Health comes in many forms. By understanding what matters most and engaging in your health I believe you can live a full and healthy life.

Exercise: it has been a big month for exercise. A fantastic three part series by the Lancet urges both clinicians and patients to change their perception of back pain. The articles explain that most episodes of back will resolve on their own and don’t need expensive and time consuming electro therapies, time away from work, acupuncture (dry needling), manipulation or even painkillers. They further rarely need imaging, injections or surgery. The first line recommendations for back pain are: effective clearance of anything rare but sinister and management with sound advice, reassurance and the encouragement to stay active. It is in our nature to throw everything at pain but this approach often causes more harm in the long run and puts strain on an already overburdened healthcare system. Be smart and if you have questions seek help but generally, think more movement not less in the face of back pain.

Grub: food waste! It’s a huge a problem in our country. Estimates put waste at around $31 billion per year (over ½ at home). That is a staggering number when many people in our country still go hungry each day. This week and in the months ahead what can you do to be less wasteful? Don’t think about the savings, think about the people who would be grateful for that food. Get creative and substitute what you have for what a recipe calls for. Try thinking in themes – don’t cook one Mexican meal, cook three. By doing this you increase the likelihood of reusing certain ingredients. Be waste conscious this month and use up your ingredients.

Sleep: after rummaging through a number of articles and reading the book, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walk, I put together a list of sleep strategies on a snazzy PDF. I don’t like to over-stress or over-complicate any part of lives but I see value in striving to live a healthy, fulfilling life. Getting a good night’s sleep is sorely overlooked but we should pay attention to it. Don’t overthink it but give a little extra thought to your sleep.

Mental Health: it has been another rain soaked month but don’t wait any longer, get your rain gear on and start biking. The days may be wet but they are warming and the birds still sing in the rain. With all the incredible trees in bloom it is a waste to wait until May. The mental health benefits to riding to work are numerous. If it is practical – get your blundstones on, grab a good pair of rain pants, a light jacket and take to the roads. You won’t be sorry!

Thanks for reading.

Ps. I am digging into Michael Pollen’s oldie but goodie In Defence of Food. I will share some his insights in the months to come.