Part of the confusion stems from the fact that we are inundated with messages that tell us there is a pill for every problem. High blood pressure? Take this new wonder drug. Acid reflux? Take this little purple pill. Modern traditional medicine is designed, for the most part, around the concept of treating the end-stage symptom rather than the underlying cause.
The other misconception is that as we age we will experience a slow decline in our quality of life due to numerous chronic diseases that are out there just waiting for us. Chronic pain, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer. It’s only a matter of time.
The reality is that this is not remotely how the human body was designed or evolved to be. When we were born, our genes were not programmed to become dependent on prescription drugs. We weren’t programmed genetically to end up in a revolving door of doctors and specialists to treat our multiple chronic disease states. We were genetically programmed from birth for vibrant, optimal health. We were designed to run and play, to have joy and to be able to relax in nature.
The good news is that all of us can take steps to re-program our genes to return to the state of being we were genetically designed to experience. Here are some basic things you can do today to make a change for the better:
1. Eat nutrient-dense real foods – I’m talking about real food. Nothing from a box with 30 ingredients. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, then don’t eat it. Eating real food (meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole-fat dairy) provides every cell in your body with the nutrients they need for optimal expression. Nothing is more important to your overall health than the food you consume every day.
2. Engage in restorative sleep – Studies have shown that when we sleep, our bodies shift into repair mode, restoring energy, removing toxins, and repairing cellular damage. We may think we’re taking it easy, but our bodies are hard at work when we sleep and it’s critical for us to get enough sleep to allow repair and restoration to occur.
3. Exercise efficiently – Believe it or not, you don’t need to engage in chronic cardio exercise 3 hours a day, every day of the week for optimal health. In fact, engaging in low level aerobic activity (a brisk walk or hike, bicycle ride, game of frisbee) 3 to 5 times a week, combined with a higher intensity sprinting workout (10 to 20 minutes tops) once every 7 to 10 days, and a 10 to 20 minute strength training workout a few times a week (pull-ups, push-ups, squats, planks) will provide maximum benefit with efficient effort.
4. Reduce stress – We live in a stressful world. Taking time to play, relax, spend time with the important people in your inner social circle will do wonders to reduce this stress. The physiological benefits of reduced levels of stress hormones such as cortisol are wide ranging and the psychological benefits of building strong interpersonal relationships and cultivating them has been shown to increase longevity and improve overall quality of life.
Taking these basic steps is the beginning of retuning your body to a state of optimal health and allowing all the cells in your body to perform the way they have been programmed to. The result will a much greater opportunity to live a long, vibrant life.
Michael Lenz RPh, is a partner in Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga. He has over 15 years experience in custom compounding. Michael has received extensive training in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Adrenal Fatigue. He is an advocate for healthy eating and proper nutritional supplementation, and speaks frequently on the subjects of hormone health, nutrition and wellness. Michael is a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert, and is currently enrolled in the Institute For Functional Medicine’s Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner Program. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.
sources: primalblueprint.com; drdanenberg.com