Welcome to the Alpharetta Wellness Clinic blog! Our topic today is Prevention. For most people, preventive medicine means mammograms and screening of various kinds: Pap smears for women, PSA lab tests for men, and colonoscopy for both. But these are not prevention in the pure sense of the word. They are really means of early (hopefully) detection.
At Alpharetta Wellness Clinic we take a different view of prevention, an approach we like to call Proactive Prevention. What we have discovered over the years is that many , in fact most diseases are preventable, simply by making certain choices in life. Like choosing the salad over the hamburger at the cafeteria. Or shopping the perimeter of the grocery store where the fruits and vegetables are instead of the rows of snacks and soda pop. Or putting back items that list 20 ingredients with unpronounceable words, and choosing foods that don’t require an ingredient label, like fresh apples, broccoli and carrots. Or grazing instead of gorging; the former method helps to maintain stable insulin and blood sugar levels; while the latter method causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin release.
There is a new epidemic in our nation, and it is obesity. We’re not talking about those annoying saddlebags that make jeans hard to pull up over our hips. No we’re talking about trunk obesity, which is best measured with a waist tape measure. This type of fat is unhealthy. Unfortunately this epidemic has severely affected our youth. Type 2, what used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, because it was only seen in older adults, is now common in young children. It is feared that adults of this generation may outlive their children! Clearly this situation warrants a change in our diet and lifestyle.
Something else that helps to prevent disease, especially heart disease, is regular exercise. Nothing fancy, no boot camp required, no special equipment or expensive gym memberships needed, just MOVE. Get up off the couch and move! A brisk walk, a bicycle ride, swimming a few laps in a pool, or, my favorite, dancing, are all great ways to stay trim, fit and keep that most important muscle, the heart, toned and healthy. If you are unaccustomed to exercise, start off slow and build up to 30 minutes per day. Check with your practitioner before starting an exercise program if you have any serious condition or chest pain.