Today’s society is plagued with the growing trend of reliance on a “quick fix.” I am referring to prescribed medications that are being handed out like Snickers bars on Halloween. In fact, a study conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics concluded that the number of Americans who take at least one prescription drug has risen from 43.5% in 1999-2000 to 48.3% in 2007-2008. The study also determined that Americans who take two or more medications has risen from 25.4% to 31.2% over the same time frame (source).
With the exponential increase of diagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure), Type II Diabetes, and high cholesterol, medications are being prescribed solely to control the problem and do nothing to eliminate the actually underlying causes. A problem that in most cases, is distinctly correlated to persistent lifestyle choices. These proven and direct lifestyle choices can include smoking, drinking, unhealthy diets, sedentary living, and most importantly being overweight/obese. In fact, more than 64% of Americans are overweight and 31% are categorized obese (source). While there are many causes to these various conditions, being overweight/obese is the primary cause of hypertension, Type II Diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Many of the medications used to control these various avoidable conditions come with negative side effects which include anxiety, depression, impotence, insomnia, heart palpitations, angina (chest pain), and this list continues. Now the question is, why would anyone want to run the risk of experiencing these systematic responses to medications that only provide a “quick fix” to reversible ailments?
One significant medication that doctors may fail to mention is in fact free and does not come in pill form. This medication is not associated with any negative side-effects and can actually benefit you in a variety of ways. It’s called a healthy lifestyle and can be adopted by any motivated population! While it does not necessarily fall into the “quick fix” category, it has the power to potentially eliminate the need for other medications. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well folks, I am here to tell that your prayers have been answered and that this is the ultimate remedy. However, the unbelievably beneficial powers of this drug rely primarily on your drive and motivation to adhere to regular consumption of this healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle entails healthier food choices and regular exercise. Along with the proven scientific conclusions that determine a healthy diet and regular exercise reduces high blood pressure, improves the use of insulin, and lowers “bad” cholesterol (LDL) while raising the “good” cholesterol (HDL), there are in fact many other proven benefits that may indeed surprise you.
- Development of new brain cells
- Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lowered “bad” cholesterol and increased “good” cholesterol
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved insulin resistance
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Prevention of breast and colon cancer
- Decreased risk of stroke
- Improved metabolism
- Increased muscular strength
- Improved immune system
- Improved sleep
- Decrease in overall stress
- Improved mood
- Reduced risk of gastrointestinal diseases
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Increased bone mass
- Reduces severity of asthma
- Promotes healthy pregnancy
- Prevention of aging affects
- Improved management of arthritis
- Reduces chronic pain
- Improved levels of energy
To add to the numerous benefits that are associated with a healthy lifestyle, studies are continuing to conclude more and more positive effects this remedy has on the body!
In most cases, prescription medications do nothing but control unhealthy symptoms in a “quick fix” manner. This societal transformation of increasing reliance on prescription drugs is developing an acceptable norm of living unhealthy lives. Knowing that there are drugs available to help control high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, and decreased insulin responsiveness, creates the misconception that living a sedentary lifestyle and eating an unhealthy diet can be maintained by taking these “quick fix” medications.
Now before you go ahead and throw away your prescription medications, I would highly recommend first talking with your doctor about your current health status and future goals. I would also like to explain that certain situations and distinct genetic factors may require the use of medications. However, many of these diagnosed conditions are reversible with a daily dose of a healthy lifestyle. Sit down and take a moment to ask yourself whether or not you wish to continue living an unhealthy life relying on prescription medications to control reversible conditions, or to step up to the plate and adopt this incredibly powerful remedy I like to call a healthy lifestyle.
by: Devin Mongrain, State of Fitness