On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 I participated in LKNConnect’s Bringing Local to Life Series: Preparing for the New Normal. My topic was a Body & Brain Tune-up. This article is a re-cap and expansion of the ideas presented during that presentation. (View the video here.)
If there was a lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was that we all could have been better prepared to successfully navigate the challenges it threw at us. It tested our preparedness and exposed vulnerabilities in most facets of our lives.
My belief is that it’s our responsibility to become as fit and healthy as possible to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from the next challenge that will undoubtedly occur. I’ll focus on three body systems that you can “tune up” to be prepared for whatever may be next.
I’ve identified three pillars of exceptional human existence to focus on. They are Energy – Mind – Movement (EMM). There is a life sustaining relationship between what we eat, the health of our brain, and how we move.
Epigenetics, essentially the effect of lifestyle optimization on positive genetic expression, is activated by the EMM interaction. Utilizing lifestyle optimization strategies to promote positive genetic expression will produce profound impacts on our health and wellness.
If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. — Hippocrates
Nutrition feeds the brain, provides energy to sustain movement, and is needed for growth and repair. Lose the ability to create proper chemical energy to feed the body, and movement ceases and the brain dies. Energy from food fuels all life.
The human body is a biological machine with a brain. The brain is home and safe haven for the mind, which guides a set of complex cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory.
Together, they make all of the decisions, coordinate all of the activity, and call all of the shots both conscious and unconscious. The brain ensures its own survival by protecting energy and movement, but never at its own expense. Although your brain is only about 2% of your body’s weight, approximately 3 pounds, it uses 20 to 30% of the calories consumed. Human physiology is designed around the brain’s survival.
Without movement, there truly is no life. The first movement that any living organism intentionally makes, with the possible exception of warmth, is toward something related to food. Even plants move toward their “food producer” by growing toward the light. External movement procures food for energy; internally, it enables nutrient absorption. Movement provides the brain with nutrients and oxygen-rich blood for proper function.
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. — Carol Welch
Although EMM provides the functional capacity for life, it’s the deeper interaction of lifestyle, environment, and genetics that determines much of what our genes display.
The way in which these factors interact is an important indicator of our aging and wellness status. I predict that all health, wellness, and disease prevention efforts soon will be guided solely by the principle of epigenetics driven by lifestyle optimization strategies.
Maximizing the EMM interplay in simpler terms means to eat well, take care of your brain, and move. Invest some time and effort into these concepts and you will have a head start in preparing yourself physically and perhaps mentally for whatever future challenges we may face.
Banner and featured image courtesy Pixabay.com
Wayne Coolidge, Jr., M.Ed., CHES is an author, speaker, and innovative Health Promotion Scholar-Practitioner. He owns Wayne Coolidge Health Promotion, a consulting firm specializing in healthy aging, nutrition, nutritional supplementation, fat loss, fitness, and disease prevention. His expertise is designing lifestyle-optimization strategies leading to positive genetic expression, controlled cellular aging, health, and wellness. He has accumulated more than 31,000 hours of one-on-one training and personal consultation experience over a 37-year career. Wayne’s web site www.waynecoolidge.com. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.