy decision for us- and that takes time and energy. And realistically, many times it takes intention of being planful- sometimes intentionally in your calendar or planner, but more so as a mindset.
We all have priorities. In order to have food on the table, we must get groceries. So we make time in our day to ensure we have the food to put on the table or in our mouths. Priority.
In order to pay the bills, we must work. Priority.
But what about our health? What are we doing everything to prioritize our health?
Here is what I have learned in my field of preventative health care and it continues to repeat itself.
We KNOW we should engage in preventative health care practices. We KNOW that. But that doesn’t mean we DO IT (for reasons mentioned above, and more). Or, it doesn’t mean that we will invest in our health despite KNOWING what’s good for us.
But ultimately, if we don’t have our health then if can be very difficult to do much else… So why not make it a priority?
Make small steps toward health. What is your biggest obstacle? Weight loss? Tobacco use? High caffeine consumption? Poor nutritional habits? Which one is your biggest challenge on your road to health? Let’s make steps to change. Change our behavior. Because ultimately, our health comes first and we must make it a priority.

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