Orthopaedic Surgeon - Atlanta
3886 Princeton Lakes Way Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30331

Have you ever looked through the owner's manual of your automobile? After buying a new car, we recently did and were amazed at just how thorough and specific it was.

We had owned other cars before — various models, sizes and colors — and noticed the similarities between their new owner manuals and this one (the recommended upkeep and maintenance schedules were almost identical). They both explain how, with a new vehicle, you must baby it at first, breaking it in slowly and making sure to regularly get those new car check ups. As the car matures, fewer visits to the mechanic are required. That is, until it reaches that venerable age when regular maintenance becomes necessary in order to anticipate, and subsequently prevent, problems before they develop. Sometimes problems can be predicted based upon the track history of a car's predecessor. Some models, for instance, are known to develop electrical system failures. Others frequently have faulty fuel or water pumps that cannot adequately circulate these vital fluids through the vehicle. And as for the much maligned Edsel, you would wisely avoid that car altogether.

Based on the three grades available, the manual also made recommendations on the proper mixture of fuel one should use. Because the quality of fuel varies greatly among gas stations, it was further prescribed that additives be supplemented to insure that the fuel burned more efficiently and effectively — these additives protect the engine parts and greatly improve performance. It was also pointed out that the proper maintenance of the exterior is crucial as well. Frequent washings and waxing help to minimize the oxidative effects of the sun and air pollutants. When treating the upholstery, they suggest special emollients to prevent cracking and premature aging.

We all start off with the best of intentions to follow the steps carefully laid by the owner's manual so our cars will continue to look and run like new. But what happens when we don't properly care for our vehicles? Parts wear out prematurely and must be repaired or replaced. And, if it is severely neglected or misused, the engine may even burn out, leaving you to transplant a new one into the once perfect automobile. Additionally, as the car becomes older, it ends up increasingly more difficult to find the replacement parts necessary for it to continue to operate.

Well, you need not be a physician or a mechanic to know where this metaphor is leading. The human body is often compared to a complex machine and there are obvious similarities. However, our human machine doesn't come complete with an owner's instruction manual or factory warrantee. Perhaps if it did, then we would be living to the age of 120 to 140 years, the time span for which molecular biologists believe to be our true age potential.

Why do we often fall short of this goal? Generally, this is due to a lack of proper care and maintenance. For instance, regular physical exams throughout life help to detect disease at an early stage, and can also aid in the prevention of serious medical conditions like cancer and heart disease. Proper diet is also an important factor. Our bodies essentially utilize three types of fuel (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) in order to provide energy for the body's needs. Unfortunately, only a small portion of the American population consumes what is considered a proper diet. In fact, only 10 to 15 percent of Americans eat five or more servings of fruit or vegetable each day, while much fewer ingest the optimum amount of 15 daily servings. This is why it is so important to supplement. Why? We, as physicians, get asked this every day, sometimes by other physicians. Our bodies need more than fuel to run effectively and last a "lifetime." Just as automobiles may need fuel additives, supplements help to fill in the nutritional gaps of our diets. These include important vitamins, minerals and amino acids which act as catalysts to the millions of chemical reactions that occur in our bodies every minute.

Are you going to live up to your full age potential, or are you going to reduce your lifespan by 40, 50 or 60 years? Also, how are you planning to spend those years? Will you be living in a nursing home or will you be healthy and active physically, mentally, socially and sexually? The decision is yours. You could choose, like many people, to take better care of your car than you do your own health. You could be one of those people who religiously spends Saturday morning washing their car in the driveway and checking the tire pressure when they should be focusing more attention on how to deflate the "spare tire" around their midsection. Maybe it isn't your fault. After all, you were never issued an owner's manual with your body! So let us clear up this deficiency right now. The recommendations in your owner's manual are simple to follow: eat sensibly; exercise regularly; be examined annually by a physician; and follow step one of the Five Step Program: Use all of the WIN products. Keep up on the maintenance of your most precious possession, your body. Don't void the 120-year warranty on your vehicle through life. Remember, you cannot trade it in for a newer model. It has to last a lifetime.

This article was prepared by an independent author(s). It has been reproduced in its entirety or as a collection of information gathered from multiple resources and research data. WIN is not liable for any inaccuracies found in any third party written articles or research.