Feel Better, Feel Your Best

by Traci Wagner

Restoring your health. What does that mean? Can you actually get back to a healthier you?

Recently at our front desk; a new member filling out the health history questionnaire read the question “When was the last time you felt your best; and how did you feel?” What a question to answer! This question got me thinking:

  • Many times when we are feeling our best we don’t register it at the time as “I am feeling the best I ever have right now” until we look back, or perhaps see a photo of ourselves and think, “I was feeling my best then.”

  • What does feeling your best mean to you? And, how can we accomplish that at any age, or better yet, after we have gotten to a point of not feeling our best? For many it means being pain-free and being able to do the things you love. Being able to do the things you love is a huge reason to take the step to remain feeling your best. This can be as simple as being able to play with your grandchildren as you and they age.

So, can we really get back to “when I felt my best?” Not exactly, and as we mentioned last month in the article titled “The Trap of Wanting to Get Back,” getting back to where you once were is in fact a goal we shouldn't and don't want to strive for, but with little changes and the right approach, we can reclaim healthy and feeling our best throughout our life by moving forward and growing and learning from where we are and where we’ve been.

It is no surprise that the health of America isn’t in the best shape. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 60% of adults are living with at least one chronic disease and 40% have two or more. A shocking 12% of adults are living with five or more chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, coronary obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension. The way to widespread health change is to learn that these conditions are preventable, manageable, and can even be reversed with lifestyle choices.7

An example of this was seen when an Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Member saw her physician and was told that she was pre-diabetic. Her physician recommended that she see Registered Dietitian, Joni Gerken. After meeting with Joni, she was educated on what is going on with her body and how to eat. That didn’t mean eliminating foods, it meant eating the right combination of macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats, fiber), paired with the optimum frequency. She also started to go to the gym again and work with one of Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Center’s Certified Fitness Coaches. After a few months, she had blood work again and the results showed she was no longer pre-diabetic. All from moving more and eating right she reversed the trajectory of developing a chronic condition.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a major negative role in how we feel, and certainly for most it likely hasn’t resulted in feeling the best we’ve ever felt in our lives. But what this pandemic has started to do is shine a light on the importance of feeling our best and doing what we can to prevent chronic disease. A study of thousands of patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus in New York City found that 94% had one chronic disease and 88% had two or more. In May of this year, the CDC reported that people with an underlying chronic illness had six times more the risk of being hospitalized and twelve times the risk of dying.1 There is no time better than now, to take action and work towards restoring your health, feeling your best, and preventing or even reversing chronic conditions. It is not impossible to do!