April 2016 Newsletter
Maintaining health can feel like hard work, that is, until you're sick, and then preparing nutritious food, enjoying regular physical activity and going out socially (socialising with friends and family is an important part of health) seems like the easiest thing ever.
When it comes to musculoskeletal health, it can seem like getting older is a massive problem.
In reality, every age presents challenges, just of a different variety.
When you are older, you often have the means to look after yourself, but not so much time.
When you are younger, it's usually the opposite.
Whatever your age, looking after your health is the most important priority - without your own health, you can't build a family, establish a career or business and explore life to its fullest (well you can in some cases, but it's much, much harder).
So really, looking after your health should be a no-brainer.
You should never hesitate to spend money on things that will make you healthier.
However, this is where it gets tricky, because what exactly makes you healthier?
Science has identified the "big rocks":
And the good thing is, most of these are free or low cost.
- Nutritious food
- Regular activity
- Quality sleep
- Family/social relationships
It's the "marginal gains", to use a term popularised by English professional cycling team, Team Sky (pictured), that become a bit questionable, and often the cost to benefit ratio is very low, or even non-existent.
To elaborate, for those who don't follow cycling, Team Sky has dominated the sport since it's inception at the turn of the decade, with the policy of marginal gains. That is, they look for small gains of 1-3% in all kinds of places, with the idea that all those small gains add up into some very big gains.
Applied to health, marginal gains would cover things like nutritional supplements, regular manual therapy (including osteopathy and massage), activity trackers, "cleanses" and detoxes etc. They are the things that are not-essential to your health, but can make a difference over time.
If you are limited in your resources, and want the best "bang for your buck", focusing on the the elements to health that have strong supporting evidence is your best bet.
If you want optimal results, then you would be best served exploring your own "marginal gains", which will differ for everyone.
I personally thrive on regular massage and osteopathy treatments (at least once per month), and take a few supplements to support my health (Vit D and multi-vitamin at present, though these fluctuate depending on the season and what is going on in my life).
Whatever works best for you, only you can determine, but when it comes to your health, scrimping now is only short changing yourself in the future.
Latest From The Blog
This month I published a couple of interesting (I think) blog posts. Please have a read and let me know your thoughts (you can reply to this email):
Osteopathy for Headaches and Migraines
Why Mobility Exercises Don't Work and What to Do Instead
How To Manage Pain Flare Ups
Updates From The Clinic
This month I'm using this for accountability.
I'm producing a manual on "active stretching", which I described in the mobility blog linked above.
The manual will be free to all my newsletter subscribers - you don't have to do anything, I'll send it to you when it's done.
Actually, you do have to do something, if it's not published by the end of April, you have to hold me accountable :-)
Until next time, stay healthy.