The fields of health and fitness are replete with formulae for success. However, many of the plans offered for the procurement of improved status of one physiological dimension or another rely on one dimensional, rather restricted uses of isolated data. The problem arises with the modern tradition of "fixing" that which is most offensive to the individual. Unfortunately, even our some of our medical practitioners reinforce our notion that one treatment or pill cures the symptom of our designated ill. It would appear to be much more logical to develop an understanding of some of the basic cause and effect relationships of health and fitness in order to create a strategy for attaining, maintaining and regaining these conditions.
Incongruous as it may seem, many of the very simplest responses of our physiology have been muted either by perverted social customs or a psychological dependence on compromised health and conditioning. For example: It's not healthy to feel like on over-inflated balloon after a meal. Walking up a flight of stairs should NOT leave a healthy individual panting like a dog. Tension headaches should not be an everyday occurrence. Normal individuals should be able to fall asleep, wake-up, eat and eliminate food without the use of pills or drinks or potions. It seems that our expectations of our physical capacities are less than accurate and compromise the quality of our lives as a society.
Perhaps a basic bgcolor of some of the fundamental tenets of our physiological stimuli and response mechanisms would provide a working foundation upon which to build a better understanding of the reality of our health and conditioning behaviors: The main thrust of the healthy human physiology is that of maintaining homeostasis or "status quo". Whenever the body is subjected to a stimulus (any outside force or circumstance), it responds in some manner. If the response is within the normal capabilities of the existing condition (of health or physical conditioning), no unusual effect is ordinarily noticeable. This would indicate that the body "can handle" the necessary response through the powers of its current reserves. If, on the other hand, the stimulus is abnormal or something for which the body is not adequately conditioned, our bodies will respond in an extraordinary manner. This extraordinary response is most often accompanied by a "signal" which is sometimes referred to as a symptom. In some instances, these symptoms are very subtle and require some personal insight in order to be accurately identified.
Some of the more obvious symptoms of the human condition are hunger, for which eating is the solution; thirst, for which drinking (the proper liquids) works well and fatigue for which rest or sleep is the solution. As simple as the aforementioned appear, more than a few individuals have real trouble identifying them accurately. This fact, more than any other, highlights the pervasive nature of our modern, mechanized, sedentary and chemically perverse lifestyles. If we are to succeed in our own health plan, we must open our eyes and listen to our bodies simple signals.
If you eat and feel bloated soon after or if your stomach burns frequently and you even feel "sick" from the food you eat, CHANGE YOUR DIET. If you walk from your car to a store a hundred yards away or up a flight or two of stairs and feel "winded", YOU’RE OUT OF SHAPE". If you have a major problem carrying a bag of groceries into your house, YOU'RE TOO WEAK. If you are always tense and can't get to sleep and wake up tired, YOU HAVE TO LEARN RELAXATION TECHNIQUES. If you haven't been to your doctor in the last year and don't know your cholesterol levels, YOU'RE NEGLIGENT. If you have persistent pains and don't have them "looked into" by a professional, YOU'RE A FOOLISH GAMBLER.
The point of all this is to prompt you to take care of yourself. That means changing your lifestyle in basic, meaningful ways. Stop being content with compromised physical function and start planning your time to include those things which are truly rewarding. Don't "cover-up" symptoms. Get to the causes of your problems. Eat properly, exercise regularly, stop smoking, drink pure water and try to avoid pollutants and stress. Some of these things seem impossible in our hectic struggle to "make it" in our modern world. However, it is very difficult to make anything without the optimal health to which we are all entitled. Let's get our priorities straight; simple things are important. The rest will take care of itself.