The Acupuncture Turning Point collaborates with Nicole and Len, owners of Breathe Fitness, to help our clients be at their best.
by Nicole Lark BHK, PTS, TSCC-3
I like to use the analogy of our body being similar to a car. Our heart is the engine, our food is the gas, and we have multiple gears where we can ‘shift’ our energy up and down depending on the requirements for the task at hand. “Good” car owners tend to take reasonable care by making sure it has gas in the tank, the oil is checked regularly, the tires have adequate air, the washing fluid is topped, and it goes to the shop when regularly for maintenance checks and tune-ups. If there is something diagnosed as out of balance or not functioning optimally, they get it fixed right away.
Most people understand that if you neglect the basics of caring for your car it will not run as efficiently. Eventually it will break down resulting in an even greater cost compared to if you had just followed a regular maintenance routine. Is our body any different? Why do people tend to neglect their own body (i.e. your very own personal machine!) to the point where it is highly nonfunctional, running at a low efficiency, and requiring a great deal of time and money to get it running healthily again? Most would admit that it is much less work and costs less in time, money, and suffering to have ‘regular maintenance’ rather than ‘breaking down’ with potentially having serious consequences. For example, having our ‘engine’ breakdown with an heart attack or constantly fueling our body with low nutrition and high caloric foods simply does not make sense.
When your car needs repair, luckily we can buy and replace parts to be almost as good as the original. In contrast, if someone needs their body parts repaired or replaced, such as having hip or knee replacement, these are far from being as good as what you were born with!
Once the car has broken down and is in need of repair, people will seek out a reliable mechanic whom they trust will repair the car to full working order. More or less, the car owner doesn’t do any of the work, and when the repair is done, it’s finished and works well again (for now). Well, with our own personal body machine, it is much more complex than that, and the “fixing” of it is often a gradual and prolonged process that becomes a sustainable lifestyle change. With this in mind, it is understandable why people have a harder time maintaining their body’s compared to their cars. So it makes all the more sense to get extra help and expertise when it comes to your body! I have shaped my career on focusing on how to help people benefit from exercise. I am inspired when my clients are mentally ready to take on the responsibility of maintaining their body and becoming healthier. As a personal trainer, I have acquired the expertise on how the body functions and adapts; therefore, helping guide and educate you to most effectively reclaim your health and to gradually learn to function at optimal capacity once again, without injury.
Some car owners who neglect taking care of their car end up deciding it is easier to simply go and purchase another car, rather than dealing with the cost of repairing the existing car. As convenient as it may be to simply throw away one car after years of neglect and buy a new and shiny car, this is not a temptation we have as an option with our body (well not yet, anyhow)! After years of disregarding personal health one must slowly and systematically restore function and health, one step at a time.
Similarly to how someone ‘listens’ to a car and responds to its needs, even if he or she is not a mechanic, you can become better in doing the same for your own body. Whether it be fueling up on nutritious food, getting more sleep or implementing more movement and physical activity into your daily routine, you know better than anyone how you feel and if something is better or worse.
Our body and health is our most valuable asset. We need to invest time and energy into ourselves to ensure we are functioning at optimal levels for the longest time possible. Investing a relatively small amount of time on a daily basis into your overall health by exercising, will not only help you have an higher quality life, but also reduce the many costs and suffering associated with illness.