Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"R" - Realizing our current health quality and Getting R.E.A.L.

Getting R.E.A.L. in 2012

Are we making things harder than they ought to be?  Are we relentless in trying new ways to eat, trendy forms of exercise, subscribing to quick-fix gimmicks, starving ourselves, etc. only to find ourselves right back where we started from...or worse.
Here are some startling facts about the state of health in America:

* CBS News reported that  (in 2008) Americans spend 2.3 trillion dollars a year on "health care."  That is twice as much as European countries (Rueters.com).  Given that fact, we should be a glowing example of health for the rest of the world, right?  Other countries should be nodding and saying to one another, "Those Americans have it going ON! They are doing something right, by golly! Spending that much money on health care is sure paying off!"
Sadly, they're not.
In fact, we are actually twice as sick. Do the math, folks......TWICE AS SICK???  We should, statistically, be the one of the healthiest countries on earth, but we're not. And it's getting worse.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out something is seriously wrong. I'm still scratching my head trying to understand how we call what we have a "health care system" when really, it appears to be a "sick care" system. After all, we aren't making people healthy, we are simply treating people who are sick. (NOTE: I am not into politics what-so-ever regarding Health care Reform and have no intention of debating it.  I am coming strictly from a firm belief in preventing illness and disease whenever possible.)

Need more jaw dropping stats? K.

*  In the United States, spending for prescription drugs was $234.1 billion in 2008, which was more than double what was spent in 1999.  Nearly half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug per month; nearly one-third of Americans take more than two prescription drugs per month. And GET THIS - one out of 10 Americans take more than FIVE (5!) prescription drugs each month. (CDC - Centers for Disease Control; Number 42, 2010)  **Again, I am not against medications - at all. In fact I am grateful we have pharmaceuticals for times when we really need them.  However, I am concerned with the amount of Americans taking regular medications for conditions that are preventable, and we should all be really concerned with that $234 billion figure. **

* Consider this: Right now, some 75% of health care costs are accounted for by heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and obesity.  What these five diseases and conditions have in common is that they are largely preventable and even reversible by changes in nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle.

The first part of the year is going to be dedicated to getting R.E.A.L.  REAL is an acronym used to outline the most important areas regarding our health and wellness.
the breakdown:
R - Realizing and Recognizing Our Current Health Quality
E - Eating for Optimal Wellness
A - Assessing Activity Level
L - Lifestyle ~ Living Intentionally

 We can't very well reach any destination without first knowing our starting point.  So below is a quick, informal quiz that touches the basics of Optimal Health.  Go ahead - take it!  It's not scientific, but it is baseline information.  We start with the "R" in Getting R.E.A.L. = Realizing and Recognizing our current health quality. Ready, set, go.............


Wellness Quiz

Answer True or False for each question.
1. I regularly get 7 - 8 hours of sleep per night.

2. I avoid soda, including diet soda.

3. I know what HFCS is.

4. I am not on more than two regular prescription drugs.

5. I do not drink more than two cups of coffee per day

(one cup = 8 oz).

6. I consume at least 64 oz of water each day.

7. Most of the food I consume either:

a) has a “mother“, or b) comes from the ground.

8. I get at least 4 hours a week of moderate to vigorous exercise.

9. I eat breakfast every single day (coffee does not count!)

10. I take a daily multi-vitamin to supplement the lack of nutrients in my food.

11. I rarely feel moody, fatigued, depressed, or anxious.

12. I can confidently say I get fewer than 2 colds or flu’s per year.

If you answered “false” to more than two questions, you have room for improvement!

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