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The Mind/Body Connection

I’ve always been a big proponent of the mind/body connection. As a kid I never thought about it but I feel fortunate to have been able to run around like a freak in western New York and spend hours every day running through the fields, around the neighborhoods, riding my bike, and generally being active. To be honest, I don’t really know when I put it together, but I do feel rather strongly about it. You may see a mention here and there about it in some health piece or wellness paper, but I don’t think our culture values it enough.

Look at our schools…PE isn’t emphasized enough. I remember taking square dancing in PE. How in the hell is that going to make me healthier? We’ve got an epidemic on our hands here in America…loads of our population are obese, many are morbidly obese, and this is also true for our kids. We’re also dropping rather steadily in the ranks in terms of education as compared to the populations of other countries around the world. Coincidence? I think not…

I bring this up because I’ve got yet another nasty cold. I’ve had a few doozies this year and I’m pretty sure I know why. I’m stressed as all hell from a long drive to and from work in a city that has the 2nd worst traffic in the nation. I do this to work at a job where I’m underpaid (thus giving me stress when it comes to bills, lack of vacations, etc) and stressed from some of the things that go on here. My mind is fried and my body is going to hell in a hand-basket because of it.

I used to run every day before work. Hardly ever got sick.
And let’s think about the great civilizations in history. The Greeks and Romans performed magnificent feats of engineering, came up with incredible theories in math and science, had great literature. They also put great emphasis on a healthy body. Look at the statues built around that time. (granted…there may have been some unhealthy people and they just weren’t immortalized as the ones we see). Again…I think they were on to something.

I’m rather annoyed right now that our society places so much emphasis on burning the midnight oil at work, that it’s ok to spend hours and hours a day in front of the TV, hours playing video games, and no time being healthy. In some areas of the country I find it a chore to do something healthy and active whereas other parts it was simply a part of the culture.

We’ve got a crisis on our hands…we’re getting dumber and fatter. I think we could take care of both problems (if even marginally) if we would start emphasizing a healthy active lifestyle again.