We broke our family bubble boundary and allowed ourselves an afternoon at the beach last week - and a refreshing dip too!
1) We missed, craved and longed for the beach.
2) We know and appreciate how wonderful the benefits of the outdoors are for our health and wellbeing.
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After our wonderful afternoon at the beach, and putting the tired kids to bed, I did a wee scroll thru Facebook - as you do! There, on my newsfeed, occurring more than once, were photos of queues into the local fast food chains - not just in Whangārei but around the country. And I'm not just talking normal queues, but queues that were maybe 20 times as long as any previous queue for these places had ever been.
Dumbstruck. Confused. Frustrated. Befuddled. Concerned.
As a nation, we have acted like a scared dog with its tail between its legs for more than five weeks. We've surrendered all normality and civil liberties to assume an isolated way of life in order to protect us from a virus - or perhaps more so, to protect the Immunocompromised , those with underlying health conditions, and the elderly from the virus, as well as to stop uncontrollable transmission throughout our nation.
And this needed to be done. For the sake of our loved ones.
In 1900, the leading causes of death were influenza and pneumonia. They have viral and bacterial causes. Viruses and bacteria can't be prevented but with the incredible medical interventions of modern times they can be managed and have a very high success rate of saving lives.
Explore your movement potential for a happier body
In 2019, the leading causes of death were stroke, cancers, and respiratory diseases, followed closely by diabetes. These are lifestyle-type diseases and the prevalence and severity of these diseases can be prevented. And if they occur, they can be adequately managed with appropriate and relevant changes in lifestyle (alongside medication).
The latter, lifestyle-type diseases, are the very ones that lead us to being immunocompromised or to have underlying health conditions. Let me repeat – there are absolutely ways that we can better control and prevent the prevalence of these conditions. But if we continue to prioritise less desirable choices over more desirable choices then the rates and incidence of these conditions will continue to grow.
A conversation needs to be raised about this. The conversation needs to be had about what steps need to be taken to help people better understand how they cannot be one of the statistics that succumb to lifestyle-type diseases, but also, how they can be at their best fighting capacity if they were to strike the attack of a virus.
Because our immune system is finite. And it's designed to fight viruses. But it's not widely understood that lifestyle-type diseases actually take a significant portion of our immune power every day to combat the compensations caused by them. So, when faced with a virus we are then weaker, and we may not have the fighting power we need to beat the virus.
We can do something. We can do many things.
We can educate and empower ourselves to make the choices that are not just in our own best interests but in the best interests of greater society.
This is more than just a discussion about supporting local. I get that entirely. Or about fast food alone – because there are plenty of other lifestyle choices that are also undesirable. This is about somehow reconstructing the choices we make that positively or negatively affect our own health, that will, in one way or another, end up costing us all - be it in broken hearts or broken health.
The questions I'd love for us to collectively answer are:
1) How do we encourage people to act lovingly towards themselves and their health with long-term repercussions in mind, versus acting with almost addictive-like tendencies to achieve the immediate gratification of enjoying things like fast food?
And 2) How do we encourage others to choose more natural medicinal approaches via consistent health and lifestyle actions so they can avoid the statistic of falling into the 'underlying health condition' box?
Written with passion from a deeply concerned heart, begging for logical, accessible, and long-term solutions. I would love to hear from you with your constructive thoughts about where this process needs to begin.
• Corinne Austin is a health and movement coach (firstname.lastname@example.org ).