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How the Pandemic Is a Wake-Up Call For Our Personal Health

An orthopedic surgeon explains why it's time to re-evaluate our everyday habits.

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Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock
Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock

The sheer weight of the pandemic has hit Americans hard emotionally and physically, and sadly, it’s still looming. There is nothing more important than our personal health during this crisis. Now that this year is coming to an end, it should serve as a global wake-up call for the dire need to reevaluate our health habits for the New Year.

According to Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Zvi Pearlstein, we cannot rely on the vaccine alone to save us. Right now, we all have the power to improve our personal health and wellness and boost our immune systems to become the healthiest versions of ourselves.

“Even before the pandemic, America was in the midst of another health crisis resulting from physical inactivity and sedentary behavior. The average person sits 12 hours per day. Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality. It is also partly to blame for the current global adult and childhood obesity epidemics. According to the WHO, 3.2 million deaths per year are attributed to this unhealthy lifestyle behavior and it’s only getting worse…”

As an Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Zvi has seen the negative health consequences of our ubiquitous sedentary lifestyle on muscle and joint function. The result is pain, restricted motion, general weakness, and loss of function. Our sedentary lifestyle does much more than cause muscle and joint pain. Much of human illness generally is attributed to our sedentary lifestyle and the resultant sedentary disease. A myriad of health issues is involved including obesity, low back pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, cancer, and more.

“When we look back on 2020, an integral part of this reflection should be the need to reevaluate our personal health and wellness. We may be personally limited in our ability to conquer the coronavirus-19 disease and pandemic, but we do have power and control over our personal health and wellness. That is probably the most important thing right now over which we can exert control and that we have the power to fix…” says Dr. Zvi.
He is an advocate of spreading the wisdom of healing. This wisdom incorporates a system of care emphasizing wise triage and a noninvasive “Pain Toolbox” to reduce pain and improve overall health and well-being. A pioneer in holistic wellness and pain management, he stresses the importance of healthy movement along with other pain-conquering solutions that are disrupting the status quo of therapy.

Pandemic or no pandemic, life is about action – movement. But what kind of movement and how? For optimal health our core essence – our Soul – needs to be in motion, and Soulfulness would then refer to nourishing the soul with the right kind of soul food to keep it healthy and in motion. The Soul has the ability to empower the Mind to oversee and temper the heart and emotions and to be focused. Mindfulness, which has become a big buzzword of late, would refer to the focused use of the Mind to eliminate distracting, diversionary, anxiety-provoking and painful thought and instead create a pleasing flow of thought. This high level of self-control would then optimally translate to include what might be called “Heartfulness” whereby emotions are overseen and tempered by the intellect to resonate with the goal of producing actions of lovingkindness. As human beings we are defined as the verb “to be.” The Soul, Mind, and Heart are in unified harmony when they jointly produce actions of lovingkindness.

This almost symphonic orchestration of dance-like musical movement of Soul, Mind, Heart, and Body allows us to best achieve good health despite surrounding turmoil. When we typically talk of physical fitness and exercise, we are generally referring to the physical aspect of ourselves. This is the part of us that is most readily seen. But it is our lowest common denominator. As important as physical exercise of the type we typically find in gyms is, much more relevant to truly good health are a healthy Soul, Mind, and Heart-Emotions. Healthy care of these key components is not discussed nearly as much as are bodily care. Soul, Mind, and Emotional Heart health can be managed well even when confined at home during the pandemic. More difficult is maintaining Bodily health. Here it is important to focus on life and death aerobic (cardio-pulmonary-vascular) exercise first. Second in order of importance is full range of motion muscle and joint stretching from head to toe. Third is strengthening.

Optimal health and harmony of Soul, Mind, Heart, and Body is achieved best by getting to know oneself and all the instruments in the orchestra. Then, practicing role play with healthy movement producing what might be thought of as music or dance by all components. Keep fine-tuning the symphony by ongoing practice and self-control and along with focus, happiness, and thankfulness, success will be in reach.

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