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Is the Recession Hurting Your Health?

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Author: Clark Bailey

The news tells us that the recession is deeper than initially thought. This certainly is not good news for many of us. Gas prices remain high, unemployment is high and good jobs are hard to find. These are typically the first things that come to mind when thinking about a recession and its impact.

But, there are other effects tied to economic downturns that we don't often consider. How about your health? Is it suffering because of the economy?

Consider some of the main factors contributing to disease and illness. Stress and poor nutrition are among the leaders. Certainly, one's stress level goes up when economic times are harder. Worries about bills, how to make the mortgage or rent payment, keeping enough gas in the car to get to work, if you have a job, are all stress points.

Stress causes depletion of essential vitamins and minerals faster than normal. The effects include worsening immune system function (this can be especially problematic for those with chronic illnesses such as HIV/Aids) and elevated blood pressure leading to a variety of potential health risks including, abnormal heart beat, heart attacks, hardening of the arteries and coronary heart disease.

Other problems aggravated or caused by stress are muscle pains, low fertility, erectile dysfunction, complications during pregnancy, stomach problems (ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, etc.), weight gain and increased menstrual pain. Stress even worsens acne, psoriasis and the symptoms related to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Stress leads to more out of pocket expenses for doctors, hospitals and prescriptions. Factor in potential lost wages and the stress factor easily becomes an out-of-control snowball further complicating our lives.

So, what is one to do to minimize or avoid this health "recession?" There are several very important components to overcoming stress.

Laugh. You've heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter actually helps your body by reducing stress hormones, boosting the immune system, providing a cardio workout and increasing blood flow. As Mark Twain said, "He who laughs, lasts."

Exercise. Numerous studies support the health benefits of regular exercise. Improved cardiopulmonary function, reduced blood pressure, muscle tension release and mental relaxation are all known benefits. An important fact to remember about exercising is to pace oneself. Often times, people start out too fast and quickly burn out. Start out simple and gradually add a little every two or three days. Let your body "build" up its tolerance for physical exertion and you will be amazed at how quickly you are able to progress.

Nutrition. The typical American diet, even many so-called "healthy" diets, lacks key vitamins and minerals that our bodies require for optimum health. There are many, low-cost nutritional supplements that will help fill this void. They come in various forms, flavors and formulas to provide what your body needs. Proper nutrition is easy and very inexpensive when compared to the costs of medical care to treat illnesses and diseases due to poor nutrition.

Hobbies. Take up a hobby if you don't already have one. This occupies your mind with something fun and constructive and, as a result, actually helps your body function at a higher level.

Talk. Share your fears, concerns and passions with someone. The psychological and physical benefits will surprise many people. Just "getting it off of your chest" is very therapeutic and healthy. You will also likely find that you are not alone - many people share the same fears, concerns and passions and don't even realize it.

Be Positive. I wish there was a one-paragraph miracle remedy for this but, it takes a conscience effort. Even bad times can ultimately produce positive experiences if we choose to look for them. Our tendencies are to look at the bad and accept it but we can choose to seek the good out of a bad situation and focus our attention in a healthier place.

This article may be reprinted in its entirety as long as the author resource information remains attached. © Copyright 2009 Baileys Health Store.

Owner of,, and After 20+ years in healthcare management, Clark recently shifted his focus to internet and home-based businesses to spend more time with his family.


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