Glad you’re here! Let’s jump into this week’s topic: what does it mean to proactively manage your health.
When it comes to managing your health, there’s a passive way to get things done. We can go to the doctor once a year for that check up, get that yearly flu shot, or workout for the summer then quit till next summer. The amazing thing about our bodies is how resilient they are. Your body can survive any number of changes and adapt to your environment. On top of that, a missed doctor’s appointment will not break down our bodies or cause a heart attack. But missing out on proactively managing your health everyday is guaranteed to show up after years of abusing the resiliency of our bodies. The only thing we can control in life is ourselves, so why would our health and lifestyle choices be any different?
Reactive fitness and lifestyle approaches fall in line with a Western model of treating your body. Western medicine is about diagnosing and treating symptoms based on an evidence proven approach. That means figuring out a constellation of symptoms that can then be treated with pharmaceuticals to eventually be cured. Western medicine is heavily based on defending the body against infectious diseases. It’s based on disease understanding - compiling symptoms to create a picture of you. It’s not about the nitty gritty that makes you, you. This approach has its benefits, it’s been able to lower infection rates for diseases like HIV and Polio. The drawback is that chronic conditions like dementia, diabetes, or arthritis are not linked to infection; so a Western medicine approach does not always directly address the underlying causes or help patients feel their best.
For example, imagine a pregnant woman is nauseous, and not the regular kind of nauseous, the kind that makes it almost impossible to keep food down. The traditional approach would be to treat her with anti-nausea medication, but perhaps the medication makes her feel faint. This is a reactive approach that is relying on symptom management rather than getting to the root cause of the nausea. There could be a problem with the microbiome environment in her stomach, she could be deficient in much needed nutrients to help support her health. It could be that stress management is needed, or probiotics. The reasons for the nausea could be many, but taking medication and hoping for the best is not the only option available. Everyone’s body and genetics are unique. When Western medicine pushes pharmaceuticals, it is meant as a band-aid or a possible solution and does not seek to help your unique needs.
A person’s approach to their own health can determine longevity and general wellbeing. A reactive approach to your health has long and imposing consequences. This could mean limited mobility later on in life due to the lack of exercise. Even proper posture is something that we have to upkeep regularly, but with a reactive approach, a patient might need surgery down the line to correct the onset of back problems.
We want to help you cultivate a motivated mentality to take care of yourself to the best of your ability. That means a holistic approach to medicine and taking care of yourself. It’s about being open minded to different modalities that can provide healing and serve your individual health needs. Don’t accept a reactive approach to medicine where we’re managing symptoms, hoping for the best, and waiting for something to happen.
There’s so much to know about your health and it is also highly customizable. There’s your gut biome and how that can affect mental health. There’s vitamin deficiencies that can contribute to inflammation. The goal is not to just suppress the symptoms, but to live well and address the root cause of poor health. A proactive approach to your health is to understand your lifestyle, environment, food choices, even your genetics. For example, depression can be brought on by many things like vitamin deficiencies, low thyroid activity, heavy use of antibiotics, and other factors that are contributing to make you and your body feel worse. When you proactively seek to understand yourself and your body, the rewards are feeling your best.
A more functional approach to treating diseases and chronic conditions is your biochemical individuality and taking a more preventative approach. Consider your diet and how that can help prevent chronic conditions and actually make you feel your best! A vegan diet might work for some people and not work for others at all. For example, a vegan diet is high in precursor nutrients, which is another word for an ingredient in the recipe for making a nutrient your body needs in order to function, but your ability to change those precursor nutrients into the active nutrients may not be working the way you hoped due to genetic expression. Your body's ability to utilize the nutrients you are ingesting is a highly individualized process. Being on the forefront of understanding yourself and how your body works is the best way to find what works for you. It’s the best way to maintain longevity.
The final piece to the proactive health approach is a dynamic workout and fitness program. The gym should not be a place that you occasionally visit a few times a year. The gym should be a place where you can relax and have fun. A dynamic fitness plan doesn’t always have to involve the gym either. It’s about staying active, doing different activities, finding hobbies you love, finding things that interest you to get you interested in your health. We firmly believe it’s not about getting reps in, it’s about moving with a purpose. A proactive approach to movement and your body builds longevity and literal endorphins that help to keep you happier.
This is just one giant article sent to motivate you to take care of yourself. Self-care is sexy and we are all about that here at Primitive.
Blessings Always, Coach Adan Martinez