Today, I’d like to talk about living in today’s modern world and why we need to keep health simple. It’s challenging living in today’s modern world. With regard to health, some things can’t be avoided. Also we’re not using our bodies in the way they were designed. Allow me to explain why in the context of the 7 Body Basics that I discuss in The Simple Seven book.
First and foremost, we’re not physically active in the way the human body has been designed. This is the basis for the 3rd Body Basic: Keep Moving. As I’ve talked about in other podcasts, the human body is designed for mobility. We are designed to constantly move our bodies. However, in today’s modern world, we’re mostly sedentary. In our jobs alone, we sit a lot. Even children sit at school most of the day. Some jobs require a lot of standing in one place, a different form of sedentariness. At home, we sit at the dinner table or sit or stand mostly motionless in front of electronics. All of this inhibits us from moving the body’s hundreds and thousands of muscles, bones, and connective tissue, which together also stimulate circulation, cited by medical experts as critical for good health, and the constant delivery of nutrients to our bodies’ trillions of cells and the removal of their metabolic waste. Furthermore, not moving vigorously, as I call it, raising our heart rate and working up a sweat, doesn’t trigger the body’s myriad of mechanisms that are intelligently and intentionally designed to keep us healthy.
So, already, we’re at a deficit. And this is why exercise was created. Reading from the Simple Seven book:
The traditional exercise program is relatively new, first popularized in the late 1980s. It prescribes doing cardio – to work the heart [what I call, moving vigorously]. And weight training – to work muscles and connecting tendons, ligaments, and bones. The recommendation is 30 minutes of cardio on a treadmill, exercise bike, or step machine, three to four times a week, along with three sets of 8–12 weight-training reps targeting about a dozen muscle groups, three times a week. A routine that’s scientifically designed to keep us moving.
So envision this, the traditional exercise program designed to, in a sense, artificially move our bodies naturally, as opposed to our moving our bodies naturally on our own.
Reading more from The Simple Seven book:
This isn’t the first time exercise was developed to overcome sedentariness. Pilates, which uses machines to move the body, was invented in America in the early 20th century… Since 1928, many Japanese have practiced 15 minutes of [what’s called] “radio calisthenics” every morning… And monks originally began practicing yoga as a form of exercise to complement their meditation practice.
So, throughout time, we’ve recognized the need to keep moving and we’ve created different solutions. Yet, in today’s modern world, not everyone is moving. Mostly, it isn’t a priority. Most likely it’s because people aren’t aware of the benefits.
Second, we’re challenged by our food supply, what relates to the 1st Body Basic: Eat Fresh Food. In my estimation, only 5% of America’s food supply, if that, is pure, what I call "fresh food”. As pure as food that was available about a hundred years ago before the term “organic” was used. Back then, the term “organic” wasn’t needed. It was a time when food was organic, naturally. When soil was rich in nutrients, heirloom seeds, seeds designed by nature, were used for growing plants, and animals were fed their natural food and were free to roam the pasture — just to name a few things — all of which produced the highest quality food possible. Today’s mass food production methods have depleted the soil of vital minerals that even organic food may not contain, chemical pesticides are used in conventionally grown food, and animals are fed food that they aren’t designed to eat, which make them sick, and they’re confined and forced to endure stressful living conditions, all of which produce a lesser quality food.
For example, studies conducted over the past 50 years show that farm-raised salmon have fewer nutrients than those that live in the wild because confined, farm-raised fish aren’t able to swim as naturally – more vigorously, as I call it – as their wild counterparts. That’s according to an article, that was published in NPR entitled, “Getting a More Svelte Salmon to Your Dinner Plate.” Animals have their own set of body basics. In a previous podcast where I talked about a therapeutic program designed to reverse cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, the program stipulated eating wild-caught salmon over farm-raised salmon, most likely for this reason. In particular, because wild caught salmon have more omega-3s.
Third, our water supply isn’t clean, which relates to the 2nd Body Basic: Staying Hydrated. Sadly, today, there are very few, pure natural water sources left on this large, great planet of ours. Think about this. In all of our world, there are but a few untainted clean water sources left. Tap water is treated with chemicals, bottled waters are either bottled tap water or aren’t purified sufficiently, despite what they may advertise — there’s a lot to understand about the nature of water — and often the same is true of home water filtering systems.
Fourth, we don’t get enough restful sleep, the 4th Body Basic. The American work culture, for example, places a higher value on employees “taking one for the team” than on their health, completing work at home late into the night for an important meeting the next day or taking red-eye flights to cut costs, inhibiting proper sleep. Which, in turn, over time decreases employee productivity and raises health insurance costs. Also in today’s modern world we feel compelled to be constantly on the go and leave little downtime to rest and make up the difference.
Fifth, our air quality is poor, which pertains to the 5th Body Basic and breathing in vital oxygen, a nutrient that powers everything we do. Large cities are polluted. Indoors at work, windows are closed and air is recycled, which can perpetuate colds and exacerbate allergies. At home, heating and air cooling systems recycle dust and pet dander. Even driving in our cars, breathing in car fumes and pollution when windows are down and breathing in cigarette smoke and moldy air when windows are closed.
