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Making the Grade

The recent school year has long been over, but the echoes of learning, striving, and achieving persist. We may, if we choose, apply these remembrances of ourselves when we were in school to the circumstances of our health and well-being. We all want good health for ourselves and the members of our families, but most of us are uncertain as to the actions we need to take to attain this goal. For example, it's easy to get caught up in the notion of "perfect health." Such a misconception may have dire consequences, as the image of being "slim and trim" or being able to sport a set of "washboard abs" may actually prevent us from getting started on developing healthy lifestyles. The impossibility of obtaining an idealized result is discouraging and actually prevents us from taking any action. If we perceive the road to climb as too steep, we may never even begin the journey.

But as in school, although achieving an "A" is the highest goal, those who earn other passing marks are able to continue on to the next grade as well. If students stopped themselves from persisting in their educational programs owing to failure to obtain top marks, they would have failed to observe that they had gained substantial benefit via their efforts in reading, studying, and doing assignments. Plenty of learning can be accomplished even though the student doesn't earn an "A." The real benefits are not so much in earning top grades but rather in participating in the process. Ultimately, the grades you earn matter less than the results you obtain by having applied what you've learned.

Similarly, our goals when we initiate a new healthy eating program or a new program of regular vigorous exercise are not to achieve an ideal weight or an ideal "look." Being "skinny" or even "slim" may not be possible for many people with certain genetic predispositions. "Packing on muscle" or developing a "six-pack," as well, requires specific predispositions of metabolism and genetic makeup. For everyone else, appropriate and effective goals consist of simply becoming healthier than we are at present. For example, losing 5 pounds by maintaining a new healthy diet is a significant accomplishment. Having done that, we might be able to lose 5 pounds more. Walking 15 minutes a day, too, represents progress toward improved health if we haven't done any form of exercise for a while. Having done that, we could progress to walking 30 minutes a day and even begin going to the gym and lifting some light weights.

Any efforts one makes in the direction of achieving optimum health and well-being will be supported by regular chiropractic care. Whether you're designing a new exercise program, enhancing your healthy nutrition plan, engaging in a new mindfulness activity, or all of the above, regular chiropractic care helps provide your body with the means and tools to derive the most benefit from your upgraded healthy lifestyle choices.

Limitations to the gains we can make are often caused by nerve interference and spinal dysfunction, two physiological roadblocks to achieving high levels of health and wellness. By analyzing, detecting, and correcting the sources of nerve irritation and altered spinal mechanics, regular chiropractic care frees your body and enables your cells, tissues, and organ systems to become revitalized as a result of your new lifestyle activities.  In this way, regular chiropractic care itself becomes an important healthy lifestyle choice.

By becoming healthier, many other aspects of our lives improve. We begin to notice that we're sleeping more restfully and have more energy during the day. We may even find that new ideas are coming to us regarding our work and other projects that are important to us. Overall, we begin to find that we're happier and deriving greater satisfaction from our daily tasks and interactions with friends and family. By beginning the various processes of improving our health and well-being, we find that we are winning. What we are actually able to accomplish is what counts.

  1. Schuch FB, et al: Exercise improves physical and psychological quality of life in people with depression: A meta-analysis including the evaluation of control group response. Psychiatr Res 241:47-54, 2016
  2. Cramer H, et al: Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 Jan 3;1:CD010802. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010802.pub2
  3. Veronese N, et al: Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with better quality of life: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Am J Clin Nutr 104(5):1403-1409, 2016

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