One recurring theme I discuss with many of my patients is the seriousness and/or deadliness of stress on the human body. Today stress has never been more prevalent and widespread since going through and coming out of a Global Pandemic.
Many have been inundated with fear of contracting Covid-19, particularly this age group, because of a tendency for higher incidence of co-morbidities such as obesity, heart disease or age-related immune system decline.
Add that to a year of lockdowns, creating unprecedented social, emotional and financial stress, coupled with reduced exercise, weight gain and sun exposure and social isolating induced depression… and we’ve had a perfect storm of stress. This has resulted in a profound mental and emotional breakdown leading to significant increases in anxiety, depression, drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide.
As a 100 Year Lifestyle affiliate doctor, we look to those who have gone before us and successfully navigated stressful times. Centenarians, those who have lived to the age of 100 and beyond, have been through 22 recessions, the Great Depression, multiple world wars, multiple epidemics and 25 presidential elections and have survived and thrived under very stressful circumstances.
What’s the answer? The power to adapt. This is the key to living a sensational 60, 70 or even 100 years of age. The catchy phrase, “stress less, live more!” sounds good but just how does one do that?
We teach our patients the following Five Essentials to “stress less and live more”:
The understanding that your body is intelligently designed; it’s not dumb needing help to run. It’s an incredibly smart, self-organizing and self-healing system designed to be well and not sick, especially when given the right opportunity.
Health is your natural state. Sickness is inversely proportional to health. Health must decrease for sickness to increase. Bacteria and viruses and merely opportunistic scavengers, waiting in the wings to infect a weakened host. Remember, host resistance is primary, the germ is always secondary!
A sedentary lifestyle has been an unfortunate consequence of the pandemic lockdowns. Regular and daily exercise must be a part of your lifestyle. The benefits of regular exercise on one’s health, including your immune system strength, is unquestioned.
Regular sunlight exposure with as little as 20 minutes without sunscreen can produce as much as 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D for your body. During winter months and those with darker skin must supplement with Vitamin D3, essential for immune system and body function.
In addition, eating a diet rich in whole foods: abundant vegetables, fresh fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats is a must to fuel your body for longevity.
The power of posture and how structure controls function is foundational for good health and stress reduction. Implementing simple postural exercises and spinal corrective procedures with chiropractic care has been shown to promote healing, organ function, immunity, longevity and of course pain relief, further reducing the harmful effects of stress.
What you may not know or realized is that your brain and nerves control and coordinate your body’s ability to adapt. We call this your body’s natural IT system, similar to an IT system at the office or your very own cell phone. We want the signal to be strong and consistent, able to handle multiple lines and servers. We want our cell phones to work with all four bars showing.
Guess what, despite the insanity around us, your body is always striving to adapt and restore homeostasis. This is more important than your Pilates class, paleo diet or your kale and broccoli.
The important part is to not focus or wait for a crisis to occur before you address your IT system, rather focus on optimizing this system. It should be optimized at all stages of life – keeping the spine and nervous system balanced and clear of any interference is essential to adapt and stay healthy.
Let’s make retirement an outdated concept. We can live sensationally with vitality, meaningful work and lots of fun. I encourage you to start living differently today. Life is a marathon not at sprint even at 60. The secret to longevity with vitality is optimizing the body’s ability to adapt. Your best 10, 20, even 30 plus years are before you.
Are you on course to be sensational at 60 or surviving at 60, 70, 80 and beyond? What are you doing today to stress less, live more? Let’s enjoy an inspiring conversation!