By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC
How do you know if you’re truly healthy? Do you judge your state of health based on how you feel or how you look? If you can fit into last year’s pants – is that the only milestone you’re looking for? Have you ever thought about what it takes to have optimal function?
The average person might consider themselves healthy if they have a reasonable lack of symptoms, rarely take prescriptions or OTC meds, or get through life with a minimum of aches and pains. But do you think there’s more to life? Are we “settling” for less than what we deserve? Do we allow our age to dictate the amount of physical activity and fulfillment we enjoy in life? Maybe we should think less in terms of our age, and consider is our body performing in a way that we can fully enjoy life?
Last week we discussed the first pillar of Livin’ the Dream: Fuel. Today, we’re introducing the concept of living for optimal Function!
Activities for Optimal Function
There is a saying that “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Suprisingly, this saying dates back to the 1500’s, and there are a few different interpretations:
- Literal: A sure way to prevent a colony of lichen or moss from growing on a stone is to move it about.
- Figurative: A wanderer, unable to settle to any job or lifestyle can be characterized as unreliable and unproductive, or
- Someone who does not settle in one place rarely prospers.
But what about in terms of health? I take this saying to mean, as long as you keep moving, your body won’t get old, stiff and creaky. If you’re moving and shaking – having fun in life – the effects of aging and disease won’t catch up with you. I like that a lot better! Don’t you know, when you’re out for a long run and take a break, it’s so much harder to start again rather than just if you had kept on going?
If you can listen to your body, and not overdo it on a regular basis, you should enjoy being active through all stages in life. Many low-impact activities are fantastic for people of all ages to maintain strength and mobility:
- Walking in nature
Of course, higher intensity activities like tennis, pickleball, and running are exciting and motivating, too. You just may need to take key breaks before any overuse injuries set in. The idea is to keep moving, and never tell your body it’s supposed to do less!
Chiropractic for Longevity
If you’re already into the Chiropractic lifestyle, you don’t need any convincing how beneficial it is for your health. But only about 10% of the US population see a Chiropractor on a regular basis. Maybe that’s because there is a misconception that Chiropractic is only for neck and back pain. How wrong they are!
Chiropractic is the act of manually manipulating the spine (i.e. moving the vertebrae) to correct a subluxation. Going deeper, it is the art and science of opening and realigning joints to allow improved energy flow and function through the entire body. As your central nervous system is housed and protected by the spine, these precise yet minute movements can make a huge difference in how the muscles and organs receive signals from the brain.
Many people don’t realize that there are a multitude of benefits you can gain through Chiropractic for the whole body. Most notably, Chiropractic is the #1 safest and most effective treatment for low back pain, but also:
- Improved energy and sleep patterns
- Normalized blood pressure
- Better focus and concentration
- Relief of hot flashes and menstrual cramps
- Help kids develop their strength and immune system
- Lessened neurological conditions like motor tics and Tourette’s
- Resistance to degenerative joint changes like forms of arthritis.
Clearly, if you desire the ability to lift heavy things, play with your kids, have a strong immune system, and be generally happy and healthy through life – Chiropractic is great for you!
Reducing Inflammation for Optimal Function
When it comes down to it, inflammation is at the root of all disease processes in the body. If you want your body to perform well and serve you into your later years, you’ll need to prevent inflammation every single day for your lifetime. That may sound overwhelming, but it starts with a simple philosophy: maintain and prioritize all the things that serve you, and get rid of everything that counters your best interests.
A simple place to start is with the end in mind. If you love the idea of taking yoga classes or hiking with your spouse later in life, you’ve got to do those things now! What kind of a future do you envision – watching Hallmark movies on the couch or playing golf with your friends? If you currently feel like your joints or your mobility are holding you back, you’d better get to work on what inflammatory things you can control. Although aging is inevitable, the WAY we age can feel like a lifetime of 30-year old birthdays, or can be a series of slow steps toward the grave.
Our favorite and easy ways to reduce inflammation:
- Avoid the top food sensitivities: wheat, dairy, corn and soy.
- Stay away from processed foods (generally present in the central aisles of the grocery store)
- Get plenty of rest – follow the natural timing of the sun and moon
- Manage your stress without resorting to alcohol or prescription drugs
- Take key supplements and herbs to keep your joints feeling young.
Supplements for Optimal Function:
What do you want your body to accomplish for you? We deserve so much more than mere surviving. And it is definitely within our reach to be healthier and do more next year as compared to today. Here are our favorites to help you accomplish your goals:
- E-Z Mg contains Rutin and Magnesium – two nutrients that are sorely lacking in the American diet, due to our lack of eating Buckwheat and Swiss chard on a regular basis. These nutrients prevent inflammation in our arteries, calm the nervous system, and promote liver detoxification functions.
- Boswellia Complex is our premier anti-inflammatory joint health supplement for Weekend Warriors and those with arthritis. It’s a combination of Boswellia (Frankincense), Turmeric, Celery seed and Ginger.
- Tuna Omega 3 is our most foundational fish oil, with a naturally-occurring and balanced ratio of EPA and DHA, to defend against all inflammatory processes.
In order to be Livin’ the Dream, you’ve got to be moving and active! If you’re not feeling as youthful as you should be, it’s time to get started now! Every one of the steps you take today will get you closer and closer to optimal function.
It’s the second pillar of Livin’ the Dream!