This week’s quote is from Lewis Howes:

‘Your life will never improve unless you start making daily improvements’.

Lewis Howes is a New York Times Bestselling author of the hit book, The School of Greatness. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete.

We can apply this little motto any which way we like, so here’s my effort:

When I worked in the Pain Medicine Department of a busy NHS hospital, I saw this for myself.  Day after day new and mostly overweight patients would attend with the usual knee pain, hip pain, or back pain.  There were three consultants in the department.  It’s very unusual for a group of doctors to agree with each other, but with pain management they all gave the same advice : Do Pilates exercises to improve muscle tone, keep body weight within normal limits, buy a memory foam mattress, and add glucosamine, pineapple, ginger and turmeric into the diet.  I must have typed this information thousands of times in clinic letters. Each patient received a copy of the clinic letter, which might have also included a steroid injection into the joint if the consultant deemed it appropriate.  For a first injection there was up to an 18 week wait as per Government targets.

Months later when the steroid injection wore off, the patients would return demanding another injection.  Had they taken up Pilates? No.  Had they lost weight? No.  Had they made dietary changes? No, they hadn’t.  The majority just wanted another steroid injection without having to alter their lifestyle.  Patients wanting a second steroid injection joined a waiting list of up to 5 years, grumbling on the phone to me about the long wait on a daily basis.  One consultant wryly told me of another possible way of helping patients; wiring their jaws together!

I’m of an age where unless I carry out 20 minutes of Pilates exercises every morning on waking, my middle -aged back will be stiff for at least a couple of hours.  Pilates takes away the stiffness. These doctors know what they’re talking about, but it took me at least 3 years of working there to realise it.   I learned a lot through working in Pain Medicine, and even if I go on holiday I always take a roll-up non slip exercise mat with me.  The advantage of toning and stretching the muscles is not obvious at first, but after a few months there is  a definite improvement.  After five years of working there I was buying one pineapple every week, keeping my weight within normal limits, sleeping on a memory foam mattress, taking glucosamine tablets, drinking ginger tea, and using turmeric in casseroles.  The big 6 -0 is next year, and yes, it was an effort going to Pilates classes for 18 months, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to realise what the correct improvements were in order to aid my future mobility.

We live in an instant gratification -I -want-it-now society.  Taking 6 months to see any improvement is simply not on the cards for many people, nor is giving up the foods that are making them overweight.   I’m not the world’s healthiest person by a long shot, but I’ve come to learn that a healthy diet and stretching and toning is much better for the body than consuming foods high in saturated fat and sugar and having repeated steroid injections with their possible side-effects of brittle bones.

So there’s my take on making daily improvements. What’s yours?