Reclaiming Your Life

Allen Chapman, PA-C ,

20100602-omi-mw17-003-910We often contribute substantially to the problems and hardships in our lives. We get into the habit of behaving a certain way, and tend to stick with these habits, even when they harm us or make us unhappy. Will Rogers once said, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” I think it’s one of the wisest bits of advice I’ve ever read. Should we find ourselves in circumstances which make us unhappy or unhealthy, we should strive to do all within our power to stop making things worse.

Our imperfect lifestyle choices usually cause a gradual worsening of our health rather than sudden worsening. We simply accept feeling tired all day, sleeping poorly and being unhappy with our appearance as facts of aging. While the effects of aging are immutable; we can be more energetic, sleep better and look better at any age. We just have to stop contributing to the problem, we have to stop digging.

So what should we do to start feeling better? Be good to your body, it’s the only one you get. Try to lead an active lifestyle and get regular exercise. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and has many proven health benefits. Eat a balanced, healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Get enough sleep. If you smoke, cut back and work hard to quit. If you are carrying extra weight, try to trim down. Moderate your alcohol consumption. If you need help making lifestyle changes, get help.

Health care providers, personal trainers or lifestyle coaches can help. If you can do it on your own, get cracking. Track your progress over time with a personal journal or smartphone application. If you struggle to make or sustain changes, seek help. Folks with deeply ingrained habits often need assistance making changes. If you want accountability and comprehensive structured treatment, schedule an appointment for a consultation with a health care provider at Alaska Premier Health.

“I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I started to feel better.” I’ve heard many patients express this sentiment over the years. We often don’t realize how good we can feel with a few sustainable changes in our lifestyle. Eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, manage your weight, moderate your alcohol and stop smoking. Stop digging.