By Dr. CHRISTOPHER J. MORGAN
Healthier and happier in 2016 – how’s that for a New Year resolution? I know not everyone makes New Year’s resolutions. In fact, someone told me, “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I won’t keep them, so why bother?”
Nonetheless, I believe it is important and healthy for mankind to be hopeful, to have aspirations, goals to pursue. It helps us keep focused and motivated, even when there are setbacks or obstacles in our path. What can we do to help ourselves get back on track, to remain hopeful, to stay the course, to improve our likelihood of attaining the goals we set for ourselves?
One of my ongoing goals involves improving and maintaining my personal health. I know many of you share this goal. Some people want to rid themselves of a chronic condition that has been affecting their daily lives for months or years. Others want to lose weight, exercise regularly, eat better, get more rest, stop smoking, lower their blood pressure, or become less dependent on certain medications. These are all worthy goals to set.
We also need to address the stressful areas of our lives because stress can have a detrimental effect on our health and well-being. This means we may need to work on improving our relationships with our spouse, other family members, or co-workers. Let us remember the definition of health promoted by the World Health Organization: “A state of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”
Overall, Canadians are concerned about their health and the health care system. It makes sense that your personal health is one of your top priorities. However, being concerned about your health and being proactive on improving and maintaining it, are two very different things. Let’s not fool ourselves, it is not easy to stay focused and on track. Recently, the head personal trainer of a popular health club in Toronto told me that this time of year is great for membership, yet by mid-March and April, 30 to 50 per cent of those new members are no longer working out on a regular basis and many have quit.
I think there is a way to increase the chances of achieving our health-related goals. Get help. Build your team for 2016. Surrounding yourself with people committed to helping you achieve your goals makes it a lot easier.
“Helping families live healthier, happier lives”, is the theme at the heart of Morgan Chiropractic & Wellness (MCW). All the professionals at MCW are committed to this mission. In fact, this month we are launching our “Healthier and Happier in 2016 Wellness Series”. This monthly, free, health and wellness presentation will discuss a wide range of topics, including exercise, nutrition, bone health and stress.
Since it’s a new year and probably the most common health related goal is weight loss, we’ll start there. Recently I had an interesting conversation on the topic with Dr. Nicole Constant, naturopathic doctor. Before coming to Canada in 1980, Nicole was a medical physician in Europe, where she practiced in clinics and hospitals in Spain and France and undertook an advanced residency in endocrinology. In 1988, Dr. Constant became one of the first graduates of the Ontario Naturopathic College’s special naturopathic medicine program for physicians trained abroad.
Dr. Constant’s interests include nutrition and digestion, weight loss, hormonal balance, diabetes prevention, heart health, building strong immunity, yeast infection and autoimmune disease. When we spoke about weight loss, I commented on the fast moving, always changing plethora of information about diet and weight loss in the marketplace and how challenging it is for someone to navigate, differentiate and digest (pun intended).
“You cannot have healthy, sustainable weight loss without proper digestion, hormone balance, sleep and stress management,” Nicole responded.
She suggested many people who have been unsuccessful with their weight loss goals have not properly investigated and addressed these factors.
Dr. Constant will elaborate further on the topic of weight loss at the first MCW Healthier and Happier in 2016 Wellness Series with her presentation “Weightless in 2016” on Saturday, January 30 at Morgan Chiropractic & Wellness, 1 Valentine Drive in the Don Mills and York Mills neighbourhood from 1 p.m. – 3p.m. To register for this free presentation, call MCW at 416-447-7600 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If in the course of the next 12 months (and beyond) we experience better relationships with our families, friends and co-workers; save a little more and spend a little less; burn more calories than we consume; give more than we take, and grow more in knowledge and understanding of our spiritual self, then this will truly be a life-changing year for us all.
Dr. Christopher J. Morgan is the director of Morgan Chiropractic & Wellness, an interdisciplinary health centre in Toronto; the founder and former president of the Black Health Alliance, a network of community organizations, health professionals and community members working in partnership to advance the health and well-being of the Black community. He can be reached at 416-447-7600 or email@example.com.