Sixth, we just don’t have the time to worry about bowel movements, with regard to the 6th Body Basic, clearing your bowel every day. In today’s busy world, bowel movements are an after thought. Sometimes we even pride ourselves on not having them, for days. And yet we understand the importance of clearing waste in other regards. For example, emptying the kitchen trash — or otherwise attracting pests. The same can happen within our bodies. And changing the oil in our cars; dirty oil is a waste byproduct of running the car. A bowel movement also clears other bodily waste so your body can run better.
And seventh, the stress of living in today’s modern world, which is the overriding obstacle to our health, and relates to the 7th Body Basic and our emotional well-being. In a statistic I’ve cited before, at least 75% of all illness and disease has stress as a factor. That’s according to the American Medical Association. Stress on the job alone often includes doing tedious work for long hours and under compromising conditions to meeting aggressive, if not sometimes impossible, deadlines to dealing with office politics and/or a difficult boss and harassment — none of which should be taken lightly, as a common threat to speaking up creates another form of stress — the risk of losing one’s job.
We also have stress in our personal lives with relationships, situations, and circumstances plus the stress of carrying around buried, emotional pain from past life experiences, which we’re not even aware of because we’re not taught to be in touch with our feelings. and what I have seen in my practice as being the greatest threat to our mental and emotional well-being and our health.
So, these are factors that we can’t control living in today’s modern world. What about the factors that we can control? Say, you’re trying to be healthy and someone brings donuts to work. You have to attend a business dinner and the food served isn’t on your diet. You have social obligations and you’ll have to miss your dance class or basketball league, plus you don’t relate to the people who will be there. These seem like less significant challenges, but they’re still challenges to your health, nonetheless. It’s easy to fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon when too many of distractions happen often, all at once. Of course, this isn’t what we want.
So, what can we do? Well, these are your options.
On one end of the spectrum, you can choose not to change anything, not to commit to a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes people say, “I’ll take my chances” or “I’ll deal with it when it happens” or even “You have to die from something.” I used to say these things before I had cancer in 2004. What I learned was, I wish I hadn’t take a chance. I wish I had taken better care of my health. Having cancer wasn’t easy. It interrupted by life, turned it upside down, made me sick for a long time, was a terrible inconvenience. I wished I could have made the situation go away. I wished I could have been better overnight. And I discovered that I didn’t want to die, I wanted to live. When you’re in the throes of a health crisis, there isn’t time to focus on prevention. It’s too late. You have regrets about it. Having experienced this myself, it’s heartbreaking to see other people experience this. Which is the catalyst and my motivation for doing this work. If I had one wish it would be for people to make a commitment to changing their lifestyle permanently, so they wouldn’t have to suffer. All this being said, the choice is yours, but I wouldn’t recommend this option.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can stop living in the modern world. Go off the grid, or a variation of it, living in a remote area or small town, perhaps living off the land. Downsize your life. The idea is to minimize stress, especially if you have the means to live comfortably in this way, and to align with nature and how our bodies are designed to work. Enjoy a better quality of life in terms of food, fresh air, spending time outdoors, and so on. This would be the optimal solution but it isn’t practical for most people or families. Also, not everyone is interested in this type of lifestyle.
Midway between that far end of the spectrum and the center of the spectrum is to offset the challenges of living in today’s modern world with a lot of conveniences. For example, eating organic food from farmer’s markets and high end health food grocers, buying the purest bottled water, purchasing air filtering systems and aids for sleeping, hiring practitioners, and so on. It’s an option that requires time and money. It’s an option that’s easy for celebrities to choose, for example, as they have the resources. You could do a variation on this option by picking and choosing conveniences according to your own resources. That’s what I do. But, in general, this isn’t a practical solution for most people
Lastly, and this is where The Simple Seven comes in, at the center of the spectrum is the choice of following the 7 Body Basics. If you’re just joining me today, I encourage you to listen to the first podcast entitled, “Why Lifestyle Determines the Quality of Your Health.” As one listener put it, it’s common sense. Starting today and every day, make time to move vigorously for at least 15 minutes doing something that you love to do. Dance, shoot hoops, ride your bike. Focus on eating as much fresh food, food that comes straight from the land or seas, as possible. Even if it isn’t organic, cutting out processed food, which isn’t fresh food, which doesn’t come straight from the land or seas, alone will lighten up your health. Research your options for drinking water as I’ve outlined in the The Simple Seven book, and drink, not chug, a lot of water, especially, when you’re thirsty. Make getting restful sleep a priority. Relish it. Luxuriate in it. Eat enough fiber in fruits and vegetables and stay hydrated so you’ll have an effortless bowel movement everyday and clear toxic waste from your body. Take a few deep breaths throughout your day to provide your body with enough oxygen and simultaneously clear toxic carbon dioxide and other air contaminants. As much as possible, do what makes you feel good, which will trigger your body to produce health-enhancing, that is, make-you-healthier neurotransmitters. It’s a no-brainer. And get in touch with your feelings, expressing them and letting go of buried emotional pain using a technique such as, The Method, that I’ve developed and is discussed in The Simple Seven book. Doing the 7 Body Basics, which constitute a healthy lifestyle are simple and will turn your health around in the face of living in today’s modern world. The Simple Seven is accessible to everyone, it’s something everyone can do. That’s the point of the book, and that’s why I invite you to explore it and to begin using it.
The Simple Seven © Marlene Veltre 2016-2019 All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including recording or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of Marlene Veltre.
The information in this post is to be used for educational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice or to prevent, cure, or heal any illness or disease. You should always see your doctor or health practitioner.