Over the past 20-30 years we have witnessed the emergence of the 'Wellness Industry' offering 'wellness' in many forms. Does any of this stuff work or is it just a sham?
Dr Ross Walker brings over 30 years of medical experience and is an excellent health resource for men and women of all ages.
Question: How would you describe the term -wellness industry'?
Dr Ross Walker: Over the past two decades, there has been an increasing emphasis on Wellness. The Wellness industry is the variety of services now widely available offering anything from beauty therapies, massage, yoga & Pilates to high quality supplements and so much more.
Question: What do we need to do, to keep healthy in Our 20's, 30's, 40's and beyond?
Dr Ross Walker: Our 20's
From an early age, I believe it's vital to develop and maintain a lifelong exercise habit. There are enormous benefits to exercise- it reduces the risk of all forms of vascular disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis for one.
Exercise should be highlighted as a key health point for young adults. Up to the age of 30, the human body is at its most supple, and muscles, joints, and our vascular systems are all operating at their optimum levels. That's why most high performance athletes tend to be in this age group- because their bodies are the healthiest that they'll probably be. Start your exercise habit early in your life & don't stop. Exercise is the second best drug on the planet, after happiness.
Quit any addictions. You'll find that you might not recover from a weekend binge as well as you did when you were in your 20's. Your smoking habit might be having a detrimental effect on your body- Are you experiencing shortness of breath? Lots of coughing perhaps?
You'll find that from age forty and beyond our metabolic processes and efficiency start to slow down. Our fat storage mechanisms also lose their ability to process and distribute fat that would normally be used for fuel. The fat storage areas quickly become overloaded, and the fat accumulates on our body rather than fuelling it. This in turn has a flow on effect, and will cause our immune systems to work overtime.
This decade you should be focusing on your eating habits. Eat less, and have a healthy and balanced diet. Ensuring that you are pairing this with plenty of exercise will enable you to live a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure you get tested! Schedule regular doctors' appointments for health screening, and ensure that some of the more serious assessments for heart disease and various forms of cancer are taking place. While every individual case is different, these kinds of diseases will usually begin to manifest in your 50's.
Question: What are the real modern killers?
Dr Ross Walker: Cardiovascular Disease: Cardiovascular Disease is Australia's biggest killer and remains one of the biggest burdens to our economy. Large portions, excess salt and a sedentary lifestyle will eventually lead to excess fat and fat build up in the walls of the arteries. If this causes a major blockage, ruptures, or a clot forms over the rupture- this may lead to a heart attack, stroke, or sudden death depending on the size and location of the rupture. Diabesity, the combination of Diabetes & Obesity has become a major factor in the generation of all forms of cardiovascular disease.
Cancer: Lung, colon, breast, prostate cancers, along with Melanoma account for the vast majority of cancer cases & deaths from cancer. The best treatment of all forms of cancer is prevention &/ or early detection.
Alzheimer's disease: With the ageing population, this is becoming an increasingly important cause of disability & death in the modern world. Fortunately, there is now suggestions of early detection & reversal, along with newer treatments to affect the natural course of the disease.
Question: How can we repeal these 'modern killers"?
Dr Ross Walker: Look after yourself! Ensure that you are exercising daily, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and are looking after your overall health.
The 5 Keys to Ultimate Health
It is important to practice the five foundations of good health. These are:
(1) Quit all additions – you cannot be healthy and smoke, you cannot be healthy and drink too much alcohol and you cannot be healthy and use any illegal drugs.
(2) Cultivate a good quality sleep habit. The quality of your day very much depends on the quality of your sleep the night before. We spend a third of our life sleeping, it has to be something very important.
(3) Good quality eating and less of it. If you can kill it and eat it straight away or grow it in your backyard it is good for you and after that all bets are off. One of the most important concepts of food is the HI factor which is basically the human interference factor. The more people fiddle with the food, the worse it is for you. The simplest summary of good eating is to eat less and eat more naturally.
(4) Have a regular exercise and movement program. The Walker suggested dose of exercise is 3-5 hours per week of exercise that makes you hot and somewhat short of breath. In between times try to move as much as possible. Prolonged sitting is extremely bad for the health.
(5) The best drug on the planet is happiness. In each moment cultivate the attitude, I choose peace over this; I am not going to give you the power to cause my heart attack and, most importantly, develop a service mentality. Live through each moment with the attitude, how may I serve, rather than what's in it for me. Cultivating peace & happiness is an extremely important method in improving your own health.
Assessing your current level of risk for all common diseases and practicing these five vital lifestyle principles is the best way to achieve optimum health.
Question: Can you talk us through the importance of vitamins and supplements?
Dr Ross Walker: To begin, vitamins and supplements should not be taking the place or substituting for another type of food, nor should they be used as a substitute for already pre-existing medication. A supplement is just that- to supplement or add extra in order to complete or enhance your overall health.
You can gain extra benefits from taking the correct supplements for the condition that you are wishing to address. However, it is very important that you don't make this decision alone. Always consult your healthcare professional or doctor before adding a supplement into your diet or daily routine- together you may be able to formulate a program that best suits your needs.
Question: Which vitamins and supplements will make a difference to our overall health?
Dr Ross Walker: Ubiquinol or CoQ10: This is a great one for boosting energy levels- take 150mg daily.
Fish Oil: Great as an anti-inflammatory & for cardiovascular support (at least 4g daily)
Multivitamins: Long term studies from Harvard University clearly show the overall health benefits from taking a daily Multivitamin.
Bergamet Pro Plus: This supplement from the juice of the Bergamot fruit grown in Southern Italy has profound cardiovascular & metabolic benefits.
Interview by Brooke Hunter