There are many things I dislike about the fitness industry.
One thing I do love, however, is that the overall philosophy is one of prevention rather than cure. Yes, there are people doing injury rehab and other remedial work, but the vast majority of this industry is (despite its flaws) focused on preventing poor health rather than fixing it.
I strongly believe that, where possible, prevention is better than cure. If we can avoid becoming unwell in the first place, or perhaps just less unwell, then surely that’s got to be better than clawing our way back after the fact?
I don’t believe for one second that medical intervention doesn’t have a place. I don’t believe that lifestyle can fix EVERYTHING. That would be naive at best. I don’t believe that smallpox would have disappeared if we had just eaten more fermented foods. I don’t believe that we can cure cancer with apple cider vinegar.
I also don’t believe that medical intervention is the only answer. I don’t believe that we should cram our faces full of high-calorie, highly processed junk, sit on our arses and watch our health decline to the point where we need a leg amputated. I don’t believe that we should rely on medical intervention as a catch-all.
What I do believe in is moderation.
I believe that we can increase our odds of living a healthy, full life by changing our habits and routines. I believe that should we need it, medical intervention is there to back us up.
We all have physical health, and we all have mental health. It is a privilege to be alive, and it is our own personal responsibility to care for our own body and mind.
Here are three simple ways to treat yourself well, and help prevent poor health:
The NHS recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity (heart rate up, breathing more heavily) per day, 5 days per week. If 30 minutes seems like too much of a hurdle, start with 5 minutes. Anything is better than nothing! Yoga, weights, cycling, or even just a brisk walk.
The biggest predictor of a healthy gut is the variety of plants you consume. Gut health has a huge impact on digestion, of course, but also immune response and mental wellbeing. Fill half your plate with fruits or veggies at every meal or snack, and try new things as often as possible.
Without adequate rest, our bodies will not recover from the mental and physical stresses of everyday life. One of the most impactful actions we can take on this front is ditching all screens an hour before sleep. No TV, no tablet, no phone, no laptop. Use this final hour to read, journal, meditate, bathe, listen to music... anything which gets you ready for sleep. If an hour seems too much to start with, go for 20 minutes and build up from there.
Hopefully this has given you some simple things you can do right now to help prevent ill health.
You can check out the relevant episode of Fit Body/Fit Mind on Facebook here...
Stay fit. Stay strong. Stay well.