By Dr. Bart Precourt
The million dollar question: “Am I Healthy?” We all want to know the answer to this question, yet often we avoid talking about it. Why? Most likely because it will expose some habits, patterns and some real-life concerns that we might not want to face.
Oddly, I think people are often hoping for the “magic pill,” yet deep down they know it doesn’t exist. At the root of it, we often know what we need to do to maintain good health. Although things like blood work and lab tests are good markers for knowing where we stand, the following primal health needs should not be overlooked. These are basic and required for all humans to be healthy.
Here’s the good news! If you take action on any of the following four primal health needs, then you are moving in the direction of positive health. Find out which one(s) are your strongest and weakest. Then go to work!
Movement: This is as primal as it gets. The human body was designed to move and requires movement to establish good health. Your hormones, heart health, lymph system, immune system and even brain function all require a properly functioning musculoskeletal system. The ability to move your body in ALL ways is one of the most accurate determinants of your future health. Being tight, losing your range of motion in your shoulders, neck, hips and muscles is a sign of dysfunction. Too often I hear “I’ve always been tight.” This is false! You were born like gumby. As life, stress, old injuries, and poor nutrition become more common, your body gets tighter and tighter. The simple answer: Develop a Yoga practice! The best type of exercise to create an anti-aging effect and improve range of motion… Yoga!
Eating: This is no surprise. We are supposed to fuel our bodies with nutrients that support LIFE! This is easier than we tend to make it. It’s still true, you are made from what you eat. The starting point for all of us is to eat real food, foods that come from the earth or come from animals. Due to the changes in our food supply, I recommend consuming NON-GMO and organic foods whenever possible. Give yourself permission to stop poisoning yourself with processed foods, sugars and alcohol. Does it require that you never eat ice cream or have a beer? Of course not. Yet these should be occasional, and not daily.
Sleeping: We heal only when we sleep! Clinically, this has become one of the fastest growing health challenges in our country. The big problem here is that without sleep, ANYTHING can go wrong. Your immune system can break down, heart health is compromised, and hormones can become imbalanced. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain, anxiety, depression and the list goes on. Ideally, eight hours of sleep per night is required for optimal health results. Being rested can be a life changer!
Pooping: Yes…proper elimination! All humans need to sleep and poop in order to be healthy. This is another health challenge that is on the rise. Maybe the biggest issue here is we don’t talk to our doctors about it. Having at least one full bowel movement per day is ideal. If you don’t eliminate properly, you are becoming toxic. Headaches, arthritis, inflammation, brain fog, and lowered immune resistance are just a few of the problems that can occur. If you have challenges with this primal health need, start with getting sufficiently hydrated. Shoot for one half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. Taking 300 mg. of magnesium lactate before bed can also have amazing results very quickly. Irregular bowel movements and constipation are often signs of underlying gut issues that might need the support and guidance of a professional.
In summary, the most primal of all health needs are to move, eat healthy, sleep and poop properly. The good news is that these all work in conjunction with each other. As you improve in one area, the others will benefit. This is your life and your health…Take some action!