We have followed with genuine interest, the escalating activity in and around environmental concerns. In many ways it is encouraging to see the increasing awareness we have in protecting our earths ecology. The move towards green thinking, though sometimes a bit too reactionary is in our estimation on the whole a positive direction to follow…in one sense it is a ‘no brainer’. Personally, we think we need more focus on plain old wide spread general pollution issues but we are far from experts in such matters. Our expertise is with the human body and specifically fitness, never-the-less we wish to draw a few parallels.
It strikes us as peculiar when we see people making a concerted point to recycle while all the while pouring copious quantities of, pardon the raw euphemism, garbage into their bodies as well and treating themselves as such. Your body, your personal environment, which travels with you everywhere you go all day and night, everyday of your life – is in many ways a delicate, finely tuned system much like our planet Earth. The human body is made up of several different systems (circulatory, endocrine, skeletal, digestive, muscular, nervous etc) These systems have countless checks and balances to maintain and are easily disrupted through poor treatment. Then, in its entirety, the human body is one large system made up of all these interacting/interrelated subsystems.
The state of one subsystem has a direct effect on the others and they rely on each other to function properly. Without forcing you to pour through thousands of pages of scientific literature we will summarize one simple but exceptionally important point:
“As the health sciences advance, we are discovering ever-increasing evidence of the important cross influences and thus interdependence of all our bodies systems. That is to say, disease, poor function, even mental/emotional issues can be brought on by seemingly disparate causes. What may affect one system harshly can have a cascading effect on other parts of your bodies functioning, i.e. how you sleep to how you function the following day. A less obvious example might be: how well you digest and absorb nutrients will affect mental/emotional function and general resilience immediately and later on. Perhaps another useful illustration would be proper exercise making the body more resistant to stress thus enhancing immune function and staving off serious disease related afflictions as time goes by. Thus, the old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth…’This is all very similar to the planet we live on where disrupting one part can have a domino affect on others. The connections are often tough to spot and dissect but we are uncovering them over time. The point is, whether you realize it or not (or care), how you treat one aspect of your body can have (in time) a profound effect on another. Just as we see that exercise can have a positive crossover effect beyond the specific functions trained (increased strength/endurance thus enhanced immune function etc) the same can be said for the opposite. Poor eating habits and over or under using certain aspects of your body (lack of activity/excessive work) can all have detrimental often permanently damaging results. Too much strain or lack of care in only one subsystem can have disastrous effects on a related system and often overall health. What you do wrong now (or don’t do right) can cause significant difficulties many years later in life.
Now we are not trying to simply instil panic in you as some environmental zealots often do. The fact is though; it clearly appears (at least to us) that a large portion of the population needs a ‘wake-up’ call. We think it is of paramount importance to consider and examine your own personal ‘bod-ecology’. I know, perhaps this made up term sounds far too contrived but we imagine our point is dead obvious. Just as we need to learn to treat our outside environment with care and respect…well you get the point.
Now consider the even farther-reaching implications:
Possibly you aren’t honestly fit as a fiddle or were but haven’t stayed in shape over the years. You aren’t eating and/or sleeping well enough nor are you getting regular quality exercise. As a result, you don’t perform nearly as well as you could with work or family. Your attitude, energy levels and such are sub-par. You fail to do all the things you want to do, perhaps even some of the things you need to do. Treating your body poorly then results in treating your life and those in it with that much less, for lack of a more poignant term – care. It is a pinball effect that starts within your personal system(s) and eventually branches out to affect others around you.
As well, there is the issue of healthcare especially here in Canada where we all share the burden. Are you destroying your bod-ecology and making all of us pay for it in the long run? Are you living a polluted, resource wasting ‘physical’ lifestyle? Does it not make any solid, good sense to invest in and protect your physical future?
Possibly this all comes off somewhat harsh and preachy, however these are things to think about when you are changing to energy saving light bulbs, organizing recyclables or considering carbon credits. How you take care of your body will ultimately be reflected in how you interact with the rest of your world. You depend 100% on this system that is your body, when it lets you down everything and all other concerns can pale by comparison.
Be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney