Re­solve to Ex­er­cise Your Thoughts

Moose Jaw - - Puzzles -

by Dr. Steven Hei­dinger, Moose Jaw Chi­ro­prac­tor

This is the time of the year when the lo­cal fit­ness cen­tres are see­ing their an­nual surge in vol­ume. The “res­o­lu­tion-ists” have made their way back to the gym in hopes of turn­ing their lives around with im­proved health. With goals such as weight loss, im­proved en­ergy, flex­i­bil­ity or strength, thou­sands will be crowd­ing spin classes, yoga ses­sions and boot camps, while count­less oth­ers will be sign­ing up to re­ceive their monthly sup­ply of di­etary sup­ple­ments and meal-re­place­ment shakes.

While I am not “pooh-poohing” any of th­ese strat- egies, as I ad­mire the ef­fort to im­prove one’s own health, es­pe­cially for the few that con­tinue past the first two weeks of Jan­uary, I of­ten won­der if phys­i­cal fit­ness is enough to gain the kind of health many wish they could have.

I re­cently read a Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco (UCSF) ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing re­search on “su­per-agers” (those liv­ing healthily into their 80s and be­yond). Pro­fes­sors at UCSF wanted to know why some oc­to­ge­nar­i­ans flour­ish in their golden years while oth­ers strug­gle with mul­ti­ple dis­ease states.

While in­ter­view­ing nu­mer­ous “su­per-agers,” one neu­rol­o­gist noted one com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor — those who were healthy and thriv­ing into their older years ap­peared to all have a pos­i­tive out­look on life and were happy with their present cir­cum­stance. The big chicken/egg ques­tion is, does be­ing healthy make them happy, or are favourable per­son­al­ity traits re­spon­si­ble for their im­pres­sive health?

Most of us know of peo­ple who have treated them- selves poorly their whole lives with liquor, tobacco and zero ex­er­cise, yet lived to a ripe old age. There are oth­ers out there that lived text­book lives yet did not live past their sixth decade. There must be more to the se­cret of longevity than eat­ing right and ex­er­cis­ing right. Maybe the most im­por­tant “right” is what goes on be­tween the ears. Flood­ing our minds with pos­i­tive thoughts and prac­tic­ing healthy stress man­age­ment may be the se­crets to a long and health­ful life. There are many stress­ful cir­cum­stances and sit­u­a­tions we face in our daily lives, most of which we have no con­trol over. Life coaches tell us we have full con­trol over our thoughts sur­round­ing th­ese events. Is it pos­si­ble that train­ing our brains may be more im­por­tant than train­ing our bod­ies?

Life coach­ing is gain­ing space in the well­ness world and it is my opin­ion re­search in healthy ag­ing will val­i­date the con­cept that how we think may be more im­por­tant for our health than at­tend­ing that ab-blast­ing, butt-crunch­ing, 5 a.m. boot camp.

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