Monday, August 3, 2009

To your health

According to a Reuter’s article, use of anti-depressants by Americans doubled from 13 million to 27 million. However, a corresponding increase use amongst blacks was not seen. The article went on to point out that more Americans may accept the diagnosis of depression. The population of the United States today is something like 300 million and change, which translates to about 8 percent of the population are on ant-depressants.

I’m neither a physician nor a medical professional of any kind. Despite my lack of qualifications, I don’t find the above news all that surprising. We live in a time when everything can be treated with a pill. There was an ad on the other night for a pill to grow eyelashes!

What are all of these people going to do if their meds aren’t available?

The media is whipping up a frenzy about the H1N1 virus and some people will fight, steal and claw their way to the vaccine. Others won’t get the vaccination for fear of side effects. The government claims the vaccine has no side effects. I believe that so long as the individual’s biochemistry isn’t a toxic waste dump of prescription medications.

To be prepared for an emergency or disaster, all of the pre-packaged kits in the world won’t mean anything if you aren’t in good health. There is a reason why soldiers the world over run as part of the physical training (PT). You have to train your body to be able to go even when tired or sick. There is a reason why the military has height and weight standards. You may have to hike for miles or lug around heavy gear for many miles. Keeping your weight down makes it easier.

Okay, so those reading this may never have been a soldier or Marine. You may never have run other than in gym class. Or perhaps like yours truly, knee injuries have ended your running career. Regardless, you still need to maintain your body at the highest level of fitness possible. If your body fails, your mind fails. If your mind fails, your spirit fails.

Maintaining the requisite level of fitness is easy. Walk. A half hour a day is ideal. If you can do more, walk with a backpack filled with 25-50 lbs (sandbags work nicely). Eat a proper diet. There is too much processed sugars and starches in our food. Eat more fruits and vegetables. You want to keep nutrients in your body at the highest levels. In the event of an emergency or disaster, you may not get the chance to eat a balanced meal for a long time.

Today there was a story about children being vitamin D deficient. The human body manufactures vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. However, skin cancer scares has skyrocketed the use of sunscreen that prevents the necessary absorption of sunlight to manufacture vitamin D. I suspect the other problem is the lack of exposure by children addicted to their computers and video games. Their bodies don’t get enough sunlight to manufacture vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are cheap and easily available although most of the medical experts on the news stirred clear of recommending supplements.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is for sedentary people. If you workout or play sports, your requirements are even higher. Preparing for an emergency means proper supplementation. There are many articles available on supplements for maintaining good health. I recommend doing your own research.

You need to get your body as healthy as possible and depend on prescription medication to the smallest degree possible. In the event of a disaster or emergency, you may have to do without for an extended period of time. A healthy body will allow you to survive with as little stress as possible.

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