By Sara Nelson, PT, DPT
Years ago, we had someone come through our physical therapy clinic for treatment of a chronic condition. The process of treatment and self-care training for the condition were explained to the individual. We included what we offered to help alleviate the condition and what skills were taught on how to manage the condition independently. The person called back later to cancel appointments and say she didn’t want to do self help.
We have successfully convinced ourselves that health behaviors are not needed, that the powers of drugs, procedures and surgeries will compensate for inactivity, stressful living and poor food choices. I believe that the people providing those services would agree procedures and pills support healthy living, not replace it.
The fact of the matter is that the chronic conditions we suffer as a society are on the rise, and although some are living longer, they are suffering more. While our general health is declining, insurance companies are putting their foot down on reimbursements for treatment of chronic conditions. They point out that originally insurance was meant for catastrophic events, not the expected effects of aging.
If you are interested in enjoying life and feeling good most of the time, you are going to have to do something about it. The time for action is now. Start today to develop health habits that will in the end cut your health care costs and make your day better.
Getting started is hard for most people. Find a group that fits you and your goals. Group exercise will provide you with the motivation and fun you need along with safety and accountability. Group instruction provides you with the information you need to feel good.
A new development in the fitness industry, is fitness for people who are chronically ill and don’t feel up to the typical gym. We have several options around town. Don’t let illness or a lack of motivation keep you away. Often starting with physical therapy is a good entry into an individualized fitness program. In answer to the title question, you don’t have to be a health nut to be healthy, you just have to make a positive choice today.