Humans are funny creatures aren't we? Aside from funny, we're also very complex in many ways. With that, it's very hard to break things down to a simple math equation, analyze every little chemical reaction that happens inside us, or even guide ourselves to optimal health with 100% certainty. Due to this amazing complexity that is the physiology of human beings, the best we can do for our overall health is provide the proper input and environment so that nature can do the rest.
We may be complex beings in nature, but we can make our daily health practices simplistic. That in itself gives us the best chance to be consistent with our habits, keeps us feeling great inside and out, and allows us the best opportunity of living a long and healthy life.
Often, we take our foundational health practices for granted, as we set them aside in favour of pills, wishes, some unknown magic and/or miracles it seems. Afterall, most things in our world today we can get almost instantly right?
-We can shop in our underwear, from our couch and without leaving the house
-We can listen to any song we want anytime we want
-We can find answers (good or bad) to any question we have any time we want/need
-We can go get food when we get hungry (it can even already be cooked for us)
-We can have food brought right to our door if we want
-We can connect with friends/family on the other side of the world simply by pushing a button
.... and so on.
HOWEVER, our HEALTH doesn't work that way. No matter how "advanced" our species gets, we are NOT above nature when it comes to our physiology. There's no sustainable "quick fix" or button to push when it comes to our health.
-We need healthy daily practices
-We need time and patience
-We need to learn what works and what doesn't for OUR OWN physiology
-We need to have an open mind
-We need to be in it for the long haul
Let me share a few examples ...
Client Story A: A client mentioned a couple weeks ago he felt like something might be coming on. He just felt a bit off, and he felt like his glands were a bit swollen. Fast forward a couple sessions later, he brought it up again. Naturally, he fears he may be catching something OR even something worse (as many of us tend to do).
"Let's look at some basics then to ease your mind" I said, and proceeded to ask him the following questions:
"Have you been sleeping well and enough lately?"....
"Do you feel you've been eating well lately?"...
"Have you been staying active regularly?"...
My client's answer to each of these questions was a flat out "NO". I will also add this client has been dealing with stress lately as well.
We cannot expect to feel our best or perform at our best in our day to day routines if we aren't providing our body the foundational necessities to promote good health. Whether we really are catching a bug/virus, we aren't allowing our bodies to be strong and more resilient to these bugs if we aren't providing solid healthy foundations.
Client Story B: A client text me last week complaining about his knee. This client is waiting on the doctor for next steps regarding this nagging injury. The knee has good days and bad days for sure. Last week he had a 'bad day' and text me about it. I asked him "what have you done for the knee today to try to manage the pain/discomfort?" His reply was, "nothing". My reminder to him was that being proactive with it is always a good course of action. Doing nothing will do nothing. I recommeded some heat and light movement to see if that would help.
*(side note - when I asked what came out of those recommendations, my client reluctantly told me, I was right. It helped. LOL)*
Client Story C: (This is actually several people wrapped into one point) I have some clients and know several other people in this category. This is the type of person who takes what I call a "half-assed proactive approach";
-They have a chronic issue, injury or discomfort
-They hire or already are working with a fitness and health coach
-They hire a physio, chiro or athletic therapist to help
-They are given recommended exercises and/or suggestions to help manage and heal their pain/discomfort
... They don't follow the help and advice.
... They do continue to consistently complain of the same issues over and over.
There are a few points to make here:
1) This is WAY too common. Any professional in the health industry with clients/patients will (sadly) atest to this. Unfortunately this is how to NOT achieve your goals. Pain, injury and discomfort aren't fun. I totally get it. But when someone complains about the same thing over and over, while not utilizing the tools/recommendations to make it better, it's hard for anyone to empathize with them. It'd be like giving someone a shortcut to save time and distance driving somewhere, yet the person doesn't utilize that advice, but still complains about their drive.
2) I call the above the "half-assed proactive approach" because actually getting help from a professional (or professionals) is a great step towards change, and one that is sometimes not taken. However, it is only PART of the solution.
3) It's alot of time and money to help yourself, without ACTUALLY helping yourself
4) It creates the habit/practice of "half-assing" when it comes to your health. If you "get good at" ignoring professional advice and ignoring the fact that your body is trying to tell you something, it will make positive health changes harder on the whole moving forward (because of that mindset).
Our foundational health practices are so powerful and will take us so much further than we know! But they require ACTION. Being proactive will help reduce the risk of injury/ailments/illness AND will create more resiliency should these things occur.
This isn't meant to overwhelm those of you reading this, but rather to remind us all that there are many ways to feel good and be healthy humans. All of which include the basics that we often overlook in our daily routines! You will have days where you just feel off. That's a given. But rather than fearing the worst if you feel off, or "living with pain when you don't have to" or to just feel good energy most days... focus on your foundational health practices:
-Healthy Nutrition Skills & Habits
-Relaxation, "Me-Time" & Recovery
Be proactive. That alone will help you feel good more days than not.
We need to START putting our enegy and mindset into the basic foundations of our health and wellbeing, and we'll be surprised at how we can feel! There are many ways to be healthy, and health goes beyond fitness and nutrition.
It's all connected. It all helps. It's all important to our health.