Becoming healthy often seems to be quite easy to acheive these days, especially if you go by many organisation’s guidelines these days. For example to be healthy we are told to eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day combined with large amounts of fiber with each meal and cutting calories. Or we are told to do at least half an hour of cardiovascular exercise each day to stay fit and healthy. So we follow these guidelines, in fact so many of my clients come to me and say they eat a healthy diet, and say ‘I have cereal for breakfast, brown bread sandwich for lunch and pasta and vegetables for supper,’ they also exercise doing plenty of cardio each week, yet still find it difficult to achieve their targets of losing weight, gaining more energy or getting rid of their long standing back pain. But they think they are being extremely healthy, however there are many hidden stressors that they are not aware of.
Here’s why, most of the advice that people receive from media and some organizations is flawed! Modern living provides us with many stressors that the body has to overcome to achieve homeostasis or reach equilibrium of the trillions of cellular functions. Furthermore each and every one of us has specific needs for nutrition, there’s no such thing as a healthy diet and to follow a healthy diet for one person will lead to disease in the other. Take a look at the diagram below and you can get a snapshot of the many stressors that the body is exposed to on a daily basis.
Physical stress can be divided into two categories anabolic/building, or catabolic/destructive. Our body is exposed to gravity on a daily basis for which we have to overcome. Poor posture from excessive seated position, cardiovascular exercise and machine weights can be categorised as catabolic. Good quality primal pattern exercises that encourage the squat, lunge, bend, twist, push, pull can be categorised as anabolic as long as the body is well aligned to complete the exercise without deleterious effects. If physical stress, say from a painful knee is not relieved when we sleep, it creates additional chemical and psychic stress which can impact on your choice of nutrition, when you fail to get adequate levels of good quality sleep.
The chemical stress that we experience has multiplied by thousands of % with the advent of the industrial revolution. Randolph States that there are over four million chemicals registered in the US (and that book was written in 1971!) You only need to open your cupboard under the sink to see the myriad of inorganic compounds in the sprays and detergents that we are supposed to clean our houses with. Within our foods your only need to look at the back of most food packaging to see unpronounceable chemical names to see the exposure to further chemical stresses. Tap water now contains tens of thousands of chemicals that we are told have no impact on human function. Ames & Gold state that low level doses of these chemicals do not create lesions on human DNA which create cancers! How can an assay accurately predict how thousands of chemicals interact, when there are such large fluctuations at any given time, with any degree of accuracy?
With the advent of harnessed electrical power our bodies are exposed to high levels of stress that we will not fully understand the implications of, for maybe twenty years. In fact some experts are likening the exposure of Wi-Fi, mobile telecoms and the like to becoming the new lung cancer epidemic seen in the last century. France has now taken the step of banning all Wi-Fi from all schools and nurseries due to the concrete research of the interference to the developing brain. Try this for a test, my girlfriend pointed out, when she used to log onto our Wi-Fi, there were 9 other Wi-Fi signals beamed into our flat. Now add the mobile phone signals multiplied by how many service providers there are in your area to give you an idea of electromagnetic stress. The Sun provides with a positive form of electromagnetic stress that creates life, it also provides the human body with vitamin D.
Psychic stress is presented to us as soon as we are able to understand the notion of criticism or an inability to process thoughts that create negative thinking. The way we perceive that criticism can be largely due to our programming as a child in the formative years and so memetic dysfunction occurs. It can also be formed by positive or negative experiences that impact on how we process our emotions. Consistently focusing on negative aspects of our lives is a form of negative psychic stress, instead of focusing on positive aspects of our lives. Failure to set goals and achieving can create a vicious cycle of negative psychic stress.
Have you ever eaten a food and not felt the best after eating it. You may have thought nothing of it or carried on and just got used to the sensation or emotional dis-chord from eating a poor choice. However nutrition isn’t as simple as watching the TV and hearing that these bran flakes are good for your health, or this soy product contains natural plant estrogens, so must be good for you! Our nutritional have been shaped by millions of years of evolution. Our current food choices have been dictated by the last 5,000-10,000 years of industrialized farming and years of marketing and deception. A simple self test for understanding genetic adaptation for food choices is to eat a food or selection of foods and note how you feel 1-2 hours after eating those foods. Try eating a meal high in fat and protein or a high carbohydrate meal. What have you experienced? An uplift of emotional well being, increased energy levels, improved focus and clarity? No? Chances are the food choice is a poor one or needs a change of ratios of fats, proteins and carbohydrates to get the most from your food!
Any temperature that causes the body to increase or decrease in temperature is a form of thermal stress. Temperature of the body is inextricably linked to how acidic or alkaline our body’s are. Cold causes the body to be more acidic and often creates a faster metabolism, that’s why Eskimos can get away with eating a diet that has 80-90% fat and protein content and remain a paragon of healthy living!
Key steps to restricting your exposure to stress
Managing your exposure to these stressors is a key part of your goal setting for achieving your health and wellbeing targets. Follow these key steps to keep on the road to optimal health. Also consider having key clinical lab test such as digestive and hormonal tests to identify how strong your immune system is, what hormones are predominating over your body balance, and to determine what strategies you need to undertake to avoid wasting your time, energy and money which will create more stress!
Physical – Do strive for physical alignment, do complete a variety of exercises that create energy, do change your program at least every 6-8 weeks
Avoid doing an exercise just because you friend thinks it’s good, avoid working through pain!
Chemical – Do throw out all the chemicals in you flat create a toxic environment Avoid any foods that create inorganic substances. Do Eat organic foods and avoid tap water.
Electromagnetic- do switch your mobile phone off when possible and do not carry in your pocket. Switch from WI-FI in your house back to cable, and spend time in nature. There are still plenty of places to go that don’t have Wi-FI and mobile phone signals.
Psychic- Do take 10 minutes out of your day to think about the positive things in YOUR life. If negative psychic stress is a constant in your life, set yourself targets to change that cycle.
Nutrition- Do read the metabolic type diet or get metabolically typed to understand what food choices build health and which don’t.
Thermal – Do get hot and cold, using an cold shower for one minute then a hot shower for a minute 3-5 times to help the body adapt to thermal stress and also help the body feel great after a training session. This will also help to eliminate any stiffness from a good dose of positive physical stress from a functional training program!
Here’s to reducing that stress!