If you asked me what are two of the biggest drivers of most of the chronic diseases and symptoms that are affecting my patients, I would tell you chronic stress and poor nutrition. I’ve already written many resources about nutrition, and how to create an approach to nutrition that supports our best health. Today, I want to spend some time on the topic of stress.
We’ve emphasized through this entire series that we must treat our body and mind according to their designs, and we’ve discussed a very simplistic version of what that means. We’ve discussed how, like a car, our body must be given the right information and the right care to function well for us, and that if provided the right information, the body is well designed to thrive, and to feel good, and to experience health and longevity.
In order for your body to perform well for you, it needs the right information. You want to express the best and most comprehensive version of yourself. This is based on being able to genetically express the best version of you. In order to do this, you have to give your body the right information and minimize the wrong information.
Our next foundational principle is the sprint. I’ve already stated that you don’t actually have to sprint. This is any form of movement that elevates your heart rate and your perceived sense of exertion.
You essentially increase the exertional output of that activity to where you’re working at your maximum capacity. You do this for a defined period of time, and then you rest for a short window of time. Then you repeat.
Your mind is designed to take in all the information that your body is experiencing. This information comes in the form of the foods you eat, your environment, your social relationships, your movement patterns, your sleep, stress, emotional states, and many other influencers. All of this information is processed, and then your mind directs your responses to this. It does this by creating experiences that you feel, as well as sending signals to your body for how it should function.
A very important foundational principle of physical and mental health is strength. I’ve already outlined how important it is to maintain your lean body mass. If you do not give a signal to your muscles, bones, and connective tissues that they’re needed, they will atrophy, meaning they will shrink. Your body is into energy conservation. If you’re not using it, you will lose it.
Rather than sitting all day, and then thinking you have to go to the gym for an hour so that you can finally move your body, even though you don’t want to go to the gym because you’re tired and it’s the end of your workday, you can use a total increase in daily body movement to negate the need for the gym at all.
If we find ourselves experiencing chronic diseases, or feeling bad all the time, there’s a good chance that our body is lacking the information it needs to function well—or it’s receiving the wrong information, which is directly causing harm. No one should believe that chronic diseases are just inevitable and that we are helpless victims of them. We have a say in how our bodies perform, but we must treat our bodies in accordance with this design.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOVEMENT PART 9
This week we’re going to discuss the first primary principle of an effective movement program for sustained physical health. When I’m consulting with patients in my office, the vast majority of middle-aged individuals already exhibit forward neck lean and have rounded shoulders. Generally, they already have neck pain and headaches. This is often due to abnormal posture. They also typically have tight hips, a tight posterior chain—meaning the muscles that go all the way down their back to the base of their feet—and poor overall core strength.
Most people who decide it’s time for weight loss follow a standard protocol. It’s the one we’ve all been taught to do. Sign up for a training program or join a gym, and go on a specific diet. Now, I’m not saying this is bad. The before-and-after testimonials, and the 6-week and 90-day pictures will give evidence to the fact that these programs can work. If you go from being sedentary and having a very sloppy diet, and you begin to eat a nutritious diet, reduce overeating behavior, and become physically active, you’ll become physically healthier, and you’ll lose weight.
Do you often feel completely full after a meal, to the point of discomfort, and then actually find yourself looking in the fridge a couple hours later? Pay attention to this and then become intuitive about your eating. In this post, I provide you with 9 strategies to help you eat smarter and healthier.