Question: Are you doing what you can do to avoid disease?
What can I do? You can’t control whether you get a disease or not…that stuff just happens.
Well, not quite, actually. Some of the most popular diseases out there these days are “lifestyle” diseases. In other words, they happen, or are encouraged, by what we do or do not do.
Well I mean, that’s what we have doctors for, right?
Sorry, that is not quite right, either. Our busy society often has us to rely on others to do things that people used to do for themselves, like taking care of their bodies. The real deal, however, is that no one can help you take care of your body the way that you can.
We all have to age someday, and as we get older, our bodies break down and disease is inevitable.
It is true that our bodies become less efficient with age, but my opinion is that we have no idea how well our bodies can run even as we get older. Think about it…our bodies are designed to maintain themselves pretty well. If you break a bone or cut your skin, your body will heal it. If infected with a virus or bacteria, a healthy body will not only fight and kill the invader, but will also develop immunity so that the invader cannot try that again in the future. A healthy body even gets rid of cancer cells every single day. Our bodies are absolutely amazing, man. Especially when maintained well.
Ok…well what in the world could I do to help myself avoid disease?
There are quite a few things that we can do as part of a healthy lifestyle to help us avoid disease. These things are not even profound or hard to understand, either. Those things are sleeping well, eating well, staying hydrated, breathing well, and moving around.
Can you explain?
Sure. With sleep, it is common knowledge that 7-9 hours is what most people need to be adequately rested. During sleep, our bodies repair themselves, regulate hormones, and things like that. Therefore if you skimp on your sleep, you will be tired (obviously), your hormones will be out of whack (which will make it hard, for example, to maintain a healthy weight), and you will not be able to think clearly. People who have gone just a few days without sleep have even died.
Eating well simply means making sure that you eat foods in their natural state (or close to it) the majority of the time. That means that you eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, some meats and grains, beans, and so on. Eating mostly packaged stuff all the time is just asking for a diseased body. Why? It is dead and contains various chemicals that our bodies do not know how to process. Life cannot be sustained off of that. And for the record, it does not matter whether you are thin or overweight; you can definitely be thin and unhealthy if you eat an unhealthy diet.
Staying hydrated is important because our bodies are largely comprised of water. Our organs depend on being adequately ‘lubricated’ to function correctly. This is water that I am talking about, by the way. Sodas and energy drinks do not count. They can actually contribute to pulling water out of your body (diuretics), and then when you consider all of the sugar, colorings, etc…yeah, they do not count. Drink water to stay hydrated. 8-8 ounce glasses every day is what folks recommend, so I think that is a good start.
What I mean by breathing well is, we breathe indoor air most of the time, and we should breathe outdoor fresh air most of the time. Have you ever been inside of your house while the sun is shining through and seen the lint floating in the air? You are breathing that in the whole time you are inside. That comes from all of the furniture, carpet, clothes and other stuff inside your home. Your lungs need fresh air, and a lot of it. Go outside often to breathe (and to get the added benefit of sunlight, too).
Finally, on the topic of movement, our bodies were made to move. I am sure you have heard that before. It is true. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are likely to carry unhealthy amounts of weight, your heart gets weaker, your bones get weaker, and you essentially age faster overall. I read a quote in a Barstarzz post some years ago that essentially said that we get older because we leave the playground, instead of us leaving the playground because we get older. Think about it…it’s true!
The point I want to make with this “dialogue” here is that, there really is a LOT that we can do to avoid disease. It is easy for us to focus on what we cannot control. It is also easy to rely on a doctor for all health-related information. But instead of adopting such a hands-off attitude, why not take control of the things that we can control? Why should we leave our welfare up entirely to another person when there are things that we as individuals can do? Why take a medicine to treat a sickness when we could have taken steps that would have kept us from getting sick in the first place?
Were you helped by this post? Have any thoughts about your role in avoiding disease? Comment below!