Wishing a very happy, healthy Father’s Day to all the dads in the crowd, and to everyone celebrating the wonderful dads in their lives! Keeping dads healthy is a special mission of ours, since we both lost our dads to preventable chronic disease way too early.
One thing we really admire about the men who have cleansed with us, is that once they decide to feel better, they don’t procrastinate or dwell on what they must forego (with the one possible exception of beer). They jump right in with both feet and usually have fast, impressive results! Even the guys who are just eating the cleansing meals their wives prepare lose 15 lbs, stop snoring, and feel fantastic! It makes us so happy… and also a little jealous.
The Preventable Silent Epidemic Affecting Dads Everywhere
You guys carry a lot of weight on your shoulders, and as a result, are often under pretty significant stress. Stress isn’t some benign, slightly unpleasant feeling that wakes you up sometimes or gives you acid reflux. It is a biochemical dynamic that can impact everything about your health – your blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar, hormone levels, digestion, nervous system, etc – and can predispose you to a cornucopia of chronic disease. According to WebMD, 75 to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. It is a significant factor in five out of the six most common chronic diseases, including top killers cancer and cardiovascular disease.
This is HUGE! Imagine if we got on top of that? How much suffering we could avoid, how much happier we could be, and how much money we could save? Turns out, the US could save an estimated $1 trillion in medical related expenses if we simply reduced our stress.
Many years ago, when my stressed dad’s blood pressure started going up, he said he’d make dietary changes, but drew a hard line at meditating. Back then, meditation was a little too “out there”. Thankfully, now it has widespread societal and medical acceptance as a very effective strategy for stress reduction.
But the current problem is that most people aren’t prioritizing it even though they know it could help. They’re just too busy. As the saying goes, “You should meditate for 20 minutes every day. If you’re too busy, you should meditate for an hour each day.” And as any experienced meditator can tell you, meditation practice actually saves you time because your brain is more organized, focused, and creative.
Think of it as strength training for you brain – it helps you to quiet all those stressful thoughts that end up wreaking havoc on your body. If you traded one hour of your physical workouts for a few meditation “workouts” each week, you’d benefit more.
We hope we’re not stressing you out about stressing! Our intention is to inspire you to take it seriously and motivate you to take action. Some tools we recommend include:
- The life changing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program.
- Online 21 Day Meditation Experiences by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. These are offered free a few times a year (get on their list!) and you can purchase them as well. We especially liked “Hope in Uncertain Times” and “Making Every Moment Matter”.
- Yoga classes near you (a meditative practice with many benefits for body and mind).
- Taking breath breaks – a few times each day, taking a break to breathe deeply. Our YouTube channel has several breath videos. Full yogic breath is the basic one you can do anywhere, while the Alternate Nostril Breath is especially stress relieving. It’s like a horse tranquilizer!
Image credit: Ben Minor