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What is your why?

Do you remember the commercial from a couple of years ago by the Heart and Stroke Foundation?

It went something like this: “What will your last 10 years look like … will you grow old with vitality, or get old with disease? It’s time to decide. The average Canadian will spend their last 10 years in sickness.”

Our Dr. McLaughlin recently spoke with someone who had never exercised and then started running. They completely fell in love with it.

When she asked what had changed, the answer was “My why changed.”

This person was getting older and had come to realize how important their health was, not just to them, but their family, as well.

This isn’t about bikini bodies and six-packs

We all want to be there for our families as long as possible, but often find it easy to ignore the good habits we should adopt to ensure we can be. It’s not about just living a long life, but living well, just like that Heart and Stroke commercial emphasized. Because with today’s medicine, it’s not that hard to live long in poor health.

Many people shy away from regular exercise, on the excuse it’s not for them, it’s too much work, or they’re not one of those hard-body types. But this is not about getting a bikini body or a six-pack (though go for it by all means if you can and that’s your goal). If living a healthier life has always been a struggle, your motivation must come from a deeper, more heartfelt place. This will give you the drive to break out of that funk that has you heading for the couch instead of the gym.

Last spring, one of our patients, Leo Valiquette, shared his why story. Today, he’s 48 – a year older than his grandfather ever lived to be. He’s lean, fit, and drug free. But five years ago, he was overweight, on blood pressure medications, and a blood test away from cholesterol medications, too.

What changed? He found his why. As a father, husband, and self-employed freelancer without the safety net of a group benefit plan or a company pension, he realized the best insurance he could have was to eat better, lose weight, and exercise regularly.

Find what works for you

For him, that means hitting the gym three or four times a week to weight train and take a boot camp class. Maybe that will work for you, too. Maybe it won’t. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you do something.

Always bear in mind it’s never too late to start. Leo was 43. Other patients find their why later. Maybe it takes a health scare that hits you, a friend, or a family member. Maybe you finally wake up one day and realize there’s more to life than a work schedule that has you deskbound and living on a steady diet of takeout.

It’s never easy to begin anything from a cold start. The best advice we can provide, born from our own experience, is to seek professional help. Maybe you don’t have the funds to afford a long-term commitment with a good personal trainer. But a package of sessions can be a great gift idea.

A good trainer is your coach, your cheerleader, your confidant, and your nutrition consultant. They can help you learn the basics of finding your way around the gym, explore other ways to get fit if weights aren’t your thing, and, most importantly, help you relearn how to eat. As we’ve said many times before, this battle is won or lost in the kitchen—no amount of exercise can overcome poor eating habits.

We can help

But that first step, finding your why, is the big one. Only you can answer that question. Once you do, we can help. As your friendly neighbourhood Kanata chiropractors, we have worked with a number of trainers, nutritionists, and other wellness experts in the area who can help you find your footing on this crucial life journey.

Our doors are always open!

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