America’s number one enemy isn’t what you think
America: the land of the free, home of the brave. Our country truly is one of a kind, and I hold it near and dear to my heart. We have opportunities in our country that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. We have the freedom to speak our minds and to debate ideas, and the freedom to choose to live our lives any way that we want, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. However, our home is not without enemies, between the middle east and rising tension in North Korea. Despite these threats, I do not think our biggest enemy as a country is another country or another people.
Many who work in healthcare would agree that the biggest threat to our health is actually heart-disease. It’s the number one cause of death in our country, followed closely by cancer. While there are exceptions to the rule, heart disease is most commonly caused by choices that we make during our lives. More specifically, smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity are to blame. Less than 100 years ago, the leading causes of death were pneumonia, flu and tuberculosis (TB). The tide has shifted from unavoidable illnesses to disease which is (for the most part) caused by decisions we have made. While deaths from pneumonia, flu and TB have decreased significantly due to advancements in medical treatment, the incidence of heart disease has skyrocketed!
Let’s get to the root of the problem. The age of technology has led to us sitting more at work, working longer hours than ever before, and spending more time sitting down watching TV when we get home. Not only are we sitting more during the day, we are taking in more calories than ever before! There’s fast food everywhere you look. The food we eat can lead to build-up of fatty-plaque along the walls of our blood vessels and can lead to development of blood-clots. When a blood clot gets stuck in a narrow vessel leading to the heart, we call it a heart attack. The same happens with the brain, which we call a stroke. We all know someone who’s had a heart attack or stroke, because it’s incredibly common!
What can we do to at this point? It can seem like an uphill battle to make big lifestyle changes. The key is making small changes. If you normally eat fast-food once a day, try to make it a few days of the week without it. Having trouble getting away from the habit of fast food? Try getting a salad one day out of the week from your favorite fast food place. Don’t worry about trying to get into the gym four days per week, right away. Try working out one or two days of the week and gradually work your way up.
Breaking bad habits is the name of the game. The healthy revolution has started. Thanks to the internet, more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of our unhealthy lifestyle choices. Its becoming easier to get healthy. If you need more guidance, reach out to those around you. Ask your family doctor how you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Call a local gym to learn more about weight loss classes or nutrition training.
It’s not too late to get started. Join the health revolution!
Feel free to contact me with any questions!
Dr. Cameron Dennis, physical therapist
Back on Track Therapy and Wellness
16 ½ E. Auglaize St.
Wapakoneta, OH 45895