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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Do You Really WANT to be Healthy?

From time to time, I like to re-post some of most popular blogs. This one was very popular with my readers and I admit that it really resonated with me too-so enjoy:

Are you lying to yourself?
Any reader of Throwing a Fit knows, I am huge on education. I have not stayed on the "cutting edge" (an overused term but one I do not throw around lightly), in this industry for nothing. I go to seminars, workshops, get specialized certifications, read books, magazines, journals, blogs, etc. to really stay on top of what is happening. To that end, one of the experts whose work I "follow" is a doctor and physical therapist out of Canada named Dr. Andreo Spina. Dr. Spina is an amazing talent.  He understands functional anatomy and physiology in a way that few people I've followed does. He has taught me much. 
You might consider this something of a rant but, it's also spot on!  

I feel as though I've spoken these words a thousand times to a thousand people over the course of my career albeit, not as eloquently. But it hasn't been said enough so I will continue to spew words like those Dr. Spina puts forth here (to a potential patient) until everyone gets it. Some of my readers will see themselves here; some won't-and for the family and friends of readers, who still don't get it, your time will come-I just hope it won't be too late.

Dear Patient:  

I will be frank with you as I believe that this is the best, and only way to get this point firmly across before any treatment plan is commenced. This short note is in response to your specific claim that the “last guy” didn’t “fix” you.

Now, before we get into the specifics let me start by saying this….we don’t “fix” anything. We do not have magic hands that somehow heal tissues that are damaged. All we do is induce changes, or alter the ‘environment’ of the tissues such that they will be better able to heal themselves and accept physical training (which is what ‘fixes’ things). But aside from what we do….lets discuss what YOU do.

First of all, it is not your ‘right’ to be pain free…nor to be ‘healthy.’ There is no universal power that is monitoring your health status. In fact, from an evolutionary perspective, the commonality of body aches and pains makes perfect sense. In evolutionary biology there is a well-known concept referred to as the “Caveman Principal” which states that humans have not undergone any substantial physical (or mental) alterations in over 100, 000 years. What that tells us is that your mind and body still functions as if you are living in a forest/jungle and your life’s work includes only hunting and gathering food requiring countless hours of physical exertion with intermittent periods of rest (when it is dark out so as not to be eaten by nocturnal predators). As such, the body does not understand driving in a car, sitting to watch a movie, talking on a cell phone, lazy-boy recliners, and countless other technological innovations that have been developed within the last say 100 years (to be generous)…and from an evolutionary perspective, the time-span of 100 does not even register as any amount of time at all. Thus, while you are sitting hunched over at your desk for 8 hours per day staring at your computer while talking on the phone and sipping your high fat vanilla chi latte (with 3 sugars), you are doing so in a physical form that isn’t even accustomed to a bipedal posture from an evolutionary sense.

What am I getting at? Well, civilization has forced our bodies far from doing the activities that we were designed for as hunter-gatherers. Thus, in order to compensate for said fact, a considerable amount of WORK is required in order to maintain the human form and REDUCE the risk of injury and pain (notice I said reduce and not prevent which is impossible). By work I mean MOVING in order to increase physical capacity…i.e. exercise.

We are DESIGNED to do physical activity on a regular, daily, hourly basis. When you were told by your general practitioner that you should do 20 mins/day of ‘mild’ physical activity his recommendation was based not on what YOU need, rather on epidemiological studies that look to decrease the mortality rate of the human race by a fraction of a percentage (or something of the sort). YOU, as a separate physical entity/being, require more… a lot more….or at least you do if you want to be ‘healthy’ and function well. Which begs the ultimate question, “do you WANT to be healthy?”

Now before you answer, please consider what I mentioned above, and the fact that your health is not a right bestowed upon you as reward from simply being born. You can "want" something...or WANT something, there is a difference. YOUR health takes WORK….and quite a bit of it. I cannot give you YOUR health. I can only inform you of what YOU are required to do in order to achieve and maintain it. There is no need to negotiate with me, as I don’t make the rules. In fact, I am living with the same rules that you are. My medical training did not include the ‘secret’ to health and longevity. There is no secret. I simply do what you are supposed to do. You have been told by several people that exercise is good for you…that eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts/seeds is good for you…that getting sleep is good for you…that stress reduction is good for you…that meditation is good for you….that moving is good for you. Unless you have lived under a rock for your whole life, you know what to do. “What to do” takes effort, and commitment by YOU…not me.

So I ask again….do YOU WANT to be healthy?


Dr. Andreo A. Spina

...just another human  

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Fitness expert and integrative performance coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!  Take Jini's "Are you Ready?" Quiz at© 2011 Jinifit, Inc.

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