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Clichˇs to Good Health

By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

There are many old sayings in our modern vernacular that have meanings far different from which they originated. Many of these sayings have been around for years and have been passed through generations and remain in our speech. In much the same way, many of our habits are passed along from generation to generation. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. Many of these old sayings can be applied to our health.

A commonly heard saying is: ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.' This of course is not entirely true, but is represents the fact that eating healthy including fruits, vegetables and a balanced diet will help our bodies stay healthy. Proper balance in our diets and ample amounts of vitamins and nutrients help our bodies maintain homeostasis and efficiently regulate our bodily functions. You have likely also heard the saying: ‘You are what you eat.' This one has a lot of truth to it. Your dietary choices drastically affect our body's overall composition and performance. So if you eat well, your overall performance will improve. If you eat junk, your output will be junk and that is true for both physical and mental output.

Most people tend to put off thinking about health until something happens that forces them to re-evaluate. It may be something as simple as suddenly not fitting into a pair of jeans, or for some it is much more catastrophic like a heart attack or onset of diabetes. We've all heard the saying ‘ A stitch in time saves nine,' which literally means if you fix a small hole in your clothing with one stitch you will avoid having to fix a much larger hole later. Its application to health is clear. If you start making smart choices now while you are in relatively good health, you can avoid having to make drastic changes later on when you are faced with a major health crisis. Most major health crisis' are as a direct result of years of making poor lifestyle choices including poor diet, lack of exercise, poor coping mechanisms for stress and drug use. If you have put off making changes or are presently guilty of neglecting your personal health, remember ‘There's no time like the present.'

For some, the task of getting back in shape, eating better and improving your health may seem like an insurmountable job. Start by setting small, attainable goals and avoid focusing long term. Change one thing at a time. Start eating better by shopping for better food. Exercise in short increments to begin. Don't overdo it initially. Get in for that physical you've been avoiding. See your chiropractor for a spinal and nervous system evaluation. Do things gradually and enlist the help of others for advice and motivation. This last part reminds me of another old verse: ‘How do you eat an elephant? The same way you eat anything else of course, one bite at a time.' Get out, Get active, and Get healthy one bite at a time.