Making Exercise More Accessible

”Make haste slowly. Haste makes waste” (Benjamin Franklin). Proper body mechanics are crucial toward preventing injury and maintaining life-long healthy exercise routines. Prior to initiating an exercise program, obtain clearance from your medical provider regarding how intense you should work out based on recent physical fitness experience and any previous or current medical conditions.

Furthermore, to mitigate the amount of time directed toward sedentary living, such as television watching, a person may take the batteries out of the controller and place them in a faraway place or on a high shelf. It will take conscious effort and willpower to put the batteries back in. One can even place the television power cable in a distant location to further divert television watching and promote a healthier routine. More radical approaches would be to get rid of the television, cable or subscriptions all together. Help yourself make life easier by making poor habits more inaccessible and difficult to do, while making good habits easier and more accessible. Go to bed in your workout gear or have fitness items next to the bed to minimize excuses for not exercising.

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy entails not storing high-calorie low-nutrient foods in the house. The types of food calories consumed are more important regarding our well-being than the quantity because of synthetic chemicals and certain ingredients. Look at food labels to minimize or eliminate ones having sugar as the first ingredient, while abstaining from trans fats, such as partially or fully hydrogenated oils found in many cakes, pastries, margarine, donuts, crackers, frosting, cream-filled candy, frozen pizza, biscuits, and fried food, among others. Trans-fatty acids can elevate low density lipoprotein (LDL-bad cholesterol), decrease high density lipoprotein (HDL-good cholesterol), and increase triglycerides, promoting the risk for coronary artery disease, stoke, systemic inflammation, obesity, and type II diabetes. Parts of New York City limited or banned trans fats in 2007 with a tentative U.S. nationwide mitigation and eradication plan set for the middle of 2018, which continues to be worked towards. Various countries either prohibit trans fat or mandate restrictions upon the amounts allowed in food.

Helping Others by Helping Ourselves

Witnessing firsthand and personally experiencing too many of those aforementioned harmful effects in my life manifests deep pain and empathy for people, which is a pivotal reason for choosing to help others. A dominant universal goal regarding all spiritual realms is to mitigate pain and suffering. Caring for individuals working as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse constantly makes me question, “Is there something we as a community, society, nation, and global enterprise can do to help prevent these tragic fatalities?” Tears of compassion and frustration well up and trickle down an anguished face, while contemplating the horrors that families of these loved ones face and endure.

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody” (Lily Tomlin). Can such tragedies be averted? Young teenagers and adults are too often admitted for heroin overdoses with irreversible anoxic brain injuries, while ventilators keep their bodies alive as the brain swells, crushing parts of the cerebrum or spinal cord ending in brain death. All four extremities spastically and uncontrollably jerk up and down with both eyes transiently shooting open seemingly bulging from their skulls as their necrotic viscera pour out. Paralytics are administered because families do not need to witness such horror. Others drink themselves silly, which leads to irreversible pancreatitis or hepatic destruction, culminating in multisystem organ failure and subsequent death.

Even today, visualizing and feeling the glowing warmth, energy, kindness, and friendly smile radiating from a fellow high school classmate’s face 20 years later is poignantly palpable. His abundant energy, radiant countenance, joy, and ability to make others laugh was contagious. He made the tragic decision to try heroin one time, which ended his short life. Let’s decide to help others make better choices by making them for ourselves first.