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Decisions, Decisions: Your Choices Shape You and Your Health

By Dr. Molly Casey

Conscious Decisions

One’s state of health is the result of many choices made throughout a lifetime. The more positive and helpful choices made, the more one experiences a vibrant and healthier life. No opportunity is too small to have an impact, whether visible or not, and your choices matter. You experience these opportunities every day.

So what do you do about it? You change your mindset and approach. Embrace the truth that every choice matters. Change your approach to health and know the basic cornerstones and/or structure of a healthy body.

Make decisions that support this way of thinking and being. Know that the more decisions you make that are supportive of good health, the better your life and health will be for it.

Consuming Air

Let’s start with the most basic. You need oxygen, regularly. All air isn’t equal. Let’s take an exaggerated example: there’s a house fire two doors down. Smoke is billowing out of the house at a rapid rate. The air in and around that house may be breathable, but that doesn’t mean it’s high quality. And that quality of air would not sustain you as long as air in the backwoods of Montana.

Now, you’re not likely surrounded by smoke infested air consistently, and you probably aren’t living in the backwoods of Montana. However, the pollution in the air is much higher than it used to be because of our ways of living, transportation, growing food, and so on. My point is you don’t need to see the pollution for it to have an effect on you and your health. Our society spends an enormous amount of time inside. The quality of air inside, especially those buildings that allow smoking, is nowhere near as supportive for your body, mind, or well-being, as being outdoors in less populated areas of nature.

So do yourself, your body, your mind, and your health a favor during the week: simply get out of the office and outside as much as possible and consciously take deep breaths into your belly. Walk the mail across the street to the post office instead of putting it in the office mail pick-up. Walk the dog one more time than usual in the morning or night. Weekends, look to get further into nature, go to a park that’s out of the way, a reservoir that is off the beaten path, or a walk in the woods. These choices matter.

Consuming Sufficient Water

Most people choose to not drink enough water to keep themselves as healthy as possible. Every person should consume half their body weight in ounces of water daily. For example, a 50-pound child should consume at least 25 ounces of water; a 140-pound adult should consume 70 ounces of water. Our body is mostly comprised of water, so it makes sense that we would replenish it with a like substance instead of soft drinks or booze.

Consuming Food and Drink

One choice, whether it’s a quick fast food meal or a bit of overindulgence with decadent sweets, isn’t going to make or break your health. The problem is that people repeat these “one choice, one time” scenarios over and over and then end up in a state of health that isn’t supportive of their life or well-being.

To be our healthiest, we should focus on whole nutrient-rich food (unprocessed meats, organic fruits and veggies, whole nuts and seeds).

Exercise Movement

Movement is life. Optimal movement is dependent upon proper alignment of the spine. The better the alignment, the healthier the movement. There are two types of movement, global movement and segmental movement.

Global movement - Think big -- squats, arms over head, simple walking motions. At minimum, get up from your desk every hour and do five air squats and five jumping jacks. Move one hour per day. Change your walking routine to include stairs instead of the elevator, parking in the farthest stalls from the entrance when you shop or run errands, and walk Fido twice around the block instead of once. Of that hour of movement, ideally at least 30 minutes is heavier exercise in which your heart rate is up and you’re huffing and puffing.

Segmental movement - These are smaller movements of the joints. Global movement is optimal when segmental movement of your spinal joints are optimal. Segmental movement of joints is analyzed by chiropractors. When segmental spinal motion is decreased, the chiropractic adjustment increases range of motion. The restoration of movement increases segmental range of motion, allows the opportunity for increased global range of motion and, most importantly, allows the body’s communication system (nervous system) to operate without interference. Thus your opportunity to experience health is increased!

Our life is made up of decisions, good and bad, timely or not. But there are some decisions, if you’re interested in living a longer and healthier life, are obvious. Breathe clean air. Drink proper amounts of water and eat whole foods. Move often and get your spine checked and adjusted regularly by a chiropractor. Your health and life depend on it. All of it.

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