Lifestyle changes – where do we start?
As we consider the elements of good activity levels and locomotion, how do we determine what a healthy foot is? Our body is something we often take for granted.
Very often distracted by the business of life and do not find the time to spend on ourselves that we may need. This can lead to us skipping meals, eating more take away food and not having “me time” to pursue the things that we love doing the most. This can often lead to adopting a lifestyle that does not reflect our health needs as much as we would like. It can include:
- Our diet
- Our activity levels.
- Our sleep quality and quantity.
- Avoiding risky Substance use. (i.e.: Alcohol quantity or smoking).
- Our time to be socially connected with friends, family and our community.
- Our stress management.
The self-care decisions of the above pillars can have a huge effect on our foot health, energy levels, happiness, and our ability to avoid chronic diseases, such as Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, Hypertension, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
We require good cardiovascular health, nerve health and muscle strength to engage in walking and locomotion related activities and sports. The Western diet has become heavily influenced by the media and industry to provide us with instant access to highly refined foodstuffs that are literally designed in laboratories with the perfect balance of sugar, saturated fat and salt. Yet every single thousandth of a second there are enzymatic and metabolic activities going on, that may be setting the stage for some of the chronic diseases mentioned. This same principle applies to our exercise and activity levels. 150,000 years ago, the average moderate to higher intensity activity level was for about 4-5 hours a day.
Modern life has taken a lot of the work out of surviving. Same with our stress levels, the fight-flight response we needed to survive with has become part of stress levels in our life that can be hugely damaging to our health. Our opportunities for social connection are often diminished, and our sleep quality and quantity are far below the requirements for up to 30% of the population. Alcohol can have significant impacts on our quality of life, even recommended daily intakes never make it a safe substance to consume. And smoking is a hugely destructive influence on health, for every second of the day.
We are all at different stages of building the best opportunities for optimal health. But we must. Not just for ourselves, but for all those we love and all those that we will influence in our community, to have the level of health that we deserve and is inherently our born right to have access to. Where are you now? Where would you like to be in 5 years, 10 years, or when or during your present retirement? We need to talk about these questions. Walking and locomotion or activity even where locomotion is difficult or limited, is still one of the true miracles of life. It takes 8 billion brain cells to do it. Let’s cherish this statistic. It matters, right now. Let’s celebrate it together! May you stay safe, active and happy.
Thank you for reading!