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Real health care begins with you

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by: Dennis Mason, C.P.T.
Tags: health care, responsibility, health news

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(NaturalNews) For a good number of years now, there has been a lot of talk and debate concerning the effects of our political, financial and social situations. The world economy, environment, wars and health issues are all jockeying for the top positions of importance to all of us as residents of the planet Earth. Much of the talk revolves around the need for economic stability, energy, the quality of life, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. An ever increasing area of concern is a major health issue that has been growing unbridled and now appears to be totally out of control. It is the progressive decline in general health and wellness among people in our own country. Interestingly, it has coincided with the birth and growth of our uncontrolled industrialized civilization.

According to the World Health Organization, The United States is ranked 37th healthiest nation in the world. How can that be true for the nation that leads the world in science and technology? The answer is simple; it's our poor nutrition and lack of sufficient exercise. We have put the most important aspects of body maintenance (and our lives) on the 'back burner' in favor of personal, financial, social and ego-based gains. We've got it upside-down and backwards; for without good health and fitness, nothing else really matters, does it?

Because of rising health care costs and a sinking economy, there now seems to be a rekindling of 'reform for the latest health care reform legislation'. Meanwhile, there are endless advertisements on television and in other media pushing one pharmaceutical drug after another; each claiming to relieve the 'symptoms' of any ailment that happens to pop up. Most of these chemical concoctions have serious side effects that run the gamut from headaches to death. In many instances they can even require additional drugs to counter the side effects of the previous ones, resulting in an ever increasing spiral of chemical feasting. Whatever happened to the Nancy Reagan statement about 'just saying no to drugs?' Times sure have changed over the years.

One thing that has remained constant in the midst of this rhetoric soup, is that the care and feeding of your body is still, totally your responsibility. No one else will do it for you. YOU must be the 'captain' of your 'vessel'. We live in a time when people are the 'busiest' in all our recorded history. The level of science and technology has surpassed our wildest expectations. However, with all the advances we have made to make life 'better' and give us more time, it seems like most people claim they DON'T have enough time to eat right or exercise. Because of this, we are making a dramatic statement about the health and well being of our people...at this time...in this civilization.

The resulting effects manifest in the forms of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, type II diabetes and a variety of other health related problems. Without a doubt the biggest health risk you can have by improper handling of your own 'eco-fitness' system is coronary artery disease (CAD). It is especially depressing because, in general, YOU can control many of the negative elements. By definition, a 'risk factor' simply means an increase in the probability of developing a particular disease, such as CAD. It does not guarantee you will or will not develop CAD. However, the healthier you remain, the lower your risk factors are. Often, reducing one risk factor through a good meal plan and exercise routine will reduce another risk factor, then another and another. A good example would be dropping excessive body fat. That in itself can lower your risk of type II diabetes, lower your blood pressure and even lower your cholesterol levels.

It wasn't that long ago that our citizens were in much better shape and health than they are today. How could that be? We have so much more to offer our population than in previous times. Well, from what I have seen and studied over the years, our men, women and children ate better and moved their body around more, performing tasks that we don't do for ourselves now. Another reason is that they didn't pump their body full of drugs, processed foods, tainted water and air. Many, if not most, of our ailments today have been brought about by our modern day 'advanced' lifestyle. Sadly, those things we have desired and acquired have now come back around to create problems for us today.

Over the years, we have compromised of our very existence by eating less nutritive foods, decreasing the level of our physical activity and increasing stress levels all around us. The result is the obesity epidemic that is so obvious in our country and now is spreading to all other parts of the world. I have been involved with health and fitness both as an athlete and as a professional trainer and coach, for most of my life. Never during that time have I ever seen such a drastic difference in the general physical appearance as well as the level of health and fitness of people, as today. According to the CDC, obesity qualifies fully as a pan epidemic.

This epidemic has been growing since the beginning of the 'great' industrial revolution. We were sold a 'bill of goods' that basically said "in the future, we won't have to work as long nor as hard as our ancestors did." We were told that "we would all make a lot more money," and could spend it to buy luxury items (most of which we never really needed in the first place). Wow! That sure sounds like it was a good deal! Or, was it? Fast-forward about 100 years. What happened to all that extra time and less work we were supposed to get? I guess it never really emerged...except for those few who sold us on that idea.

More working hours with less physical movement and the introduction of processed foods are two major players in this epidemic. See, as our lives were made increasingly busier, the need for 'fast food' has muscled out the wholesome foods our parents and grandparents ate. "We don't have much time for lunch so we have to eat in a hurry" is a common phrase. As our lives are made less active, fewer calories are burned off and the easier fat storage becomes. To make matters even worse, the longer this cycle goes on, the more devastating it becomes and the harder it is to reverse. It has been through my experiences and observations that most people attempting to get in or get back into shape seem to have the most difficulty with proper nutrition and productive exercise.

Since it's up to each of us to take action regarding ourselves and our well being, then it is most important to have a clear understanding of how to put a fitness plan into motion. Paying attention to what, when and why you are eating is the first step toward what I call 'Eco-Fitness'. Eco-Fitness is the overall balance and harmony between the body and the environment in which we live. The second step is to get your body moving with activities and exercises you enjoy. For example, ping-pong is good (if that's all you can handle). Tennis is better. Reading the newspaper does not count...cycling does. Skipping meals or gulping down fast food does not count either but, planning meals with wholesome foods at regular intervals does.

When it comes to exercises and movements, a lot of people are at a loss. "Do I do cardio before or after weight training?" "How about aerobics?" "What if I hate working out in the gym...then what?" And, "What is this thing called a 'wellness course?' Is it like a class?" These are just a few of the questions I often receive. As a member of The California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, a personal fitness trainer and coach, I strive to help inspire, motivate and educate people on how to get in or back into shape. You can't change the laws of nature, but you can change your lifestyle and change your life. Remember, real health care begins with you.

About the author:
Dennis Mason is a certified personal trainer and coach with over 30 years experience, an NPC bodybuilding competitor, charity cyclist, health and fitness motivational speaker and author. Contact him for information regarding his services in Palm Springs: Personal fitness training, Aquacise water fitness, and nutritional guidance.

On the Web at : www.DennisMasonFitness.com
Email address : [email protected]

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