Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Whats better for your health: drugs or exercise?
After boot camp this morning; I'm sitting home, eating breakfast and watching the news as I get ready for an very busy afternoon training clients. On the news on CNN they had this segment conducting an interview on a report that came out on the nations addiction to prescription drugs; especially pain killers. In their article (which you can read by clicking here) they mention how "prescription drug overdose is now the fastest-growing drug problem in the country, surpassing the number of people who overdosed during both the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and the black tar heroin epidemic of the 1970s combined" -"Prescriptions for these painkillers have increased dramatically over the past 10 years. In 2000 pharmacies filed 174 million opioid prescriptions. By 2009 that number was 257 million"... If you ask me that's freaking alarming!!!
"Pain killers are necessary and when used properly they help and benefit in the treatment for pain management for certain patients, though they pose serious risks when used improperly", said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.
Some facts attributed to the abuse of pain killers was stated as; besides the drug, pain management specialists often indiscriminately prescribe painkillers. Focused on eliminating pain, physicians can overlook the long-term consequences of dependency. These are the same people that went to medical school in hopes to take care of us... Not to mention that the drug industry is a billion dollar industry.
Be a smart consumer and a smart patient, understand that sometimes drugs are prescribe based on what a sales rep does and not what the actual drug claims to do.Have you seen the side effects on many of these drugs? Most will end up killing you in the long run. I still remember when I was teen I had these chest pains (that would come anytime including while playing sports in the middle of a game) and so my mom took me to the Dr. They never figured out what I had, they said I had the heart of an athlete.. I still mentioned I had pains and wasn't making it up. He ended up prescribing me some pain killer for my next episode. I was like WTH!!! You have no idea what's wrong (they actually though I was perfectly fine) yet I was constantly prescribed with pain killers and muscle relaxers. I never took them by the way, and it ends up after years I have higher levels of CRP and a mild heart murmur. Everything under control thankfully... regular exercise and healthy nutrition helps!
But why do we seek these drugs? We've become a society of instant gratification including seeking out quick fixes through drugs to make yourselves feel better. What about your behavior and day to day actions?
On December 2009 I wrote a post about the Health Care Debate And You (click here to read the full post). In it I mention how some of the issues may be out of your hands (and into the hands of Congress) though not your health!!
What we are missing is the real debate on how to get people healthy and help them stay that way (without the use of pain killers which ultimately may end up killing you); or in others words Practice Preventive Medicine not reactive. At the end it’s your responsibility to take action for your health, your life and of those around you.
What can you do then?
Did you know that regular exercise combined with a healthy nutrition program can help you live better, improve the quality of your life, reduce the possibility of contracting a disease, strengthen your muscles and bones, fight aging, help you reduce stress and improve your sleep patterns, improve your sex life and so many other things like regulate your blood pressure, control sugar related health problems such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, lower cholesterol, etc… In a struggling economy imagine all the money you and everyone else would save by just taking care of your body. You clean your house, you maintain your cars and other possessions why not your health? As some other professionals have pointed out: FITNESS IS THE ULTIMATE MEDICINE!!
What if you:
· Stop smoking
· Eat healthier (like more chicken, fish, vegetables, fruits, omega-3, 6)
· Reduce the intake of alcohol or at least drink moderately
· Exercise every day or at least in a consistent and regular basis 3 to 5 times a week
· Smile and be generous
· Have Fun
· Love others
The reality is that this is your Preventive Medicine or "personal health care reform program". Of course it won’t guarantee that you would ever get sick, be pain free, avoid aging or getting into an accident or having the perfect body; but it’s a start and ONLY YOU can control this not an insurance company, not the government not your workplace.
Sure there are great programs developed by the government to help promote fitness and even more so companies are realizing the benefits of starting a Corporate Wellness Program. But at the end it falls on you to follow through a program. You must enroll into the gym, if not decide to exercise at home, join boot camp and once you do that, THEN YOU MUST GO. You must get started in a fitness and nutrition program.
If you lack motivation, if you are lazy, if you have no idea where to start or what to do… then you must invest in yourself, buy a book, go online, hire a reputable fitness expert at least to help you get started on the right path.
At the end your "personal health care reform program" comes down to this: you either invest your time and effort in your health today or pay the expenses and medical bills tomorrow, it’s your call.