Archive for April 4th, 2011

Before You Rush to the Doctor

As a trainer and coach, I get to witness how clients interpret the injuries, illnesses, and limitations in their lives. One thing that always surprises me is this common first response, “I need to go to the doctor, get a prescription, and/or see what’s wrong with me.” Now, of course, there are some situations where you need to receive immediate medical care. However, these may be much less frequent than you might think.

When I ask clients questions about what might have led to their current issue, they may not make the connection between lifestyle behaviors and events and what is going on. Instead, we’ve been trained to think there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed by the doctor.

However, in my experience, I’ve found that work and family stress often precedes headaches, muscles spasms in the neck and back, and other soft tissue injuries. Poor diet and inadequate hydration combined with stress often precede intestinal trouble and other illnesses. Failure to attend to relationship issues tends to shut down positive feelings as does lack of taking action with meaning and purpose. Much, if not most, of the pain you experience is your body trying to adjust to life stressors, poor nutrition, inadequate exercise, insufficient rest, and negative habits of thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Doesn’t it make sense to address these issues first before you run off for a diagnosis of some medical condition or a prescription that is going to have a host of further negative side effects?

Self-care is primary. Care for yourself first, so you have the health and energy to take care of your other life responsibilities and care for others.

Here are some Self-Care basics. Though you may know about these already, are you doing them on a daily basis?

*Manage your time and energy well. Watch out for over-scheduling.

*Eat a balanced diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible while minimizing sugars, alcohol, excess caffeine, and fried foods.

*Drink adequate water (approximately 64 ounces daily for most of us).

*Exercise at least 15-20 minutes daily.

*Practice a relaxation, prayer, or meditation technique daily.

*Attend to what is most important and purposeful in your life.

*Nurture loving relationships.

*Focus on the positive, notice opportunities in every moment, and be grateful for what you have.

*Schedule time for adequate sleep.

Take care of these things first, then, you can see what further care you might need. Most likely, when you care for yourself with healthy lifestyle habits, you’ll find that your body will heal much of what ails you.

Enjoy your self-care practice,

Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. The “Holistic Fitness Training Program” gives you awareness, insights, and tools to care for your body as a foundation for a healthy, energetic lifestyle

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