Okay, so I pilfered that title.  I thought it was a good title, and a very fitting one for the presentation I went to last evening.   I had heard this doctor speak once before, so I knew I could expect to learn something new.  Besides, his being my chiropractor made me want to hear what he had to say.  It’s always good to know where your own doctor is coming from, right?  When I first began my life under the care of a chiropractor, I was nearly completely unfamiliar with the field, so I wanted to know what chiropractors believed.  You know, what motivated them.  This led me to read the 1948 “Chiropractic Textbook”.  Yes, the whole book and yes, I’m geeky that way (it’s ok if your eyeballs are rolling, sometimes mine do too!)  When I want to know about something, I do my best to find the original source, and this was as close as I could get.  Most of it was beyond my comprehension, but I found what I was looking for just the same: chiropractors respect the integrity of the human body and they view health in terms of the whole person, and that was exactly what I wanted in a doctor.  Oh, and I also learned the difference between efferent and afferent nerves.  Not that I really needed to know that last part, but here I go, straying again.  If you want to know more, you could download the book like I did.  I promise I will revisit this topic in a future post, mainly because I believe you should know that a better approach to health care is available.

Anyway, about the presentation…  The doctor pointed out these common areas in which most of us could improve our health:

Movement

Healthy eating

Supplements

Stress response

Nerve interference

 

As you’ll hear if you follow the link, exercising (movement) according to heart rate is more beneficial to the health of the body than exercising by time or distance.  The reason for this is complex, but basically when we exercise at about the middle of our “target heart rate” zone (the number found by subtracting your age from 220, then multiplying by .75) it strengthens the cardiovascular system.  Consequently, our hearts are stronger, our vessels are more elastic and responsive, our blood pressure is lower, and our resting heart rate is slower.  All of these things help lower our risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack, stroke), which is the leading cause of death in this and many other countries.

For those who are planning to use exercise to lose those holiday pounds, this really isn’t your best bet.  Although it’s true that target-heart-rate exercising will help more than just slow-paced repetition such as walking, exercising in general isn’t very effective for weight loss.  It’s certainly beneficial for our health in many other ways though.   As the doctor pointed out, exercising in the morning (get that heart rate up!) helps release the growth hormone you’ve been producing while sleeping so that your body can use it as needed.  Exercise has other important benefits as well.  Besides reducing the risk of heart and circulatory problems, it decreases the risk of cancers and type 2 diabetes, improves bone strength, and benefits mood.

The better way to control or lose extra weight is through healthy eating .  You thought I was going to say “diet” didn’t you.  But no, that word implies restriction and conjures up images and feelings of deprivation.  And then when we are unable to continue with such self-deprivation, we tend to blame ourselves.  This makes us feel painful inferiority and shame, which benefits nobody.  So how is it again that “dieting” is a good thing??  It can’t be, because it is unnatural.  The better way is like the doctor said, eat your vegetables and fruits and other healthy whole real food most of the time, and eat the typical American fare (i.e. junk food, processed food, etc.) just once or twice a week.  Other doctors agree, and recommend a similar approach.

Even a truly healthy diet may be lacking in some ways, so supplements can be a good addition.  We just want to be careful of the quality.  The doctor talked about this too, but I am going to save this and the final two points for the next post.  Of course if you just can’t wait, you can go give a listen for yourself.