When we complete the production of each issue of Well-Being, I like to look for a theme that seems to be carried through many of the articles. It’s funny, sometimes the topics seem to take on lives of their own, as we do the research, we often are led in entirely different directions than we expected. However, in this our sixteenth edition, I realize that there is one central theme that runs through every issue…the importance of disease prevention.
The best strategy for disease prevention includes maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Sounds simple, right? Whether we are talking about colorectal cancer, asthma, eczema and rhinitis in kids, nutrition for a healthy baby, or re-growing hair (just a few topics in this issue)…the way we choose to live our lives and the foods we use to fuel our bodies has a greater impact on our health than almost anything else. Seeing a doctor for annual check-ups and having the appropriate health screenings at the recommended age, are also crucial to staying ahead of the health game. Screening tests cost pennies on the dollar (actually fractions of pennies) compared to the cost of healthcare once a disease is more advanced and less easily treated, to say nothing of the human cost in suffering.
Spring is a time of rebirth. We start seeing the first leaves sprout and cover the bare trees. We hear the sounds of birds again who have just arrived after wintering further south. Nature is waking up to a fresh start. It’s a great time for us to make a fresh start too—get back into our exercise routines, try some great fresh foods straight from the farmers market, cut down on the fast food and spend more time outdoors with our families and less time with our TVs, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. It is also a good time to check our calendars and make sure we are scheduled for our (and our family member’s) routine check-ups.
This issue, in “Echoes,” the writer talks about what we have to learn from nature. When we think about it, that concept applies to just about everything in our lives. Our bodies are designed to function like well-maintained machines. If we listen to what our bodies are telling us…we will eat when we are hungry, not when it is convenient. We will eat more of what nature provides and less of what has been reconstituted into something nature wouldn’t recognize. We will sleep when we are tired, not when we finish that report. We will exercise when we feel sluggish, instead of crashing on the couch. And, we will see a doctor when we have pain, discomfort, unusual symptoms or just feel fatigued all the time. Nature is telling us…our bodies are telling us to listen and take care of ourselves. If we don’t, we can’t take care of those who are counting on us. And that takes us back to the underlying theme of this and every issue – if our goal is disease prevention, instead of disease treatment, we can save ourselves a lot of time, money, suffering and heartache. When we put it that way, it really does sound simple.