Our bodies are designed in a wonderful and amazing way. We never have to tell our stomachs to digest food. If bacteria in our bodies get out of line, we do not need to consciously activate a fever. If we fall and scrape our elbow, we don’t grow an awkwardly placed third ear in its stead, but rather replace it with new skin. There is an innate wisdom in each and every one of us that works harmoniously with our environment.
So why then do we have so much disease? Why is obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes, and stroke killing so many Americans? The truth is lifestyle disease has far surpassed any type of communicable disease in every area of the earth except for sub-Saharan Africa. We literally do it to ourselves. We constantly ignore pain signals by covering them up with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. If we have high blood pressure, we artificially lower it with drugs. If we are obese, instead of eating properly and exercising, we staple our stomachs so it can’t hold as much food. We attempt in every way possible to short-cut and circumvent the natural symptoms of poor choices and all this leads to is an unsustainable “health care” system that is currently responsible for roughly 19% of our GDP as a country. Japan has gone so far to reduce obesity that they have developed a “fat tax,” knowing full well it will cost them as a nation in the long run, meanwhile most Americans are still content with eating food-like products synthesized in test tubes and chemically drowned to taste like it’s natural counterpart for the sake of saving ten dollars at the grocery store each visit. To say this is lacking any type of foresight to the impending medical bankruptcy (#1 cause of bankruptcy in the US), decreased quality of life for themselves and the family members who have to take care of them, and ultimately an early grave is a grandiose understatement. Right now, 7 out of every 10 Americans (70%) are dying from a lifestyle disease, mainly heart disease, cancer and stroke at which current science relates to only about a 5% genetic cause, leaving us room for only a 95% decrease if we just made a few changes!
So what changes can be made to help us strive to crack the 30% and not croak from a lifestyle disease? Here are 4 of them:
- Move: There are 3 types of people when it comes to exercise; 1) Those who can’t get enough of it (and frequently tell everyone they come into contact with just how much they love it). 2) Those who work out simply because they know its best for their health and they somehow muster the gumption to grind through it on a regular basis. 3) Those who actively proclaim they plan on working out in the near future but never (or once in a blue moon) get around to actually doing so. I (Dr. Burns) happen to fall into #3. My advice is this: You DO NOT have to do a traditional workout! Find something you enjoy doing that requires some level of movement. I personally enjoy many aspects of manual labor such as wood splitting, gardening, leather tanning etc. While I may not do crossfit or throw around free weights, I exercise by doing work. An added benefit to being outside is vitamin D exposure! How much time do you spend under artificial light? It’s no wonder Americans are across the board deficient in vitamin D.
- Sleep: This one is simple. When it’s dark out, sleep. When it’s light, wake up (preferably with a purpose). Your hormones and energy levels will thank you.
- Eat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re thirsty, drink water. Make sure the food you eat once had the capability to grow, such as a cow, a romaine lettuce leaf, or a blueberry. When was the last time you planted a Dorito and watched it grow? The water you drink should be as pure as possible. Reverse osmosis works well for me and my family.
- Empower your nervous system: Often times subtle injuries (all the way to severe traumas) cause insult to the spine leading to reduced functioning of the nervous system. By the way, this is the same system that processes every emotion you’ve ever felt, facilitates the digestion of every milk dud you’ve ever eaten, and caused your face to turn bright red when you accidentally broke wind in front of a less than accepting crowd. Have your nervous system tested through the non-invasive procedure of sEMG and if it’s not functioning optimally, find a chiropractor in your area who treats subluxation (bone misalignment causing less than optimal nerve function) and get it fixed. Every cell in your body will benefit! There you have it. 4 simple steps that will dramatically decrease the risk of you being the 7 out of 10!