The average American has been resting on their laurels when it comes to taking care of their health, removed from the idea that the care and feeding of a body should be taken more seriously and more personally. If you are one of those individuals that believe your health is completely in the hands of your doctor, you haven’t been to the doctor lately. Insurance giants now dictate much of what goes on whether it be Medicare/Medicaid or private insurer. It may or may not be more cost effective but this is not a step in the right direction either.

As far as giving more control to the government, this health news writer along with other health care professionals have serious doubts as to whether more government involvement will make things better or only make matters worse. We have only to look north of our borders to see what a socialized system might be like- yikes.

We need qualified caring physicians and everyone should have a family doctor but we must begin to look more carefully at the optimal care and feeding our bodies. After all it is not the doctor’s responsibility when we don’t eat properly, exercise regularly and deal with the stress in our lives. The doctor is not one that caused our illness so why do we think it’s okay to be angry at them when they can’t fix it? In part because we mistakenly gave them responsibility for our health (so we didn’t have to) and we think we are powerless to change it or make things better. Neither is true.

Good health care maintenance should be something you do everyday. Don’t wait until an illness appears to give your body the care and feeding it deserves.

Here are some areas many of us overlook:

Simple injuries need attention. Strains, sprains and bruising can lead to early arthritis, pain, loss of joint function and immobility. Nothing makes the body old before it’s time than immobility. Metabolism slows, weight increases, cardiac output decreases.

Use the herb Arnica to prevent damage at the cellular level. Be sure to use ice, elevation and compression if needed. To help prevent injury and keep joints strong and healthy use glucosamine. Strong joints are less injury prone.

Use stretching and strengthening exercises to maintain flexibility and prevent muscles from shortening and damaging joints. Yoga and Tai Chi are excellent choices.

Even five to ten pounds of extra weight will cause extra wear and tear on the joints leading to early arthritis. Get serious about your weight.

Poor posture over time can traumatize the spine, shoulders, hips and feet. Use ergonomically correct chairs and sit up. Wear well fitted shoes and go to the foot doctor if your feet hurt. Look closely at how you use your body during an average day: your aches and pains are closely related to function.

It seems that none of us can afford to be ill given the economic climate, loss job productivity and rising insurance costs. The accumulation of injuries over time can be related to illness in the future. It maybe only one area that you need to address in the daily care and feeding of your body but it is an area you will find you have most if not all the control. A simple minimalist approach to simple injuries over time can reap huge benefits in health and money.

Till next time, Rebecca