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15 Things Every American Must Know
Americans, the richest people on the face of the earth, with one of the highest standards of living, are also the sickest, fattest, and most unhealthy people on the planet. Chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, anxiety, depression, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, and many others, plague many Americans. We have the information, the knowledge, and certainly the money, to have the best health but still, it eludes us. Americans spend billions of dollars every year on “cure-alls”, pills, shots, and various contraptions, in our search for good health and happiness. Why are illness and disease more prevalent than ever before and how do we reverse this trend? Here is a list of the top 15 things every American should know about their health.
1. An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Most people never think about their health until they are sick. It’s much easier, safer, not to mention cheaper, to prevent a problem than to try to treat it. Almost all heart disease, diabetes, and cancers can be prevented from every happening by following a healthy lifestyle; real nutrition, moderate exercise, sufficient rest, and stress release.
2. Healthy Food brings you Health
Hippocrates said it best, “Let thy food be thy medicine.” We must stress the word healthy, here. We are talking about real food, organic fruits in a rainbow of colors, organic vegetables, GMO free dairy products, and nuts.
There is more health in a bowl of (fat free) granola with fresh, organic berries than in an entire pharmacy of pills.
3. Make Sufficient Time for Rest
Multi-tasking makes the world go round it appears. Too many people feel that if they aren’t actively doing something, or watching something, then they are missing out on a rich, full life. Actually, just the opposite is true. Chronic sleep deprivation is one of the biggest causes of depression.
You must make time to unwind and sleep. Take the TV out of the bedroom. Make it a family rule that all cell phones and computers are turned off at 7PM. Reducing your “screen” time will limit your radiation exposure and give you a good night’s rest as well.
4. Find Ways to Handle Stress
It’s nice to think that, after this project, or after this event, after the holidays, or after the kids go back to school, that our load will lighten and all stress will disappear from our lives. Face it; it is not going to happen. Although it’s true, we can all find ways to reduce stress in our lives, it will never disappear entirely. Instead of waiting for stress to make an exit, find ways to effectively deal with it. Find out yoga poses.
Stop worrying about the past, (which you cannot change), or the future (you can’t control it), and focus on right now, today! Practice whatever method works best for you. Enjoy music? Dance in the basement until you are completely out of breath. Prefer quiet time? Practice yoga and/or meditation. Want to get away? Go for a long walk in the woods, by a body of water, by yourself or with a friend. Maybe a mix of all of the above depending on your mood and the weather. Stress relief is one of the best medicines available and it’s absolutely free.
5. Get Back in Touch with Nature
Very few things in this world have the power to calm and heal both mind and body like nature. Even if you live in an urban area, there are green spaces nearby. Go to a local park, lie in the grass and watch the clouds go by. Take a leisurely walk and look at the birds, squirrels, and other animals. Breathe deeply and remember what pine trees really smell like.
Don’t allow your children to spend all their time indoors playing hours of mindless video games. Let them play those old fashioned games like hide and seek and stop light go light, outside!
6. Healthy Relationships are, well, Healthy!
Perhaps no one told you but happy, healthy relationships are a vital part of life. Studies have shown that a positive social structure boost our immune systems and protect us from depression, cancer, and heart disease.
Family and friends can have a huge impact on stress levels and can actually reduce inflammation.
7. Going Green could Save Your Life
When most people think of “going green” they are thinking in terms of the environment, which is good, but have you considered that making your life more eco-friendly could, in reality, save your life? The increase of chemicals and the overuse of antibiotics in our lives have created “super bugs” that have a tremendous resilience.
Everything in your hone can be properly cleaned and sanitized by use of all natural, “green”, cleaning products. Throw out all those health damaging chemicals you have under the kitchen sink, go green, and save a life!
8. Friendly Germs
It’s true, not all germs are bad. Our bodies are filled with billions of different germs that live together happily when they are in a healthy balance. This balance is upset when we introduce antibiotics, additives, food coloring, and other unnatural things into our bodies. This is not to say that ALL antibiotics are bad, just the overuse or unnecessary use of them.
Instead, try a healthy dose of friendly bacteria in the form of probiotics. These little bugs are vital for a healthy gastrointestinal tract and can reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and allergies.
9. Change is Good
However it is hard work. Remember that old adage, “No pain, no gain”? It’s something like that. Changing your entire lifestyle is a long term struggle but one that will pay off with tremendous benefits.
The good health you are looking for is in direct proportion to the effort you put into it.
10. Obesity is Epidemic
Only a few short generations ago, obese persons were few and far between. Today, they are almost the norm. This is rarely due to a medical condition but a lifestyle condition. Too much junk food combined with a sedentary lifestyle around the television.
Get up and get moving. If you feel you cannot live without your television series, then put your treadmill in front of the television and walk during the show, run during the commercials.
11. Dieting Versus Nutrition
Too many people think that in order to lose weight they must cut calories. Although this is true, consider this, you could lose weight and still eat nothing but fast food everyday if you ate small enough amounts. That’s really not healthy, and even though you lose weight, you will find that you are thin and sick instead of fat and sick.
The best strategy for maintaining an ideal weight and overall good health is with real, healthy food as mentioned above.
12. Don’t Substitute Supplements for Poor Eating Habits
The supplement industry is alive and well because too many Americans believe that they can eat anything they like as long as they take “this” vitamin or “this” protein shake. There are literally thousands of studies showing that the micronutrients in fruits and vegetables that are vital to the body.
Don’t cheat your body by trying to use supplements as a source of nutrition.
13. Drink Clean, Mineral Rich Water
Don’t assume that because that bottle of water came from the store it must be healthy. There have been numerous reports lately about “pure” spring bottled water actually being nothing more than tap water.
Americans tap water is, overall, contains as many as 315 contaminants. Buy a water filter system and make your own healthy, bottled water. Read more about daily water intake.
14. Be Careful with Vaccines and Antibiotics
Just because you doctor gave you a prescription doesn’t mean you must take it. The same goes for vaccines. There have been many studies showing that vaccines may cause more harm than good. That doesn’t mean that all modern medicine is bad, it simply means you must be an informed consumer.
Do research and ask your doctor hard questions before you blindly accept that pill.
15. You Don’t Have to Choose between Modern Medicine and Alternative Medicine
You may feel that you must choose between the two types of health care options but life is not black and white. Use what works best! This is called integrative medicine. Find a doctor who practices whatever works, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, aroma therapy, Native American herbalism, or conventional medicine.
Perhaps Bill Mayer summed it up best: