Poor health (person in dis-eased state) and de-conditioned state (low stamina, low muscle strength, low energy) are very common within our society, particularly for people living in urban environments. During the period of the “hunter-gatherer” man’s plight was a very physical one. Looking back at periods thereafter, man had to physically wrestle and break down the soil and plant food as well as tend to the livestock. The industrial period pitted man against mechanical machine to get work done. Still life had a lot to do with physical labor. Our food sources where still very fresh and wholesome as recent as the 1960’s.
That brings us to the high-tech era of today, where we tend to sit at a desk in order to earn a living. Food Manufacturing is a Trillion dollar industry. That means there is little focus on nourishment of the body. Food availability is based more on convenience, speed of preparation and taste. Let’s face it, sales are the driving motivation for anyone that processes food; thus stripping it of the natural state to place on grocery shelves for mass consumption. Often times we do not even prepare our own food to feed our families. We have easy access to process and fast foods with low nutrition value, yet can pack in high calories. Those that frequent such habits are “over-fed and under nourished.”
Combine that with sedentary living and you have overweight, possibly obese people (young and old) with poor posture and physical structure. Decreased capacity to do physical work (physical stamina-muscular and cardiovascular) is the result.
Most people get stuck being concerned about how they look. More concern should be placed on how they feel, move and look. In the midst of being in a very dismal situation regarding health, strength and body composition, particularly for urban dwellers (excessive use of cars as mode of transportation) we have the highest number of fitness facilities, weight-loss companies and products than ever in history. Additionally, the internet provides an enormous amount of information regarding exercise and weight-loss strategies. Typically, leading to “paralysis via analysis.” If you are reading this article you desire some sort of change in your health, strength and body composition. I will offer reasons for that and some solutions.
The reason we do not experience change in health, strength and body compositions is because too few food choices that enhance life. Most people have no idea how to develop strength and what advantages that has for functional capacities, maintaining health and adequate body composition. Finally, without understanding how lifestyle episodes and patterns affect outcomes, change will not occur.
The food that we eat should ideally address four needs:
- mental clarity
- reduce cravings
- support immune function
- provide energy
In order to do that, our food choices and therefore meals must be fresh, wholesome and balanced. That means proteins/fats (things that have a set of eyes; exceptions avocados, seeds and nuts which are high in fat), carbohydrates (no-eyes- fruits, veggies, legumes and grains) which have not been processed and altered. When foods go through processing in order to allow for prolonged self life, colorings and various preservatives are added to “enhance” smell, taste and color. All things that ultimately are superficial and don’t add value to our health. We are preyed upon by the food manufacturing companies. They invest money in products that target 3 areas:
French fries with catsup are not vegetables! Breakfast must begin with balance. Many find it challenging to understand that oatmeal, with toast and orange juice are not appropriate. Why you might ask? It is an all sugar meal! Meals must be balanced with protein and fat (which would easily be covered if some meat accompanied the meal) not all carbs. A typical meal for someone wanting to lose weight should be ¼ meat ¾ vegetables. There are specific hormones (substances in the body the signal processes to take place) that help burn fat and there fore use it as an energy source. There are hormones that signal our bodies to store fat. In the presence of high sugar in the blood (which occurs from eating a high carb meal) the body stores fat and does not use it as a primary energy source. That makes it very easy to become overweight and obese. Our organ function (stomach, kidneys, liver, heart) do not function well in the presence of a lot of body fat. There is the fat you can see on the outside that is only part of the story. The body fat that is on the inside can be very toxic to optimal function.
It is also very straining to joints and connective tissue (non bone, non muscle that assist in our structural integrity). When our muscles are weak and not well balanced, we carry too much additional weight those factors can wreak havoc on our joints and small muscles that control movements. That explains why so many people have pain in there bodies yet have not been in any physical accident.
People frequently complain about not having the time to eat better nor can the make the time to work out and improve their physical plight. Well if you do not have time to pursue health and strength you most certainly will be forced to take the time to be ill.
A gym membership is not the answer to our challenges with health and strength. Returning to some aspects of basic life is.
Alter the way you think, say, do and the people you associate with along with the environments you are in so that you can focus on the following:
- move more. Include walks, dancing, swimming, bodyweight exercise
- fresh wholesome foods must be the norm not the exception
- try to get as much fresh air as possible
- drink ½ your body weight in onces of water per day
- make this a family affair.