Don't Rely On Luck for Good Health
While St. Patrick’s Day may have people contemplating pots of gold at the end of rainbows, four-leaf clovers, and the luck of the Irish, relying on luck for good health may not be your best strategy for a happy, fulfilled, active lifestyle. Being intentional and proactive are important pieces of becoming the best you – we can’t all be as lucky as the 67-year old grandmother that Mellanie True Hills mentions in her book:
In traveling from her home in Britain to her daughter’s wedding in Florida, [the grandmother] was on a flight to Orlando when she experienced back, chest, and arm pains, sweating, and vomiting, and realized that she was having a heart attack. When the flight attendant called to see if there was a doctor on board, fifteen cardiologists answered the call. All were headed to a cardiology conference in Orlando. They were able to save her, and the plane landed in North Carolina, where she spent five days in the hospital before proceeding to Orlando for her daughter’s wedding (Chap. 20).
As Hills says, “She was lucky, but luck doesn’t cut it for most of us.” Instead, we have to be intentional about taking responsibility for our own health, as far as we are able.
Hills recommends three preliminary steps for proactive health management:
1. Educate Yourself
Albert Einstein said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death” (Carol Bogash, Americans for the Arts). While learning throughout our lifespan keeps our brains healthy and active, it also promotes happiness, and gives us new, helpful information for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Food fads, diet plans, and the best way to exercise come and go, but there have been many noteworthy scientific discoveries, particularly in the area of neurological activity, in the last decade or so. There are also articles based on trustworthy studies that link certain foods and behaviors to increased serotonin levels (one of our “happy” hormones). Finding reliable sources that are based on peer-reviewed research with large sample sizes from a diverse population are your best bet for health education. Not all of these have to be hard to digest, sometimes popular sources like WebMD produces very readable adaptations of study findings. But make sure you check the facts and follow the hyperlink trail to make sure the claim that 50% of people whose eyesight improved by eating carrots every day isn’t based on the debatable opinion polls of 10 people out of 20.
If you already know have a particular condition, like suffering from chronic back pain or headaches or seasonal affective disorder, educating yourself about your options is a good first step. Looking at how nutrition can affect your condition, the benefits of certain types of exercise, what supplements might help ease symptoms (like Vitamin D for people with S.A.D)., and other forms of alternative care are a good start, but it is advisable to always check with your primary care provider before making any significant changes to your regular routine.
2. Plan (and Attend) Regular Check-up Appointments
According to the World Health Organization, “early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment.” While that may be a more extreme circumstance, keeping tabs on your health consistently is definitely a good idea. Knowing your risk factors and visiting your primary care provider can help you stay on top of what you need to do to live vibrantly. Often organizations like the Red Cross offer complimentary or low-cost exams that certain population groups should have regularly like mammograms. Stay informed about local events and be proactive!
This attitude is true not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional, spiritual, and relational health. Proactively investing in relationships via real conversation, dedicated time, and kind gestures can do a lot for strengthening your friendships, marriage, and other associations. Likewise, checking in with a friend, partner, or spouse regarding your attitude and emotional state may give you fresh perspective on your highs and lows and how to regulate them. Having friends and family that both share your values and beliefs and hold conflicting opinions also important for ensuring a healthy curiosity and equilibrium.
3. Partner with Your Healthcare Providers
Finally, partnering with those who are invested in your health is a great way to take a proactive stance toward healthy living. Setting goals with healthcare providers, following the advice of a trusted doctor and working with professionals to determine a routine of healthy lifestyle habits that fits your needs are all positive steps you can take. Our doctors at Tuck Chiropractic Clinic are committed to seeing you live the life you love and would be happy to consult with you regarding how chiropractic care might improve your well-being. They are also patient advocates, happy to refer you to another healthcare professional if they feel your needs would be better met by a doctor in another specialty.
If you are looking to proactively pursue a healthier lifestyle and think chiropractic care might help you on your journey, give us a call or drop by at any of our eleven locations. We’re here to help.
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