This week is National Public Health Week! I am a huge supporter of Public/Preventative Health even though I disagree with the way it is usually presented (in the form of vaccinations, screenings, and government legislation or mandates). I strive daily in my practice to improve the health of the public.
How do you prevent or reduce obesity, diabetes, the flu, high blood pressure, cavities, STDs, low back pain, cancer, etc…? The answer is not a vaccine, or early screening. The real way to prevent most disease, injury and illness is by teaching our children how to live well. Their bad habits are not as deeply ingrained as adults. We’ve all tried to change our eating habits or get into shape, quit smoking, strengthen our posture or any number of other bad habits that affect our health. Most of us have failed more often than succeeded. I’m not encouraging giving up as adults. Don’t stop trying to improve your health, but teaching children will also help you.
We may not be able to change the world instantly, but teaching a few children can change the world in a generation. Every generation wants to improve life for the next generation. We want our children to have it better and to be better than we were. If we worked hard to teach our children behaviors that help reduce health risks, in a few generations obesity and high blood pressure could be rare conditions. This week I will present some small ideas to teach children that can have a huge impact. Teach one child and see the difference.
Get kids off of the couch. One way to do this that is beneficial for you is to invite them to play with you. That means that you have to get off of the couch or out of the computer chair and go show the children how you played as a child. Build a blanket fort, dig in the sandbox, chase a ball, wrestle in the grass, climb a tree, pull out your old skateboard or bike. Being active will help prevent everything from obesity and high blood pressure to diabetes and low back pain. Our bodies are designed to move. We develop painful, and at times, life threatening conditions when that design is inhibited. When you improve your function, your symptoms also improve. Chiropractic is here to facilitate and support that design. Teach children to move. Ask your chiropractor for help.