Mind over matters

Read a few of our health stories in our regular issue and our health guide—from arts editor Brad Bynum’s visit to the colonic hydrologist to Kat Kerlin’s story about TMJ—and you’ll realize that everyone has health issues.

This is Nevada. As a state, we drink too much. We smoke too much. We have a 24-hour lifestyle. We have less health insurance, and so we visit the doctor only when we’re sick. We eat bad foods. We’re sedentary. It’s no damned wonder we end up at the bottom of so many health indices.

Even our laws make it harder to know what’s right, what will help us live longer, healthier and less miserable lives. For example, we know secondhand smoke kills people, and yet, we allowed an exception to be made in Nevada’s anti-smoking laws in favor of casinos. We are steadily killing fellow citizens—all of us; we’re all complicit. And what about those commercials that appear to create diseases after the pharmaceutical has been invented to fix them?

There are more people and businesses that benefit from you being sick (hospitals, drug companies, doctors, chiropractors, insurance companies) than there are people who benefit by you being well (your family, your friends, your employer).

So what’s the answer? Is it diet: high fat, low carb; low fat, low carb; vegetarianism; Paleolithic diet; organic foods; or local foods? Is it exercise? Is it—and please, don’t let it be so—moderation and self control?

The bottom line is that it really is about personal responsibility and changing your thought patterns to work in the real world. Not everyone can afford a gym membership, but everyone can make four circuits around the block, five times a week. That’s about all the exercise it will take to stave off diabetes—if you don’t already have it.

New mothers may be able to do baby curls or sit-ups. In fact, there are a lot of household items that can be used to raise the heart rate—take spouses, for example.

Get support. There are two ways to do this: Find a partner to help motivate you, or find someone to lighten your load so you can get some time to yourself. In the first case, find someone who can exercise with you, who can stop smoking with you, who can get on the weightloss bandwagon with you. In the second case, it may be as easy as asking your partner to clean the bedroom or wash the dishes or cook dinner a couple times a week while you take a walk or go to the gym. Demotivational partners who say, “I like you with a little more meat on your bones; here, have some Alfredo,” should be kicked to the curb.

We’re not saying anything new here. Everyone needs to watch what they eat—meaning less processed foods. Everyone needs to exercise a bit. Everyone needs to train their children to eat right and exercise.

People have been telling you this for years.

It’s up to you to actually find the time and motivation to take a little better care of yourself.