I have always preached a healthy lifestyle, one with proper sleep, good nutrition and exercise (of whatever variety that may be) are paramount to both short term and long term wellness. Why? Because locking in on all three can trump diseases, both acute and chronic. Nutrition, Sleep and exercise boost the immune system. Scientific research shows that prevention is the best medicine. The best way to fight cold and flu are preventative measures like sleep, diet and exercise. You may still get colds, and flus, or other viruses, but the stronger your immune system is, the less of a foothold, and symptoms, you will experience. This is without any supplementation, or flu vaccine, which I will discuss in a later blog.
High quality of life is what we are after, in both the short term and long term. We know that we can use reactive medicine to make people live longer. Anyone who has been in a nursing home can attest we have the ability to keep people alive with medicines and interventions, but what is the quality of life of many of those? Is that a quality of life you would want when you are older?
The current pandemic has brought this to light even more so as it is hitting people with pre-existing conditions very hard. The main risk factors for COVID19 are
- Chronic lung disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic renal disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Being immunocompromised
- Neurological disorder
- Neurodevelopmental or intellectual disability
Alarming statistics, as 1/3 of Americans have prediabetes or diabetes. Almost half of U.S. adults have hypertension. Fifteen percent of Americans have chronic kidney disease. 1/3 of Americans are obese (and probably fall into one other risk factor), and 2/3 overweight (and probably fall into one of other risk factors).
How many of the risk factors are based on lifestyle or lifestyle choices? How many of the risk factors are preventable? How many COVID19 hospitalizations and even deaths could have been prevented based on lifestyle changes?
Today I was on a remote workshop for workplace leadership and the following graphic was shown to demonstrate a key principle to running any business, but I felt it was very applicable to the issues we are seeing today. What is the American Culture? We have a sedentary culture of fast food, high stress and fast paced jobs, highly processed foods, reactive medicine (we have a pill for that). Our culture has facilitated a health crisis, which we knew well before COVID19 based on disease statistics, which has been brought to the forefront even more with the current pandemic. Our culture is potentially why America is being so hard hit by this virus.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Yes. Our unhealthy culture is preventing many of strategies to reduce the effect this virus has on death rate. Social distancing doesn’t seem to be working. We have a population of unhealthy people, spreading an airborne pathogen, which effects unhealthy people greater than healthy people. The older, sickest members of our population are being hardest hit, but many younger Americans are also being affected. Why? Culture eats strategy for breakfast. No strategy for containment or prevention would work. Too many Americans are kindling for the fire this virus has created.
This virus may go away, but whats to say there will not be another next year. Those are short term problems. Your health and fact that you are aging daily will not go away. Want to improve outcomes and make strategies more effective? Want to improve the quality of life you have now and later? Change your culture. Change your lifestyle. Make your health, your families health, and your workplaces health, a priority. Make the culture one of health and well being. Make the culture centered on exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep. Make the culture proactive not reactive medicine.
Changing culture, and lifestyle habits can be challenging, but it is necessary. That is where we would love to help! We want you to become the healthiest version of yourself. We want to help make the changes you need in your life, to improve the quality of the life you lead, not just today, but decades down the road. If you need help getting on the path to better health and well being, let us know! We would love to help!