As a Virgo I have a natural bent towards, or perhaps even a (slight) obsession with all things health and well-being, if the Astrology folks are to be believed. I personally can’t argue with received wisdom around Virgo-an traits from a relative fact point of view, much as my logical and methodical brain would like to add a pinch of scepticism to the whole thing.
The trouble with deciding on a blog post with a seemingly innocuous one word title, short and sweet, is that when you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, it is definitely very far from short and simple. For niche topics to pick, this is not one of them. For a start, there’s physical and mental health. Then we bring it down to the physical health sub headings such as illness, fitness, medicine, nutrition, and under mental health again medicine, spirituality, wellbeing, soul…. it all becomes very quickly interlinked the more you think about it.
Since this is a blog post, and not a weighty tome of some 1,000+ pages, I’ll keep it light and just go for a few thoughts on physical health.
Firstly, despite a very keen interest in, and a not insignificant encyclopaedic knowledge of various ailments and illnesses and their symptoms (people’s eyes have been known to glaze over whilst being on the receiving end of one of my unsolicited diagnoses by the way), I have never had a desire to be a nurse, doctor, or any kind of healthcare related practitioner. For starters, I didn’t even do Biology O Level, and also I don’t deal well with the physical manifestations of ill health, which probably isn’t a great place to start!
My interest lies purely in the gathering of information, the absorbing of facts and figures, much like a bath sponge. You only have to tell me some health related fact once, and I’ll remember it forever. This is a great skill to have, used in the right way (and proved to be absolutely invaluable in the recent diagnosis of my eldest with Type 1 Diabetes. Marching into the doctor’s surgery having already determined the condition, proved to be one of the most critically life-changing paths that instinct and a little knowledge could have led to).
If you care to rifle through my bathroom cabinet, you’ll find it well stocked with a plethora of pills, lotions and potions to treat anything from verrucas to a bad case of piles (ok, so maybe not piles just yet….we’ll leave that for the retirement years maybe..). I’m probably more well stocked than your local pharmacy, so just ask and I’ll probably be able to pull something out of the cabinet, or my handbag which serves as a portable, slightly scaled-down version of the home treasure trove. Somehow I never seem to carry basics like tissues though, rather annoyingly as these are probably (along with baby wipes), the most universally useful item serving a variety of purposes, not all of them related to the wiping of snotty noses (stop it! no smut here).
I’ve already written a little bit about another aspect of physical health, which is the fitness side of life under the title http://word-smoothie.com/uncategorized/word-smoothie-on-on-sport-or-not-sitting-around/ but this just scratches the surface of the spaghetti-like mess that is my mind when thinking about health and well-being. I’m definitely one of those faddy people who’ll dive headlong into the latest diet or fitness craze for approximately, oooh let’s see, maybe 2 whole weeks… all gung-ho and fired up until the willpower runs out / work / life / literally anything else comes along to distract my butterfly mind and I’ve forgotten what it was that I was so keen on in the first place.
sucking up the knowledge like a ninja
Ring any bells? If there’s something health-related which grabs my attention in the media I’ll delve right down into the subject like a ninja, buying books and reading articles until I feel I’m a kind of semi-expert in the matter. And that’s exactly the point, dear friends, family and colleagues, where you should all retreat to a safe distance and do your very best to avoid all contact with me (reference the glazed eyes comment in paragraph 4 above).
Recently I have become invested in the whole HIIT vs extended cardio debate a la Joe Wicks et al. I very much like the idea that I can (in theory!) throw out a quick 20 minute turn of high impact cardio and reap the same benefits as an hour of running. Time is, after all, precious and in short supply. However, I do wish someone would just come out with the definitive answer to the holy grail of optimal fitness / weight loss, and be done with it. This would save me inordinate amounts of time wrangling with the facts and figures, but would not contribute so much to the GDP of the UK in craze-related Kindle downloads, new fitness kit, and associated nutrition (avocados and quinoa have never been in such high demand!).
leave it to the experts?
The flip side of course to all this random and indeterminate health information gathering is that sometimes too much can be a bad thing. On the subject of illness and ailments, we’ve all been guilty of self-diagnosing via the power of Google, myself included, and that can lead us down the path of hypochondria and worry. GP surgeries, usually our first port of call, must sometimes hate us patients turning up, symptom list in hand, with a pre-determined fate before we’ve even got our coat off and sat down in the surgery chair.
Sometimes, dear reader, information overload can be a bad thing and we should perhaps just leave the proper diagnosis to the medical experts, at least when it comes to our physical health.
Take it easy
Originally posted 2016-11-27 19:36:14.