Stress Inflammation Pain, Part 2

In the previous post, I discussed how stress leads to inflammation and inflammation leads to pain. I also talked about how most of these chronic diseases, mostly to do with inflammation, are preventable. So in this blog post, we are going to talk about self care.

Doctors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, etc., for the most part, do a pretty good job at helping their patients. But even the best medical practitioners and physicians are unable to help patients if the patients themselves do not do the work required at home. And maybe that’s the problem. Most of us see taking care of our health as work. And boy do we hate work. We want things to come easy with little effort on our part. That’s why so many fall into the get rich quick schemes and waist trimmers.

Taking care of the only body that we have is not work. It is so much more than that. It is essential and also reflects how we view ourselves. For instance, when we see 2 cars of the same make, model and color drive by, we instantly can tell who takes care of their car with care and pride. One car will be shiny with clean rims, windows and mirrors. If you were to peer in the window, it has no trash lying around. When you hear it drive by, it sounds smooth because they take it in for regular tune ups and check ups. Care and pride went into this car.

The other car, however, tells a different story. It is dirty and the rims are caked. You can see dirty windshield wiper blade marks. Somebody may have written “wash me” into the dirt of the car. When you look inside, trash and other items litter the car, strewn about haphazardly. You can hear the brakes squeak and motor grumble. And to be honest, I am guilty of the unkempt car. I don’t take pride in my car because I don’t view it as very important. It just takes me from Point A to Point B. And the fact that I view my car in this way, is very apparent.

But our bodies should not be viewed in this fashion, ever! We may be able to replace our cars but we cannot replace our bodies. We need to view the bodies that we have as the most precious commodity, because it is. There is no wealth without health.

And how do we start self care? With proper diet and exercise!

When we discuss diet, we are not talking only about calorie restriction. We are talking about quality of food that we put into our bodies. Food is the building block of our bodies. When you think about your body, what is it built with? Is it built with twinkles and cheetos? Or is it built with a variety of whole foods? An easy way to tell if your food is nutritious, is by seeing how easily you can identify the ingredients on your plate. That’s whole food!

The next thing you need to do for self care is exercise. The best form of exercise, is walking. You don’t have to be extreme about it. Just walk.

I have a man in my neighborhood, who I consider my personal hero. He appeared a handful of years ago, out of nowhere. He walked around the neighborhood alone everyday at around the same time. Rain or shine, he was there, walking. When he first started out, I could tell that he was not the healthiest man. He had a rotund and taut belly like Santa. His face had a dark red hue to it, which spoke of circulation or liver problems. But as the years went by, he lost his belly and his complexion improved. And he looked years younger than what I first perceived him to be. And though I’m sure he changed other things in his lifestyle, walking was his definitely his go to exercise.

You don’t have to join a gym. Just walk and make sure to keep at it like my neighborhood hero. Sticking with one exercise and creating a habit of it, is the best thing you can do for yourself.

In the next post, we will discuss more about nutrition. Stay tuned.

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