My favorite philosopher, Socrates, said, “It’s a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” The ancient Greek physician Herophilus stated, “When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, strength cannot fight, intelligence cannot be applied, art cannot become manifest, wealth becomes useless.”
These two quotes from over two thousand years ago still hold true today. When we are blessed with good health, it behooves us to maintain our bodies in good condition, so that we can fully take part in, and enjoy, life.
Maintaining good health is essential for a fulfilling and vibrant life. Just as we regularly service our motor vehicles to ensure their optimal performance, our bodies require maintenance to function at their best. The ancient Greeks attached great importance to the concept of regular maintenance for the body.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said, “The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” This quote reminds us that our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves. Nevertheless, regular maintenance is necessary to support this process.
There is a wealth of books, podcasts, magazine articles, and lectures on the important part that sleep, exercise, hygiene, nutrition, and a mindful, positive, grateful attitude to life play in helping to keep our bodies healthy.
But maintenance on a regular basis goes beyond that. It requires us to be ready to call in specialists. Here are some of the healthcare professionals that in my view have an important part to play in anyone’s maintenance regime.
If we have a medical concern, our first port of call for advice on how to deal with it should be our doctor. But even if we have no particular concerns, it’s wise to consult our doctor on a regular basis – once a year, say. A checkup can often catch a potential condition before it becomes serious. And the earlier a disorder is found, the better.
Nowadays, with all the amazing diagnostic tools doctors have, this is truer than it ever has been in the past. A simple blood analysis can dismiss cancer, diabetes, and many other ailments. An electrocardiogram (ECG) can set at rest any fears about the heart. Insist on a yearly checkup, even if your doctor doesn’t say you need one.
The next thing to consider is regular visits to the dentist – at least twice a year. Healthy teeth and good oral hygiene contribute to overall health. And the opposite is also true, with many diseases linked to poor care of the mouth and teeth. It’s quite frightening to learn what can happen without good dental care.
A dentist can spot any potential problems and stop them becoming critical. Dentists generally recommend we brush our teeth twice a day, and they’ll often remind you that rinsing with mouthwash and flossing are also important. If your tongue is coated, a tongue scraper can be added to your oral-hygiene routine. And drinking water after a meal can help to wash away food debris.
Our eyes are extremely important to our quality of life. A regular visit to an optometrist once a year allows signs of any problems to be recognized early. If we need glasses, it is best to start wearing them earlier rather than later, because they prevent eye strain, which can cause tiredness, discomfort of the eyes, and even headaches. And the sooner you start wearing them, the sooner your brain can start adapting to seeing the world differently.
Protective eyewear should be worn where advised, such as in certain workplaces, and good sunglasses are always a good idea when you’re outdoors on a sunny day. Glasses that protect eyes from the blue light of computers prevent fatigue.
Hearing is another vitally important sense. Audiologists recommend that once a person reaches 60 years of age, they have their hearing tested. This sets a baseline for future testing, even if the person has perfect hearing. A test every three years after that is adequate.
Hearing loss leads people to miss out on so many things. Whenever hearing deteriorates it is best to wear hearing aids sooner rather than later. The brain takes time to adjust to the new range of sounds that are now audible, and if the person is too old, the brain can’t do this.
If you have hearing aids, wear them from when you get out of bed in the morning to when you go to bed at night. This allows the brain to adjust and slows down hearing loss. The technology used in the latest generation of hearing aids is almost miraculous!
Although I do regular exercise, including weights and yoga, I find that regular therapeutic massage and chiropractic once a month helps keep my body toned and supple. According to the advice I have been given, it’s best to have the massage first, then the chiropractic.
This is because the massage loosens up the muscles, helping the chiropractic be more effective. The massage-chiropractic combination is such a pleasant way to keep the body toned.
You can perhaps also turn to other experts and specialists to help you maintain your body in good shape. Everyone is unique and has their own requirements. Some people I know, for example, get a lot of benefit from seeing a podiatrist.
Do you look after your body as well as you look after your vehicle or your house? And is your body serving you well because you look after it?
Tags Healthy Aging