Mirror, Mirror On the Wall
Remember the grumpy, ugly, jealous old witch that connived against the sweet innocent beauty, Snow White? Every day she consulted her magic mirror hoping for a good report. Alas, her negative attitude dashed any hope of being the “fairest” one of all; she was probably suffering from an ugly case of inflammation.
Seriously, there is much talk about healthy lifestyle eating well, exercising and relaxation. An underlying biochemical mechanism resulting from neglect of any of these components is an inflammatory response. This is a form of a prolonged immune response to protect body tissues from irritation and injury and often results in scarring, thickening and destruction of tissue.
The most obvious form of inflammation is caused by some physical trauma to joints and muscles, resulting in pain and swelling. Poor posture in movement and sedentary activities result in prolonged stress to involved tissues, resulting in problems such as tendonitis and arthritis. In addition, these changes are occurring throughout the body the skin, digestive tract, liver, heart, brain and bones, to mention a few.
There are effective anti-inflammatory supplements such as turmeric and fish oil, but nothing beats healthy eating for decreased inflammation. Foods have varying degrees of inflammatory effects. Carbohydrates, meat and dairy products are inflammatory in nature. Since they are a vital source of protein, it is best to balance these with anti-inflammatory foods like broccoli, beets, strawberries, blueberries and many others.
Exercise is essential for strengthening the muscles that support the bones and joints, keeping them in proper alignment and reducing unnecessary pressure and stress, precursors of inflammation. Exercise also provides adequate blood supply to nourish all the cells of the body.
Finally, proper rest and stress reduction are essential to controlling inflammation. Six to eight hours of sleep are necessary for optimal health. Stress reducing activities such as running/walking, yoga, meditation/prayer, reading and humor are terrific preventions of inflammation. When you are smiling, you are reducing inflammation. So one moral of that old fairy tale could be, “Exercise, relax and eat well and, if it hasn't been tampered with by old witches, bite that healthy apple.”
Your ability to think, move with ease and energy and look fresh are all reflections of good health, visible in the mirror and to others.
Let a healthy dose of vanity motivate you to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.