Protect Your Health- Treat Your Body Like Your Favorite Car

Why can’t we take as good care of our bodies as we do of our cars? If we “turn the radio off” and listen to the “rattles” in our body, most all the information we need to be healthier and pain free is there.

I always like to start my computer ergonomics class with the car and other analogies, which goes like this:

How many of you here today currently own your most favorite car you ever had? Or have you already owned your most favorite car in the past?

Do you take this car in for routine scheduled maintenance? Do you change the oil on schedule? Do you get the tires rotated and balanced routinely?

Ever put the wrong fuel in this car on purpose? That would be insanity!

Do you take pride in taking great care of the car?

I currently own my most favorite car I ever had. I’ve had her since 1997. I put in better fuel than I have to. I go in for routine maintenance every 10,000 miles. I get her professionally detailed once or twice a year. I still park at the back of the parking lot, in an end spot, to minimize door bangs.

Just like maintaining a car, we need to put effort into health maintenance. It takes a lot to maintain a body!

We're proud of our favorite car and take good care of it.
We're proud of our favorite car and take good care of it. | Source

Pride in All We Do

What about a house? How many of you own your own home? Do you take pride in taking care of your home? Every house is a money pit, am I right?

Do you take pride in taking good care of your family? Your co-workers? Your boss, even if he or she does not deserve it?

We take pride in taking care of our things, and the people around us. Sadly we are teaching our children and our junior co-workers that, when you get older, when you get to my station in life, take care of everyone and everything around you, but you do not have time to take care of yourself.

Don't drive your body until you're run down or hit a wall
Don't drive your body until you're run down or hit a wall | Source

Turn the Radio Down and Listen for the Rattles

What happens when you hear a rattle in your most favorite car you ever had?

You turn the radio off. If someone is riding with you, you shhh them. You may even roll the window down. Listen! Do you hear that? Where is that coming from? You may even have your mechanic on speed dial. I know my mechanic’s wife and girls, and the doxies.

But what happens when we hear a rattle in our body? We turn the radio up!

How many times have patients said to me, “When I turned 40, I just fell apart overnight!” This meaning, they had a cascade of aches and pains, and maybe a few chronic health diagnoses that all seemed to happen in a very short period of time.

But here’s a newsflash: No one falls apart overnight. We just reach a point where we can’t turn the radio any louder. Now you hear the rattles in the old car.

Don't wait until you're broken to listen to your body
Don't wait until you're broken to listen to your body | Source

What is Your Body Telling You?

So what are you going to do about it?

Turn the radio down, and listen for your rattles. If you think you fell apart overnight, you have rattles. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Your body is trying so hard to communicate with you! Don’t make your body have to yell again. You may be pleasantly surprised at the practical things your body has to tell you.

You have to be of the right mindset to listen to your body though. Here are a few stark realities: It doesn’t matter what you used to be able to do. I used to be younger, thinner, and more beautiful. How is that valid now, to the current “conversation”? Here’s a very important reality: The less and less young you get, the less and less you can continue to abuse your body and your brain in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed, and still get by with it.

Time to start letting go of some of those crazy obsessive things you do. Learn to accept that hired lawn services won’t do it like you would do it. Know that it’s really pretty crazy to mop your kitchen every day. Is the world really going to stop turning if the car gets washed every 2 weeks instead of weekly?

Don't Keep Overdoing It

You can hold on to what you used to do. You can keep trying to turn the radio up. You can try to continue denying that you are getting less and less young. You can resent that there are aches and pains in your body, and try to continue ignoring them.

Or you can try to open the dialogue with your body. Turn down the radio. What do you hear? Lovingly do your routine maintenance. You can buy a new car. You can buy a new house. There are no trade-ins on a new body.

Do you wake up with pain?

Do you already know when you do certain activities, you will pay for it later? Duh.

Don’t do all of your Spring cleaning in 2 days. There’s not really a deadline.

Don’t re-landscape the entire yard in one weekend.

Do you really have to use the edger and the weed eater every time you mow?

Do you have to crochet for 8 hours a day?

Do you get enough sleep?

Do you take micro breaks throughout the day when you are working?

Do you ice your wrist, or shoulder or knee when you overdo it?

Do you stretch daily?
Do you stretch daily? | Source

A Little Prevention...

Do you stretch before and after strenuous activity?

Do you take it easy with activity for a day or two after you overdo it?

Do you have coping strategies that you regularly use for coping with stress?

Do you monitor your blood pressure?

Do you have a physical every 1-2 years?

Do you have a dental exam every 1-2 years? Do you have your teeth cleaned once or twice a year?

Do you have regular mammograms, pap smears, or prostate exams?

Do you know when you should have your first colonoscopy?

Do you know when you should have a scan for osteoporosis?

Did you know it’s okay to say to your provider that it’s been a long time since you’ve had routine blood work and you’d like to rectify that?

Maybe you can park your car at the back of the parking lot and walk to the store or to work, but maybe you shouldn’t take the stairs anymore if your hips and knees don’t like that.

Like talking to plants, talk to your body. You love this body don’t you? Tell your body you love and respect it. Do whatever is within your power to make your body harmonious.

SO please, consider what I’ve said. Start turning the radio down. Listen to your body. Lovingly do your health maintenance.

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Comments 14 comments

lyricsingray 7 years ago

Great Concept!!!

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks lyricsingray for stopping by and for the compliment.

myownworld profile image

myownworld 7 years ago from uk

i really enjoyed this..esp. the analogy btw. the body and car. And the questions really make you wonder how most of us never know when to stop. Thanks for sharing!

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks MOW. The analogy really seemed to bring it home so to speak for my clients.

robertsloan2 profile image

robertsloan2 7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

I've had some better results since I started to slow down and stop doing the things that wreck my back. Unfortunately a lot of times in life, survival demanded I do those things no matter what they did to me or how much recovery time it took afterward. I look back at some of what I did, especially what I did when I was underage and blindly doing what I was supposed to by rules for undisabled kids, and wonder how I even survived it.

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

I appreciate your comments Robert. Why can't we develop a culture of trusting ourselves and doctors trusting patients?As I think you've attested, it takes a long time to trust yourself, and say no when you need to, after a lifetime of being judged and made to feel that you had to do things against your own better judgement.

chenmikehk profile image

chenmikehk 7 years ago from North Borneo, Malaysia

Good read and yes, some people love their car more than themselves or their family sadly.

You suggested link exchange with my hub 'Plan to Live Well'. How do we do that?

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

See above chenmikehk. I went ahead and added a link capsule with your hub along with my other HubMob hubs. I'll contact you from your profile.

ss sneh profile image

ss sneh 6 years ago from the Incredible India!

Hi! Nice Hub!

Being an automobile specialist I would rather say the opposite- treat your car as an extension of your body...understand it, feel it, enjoy it... -- Thanks

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for your comment ss. Unfortunately I found my clients (many of them active duty military) could not relate to body and health maintenance as such. They did however usually have something that they believed in taking good care of.

InfinityVal profile image

InfinityVal 6 years ago from NNY

I've thought this same thing myself - it shows me how wonderfully tolerant and adaptive our bodies are.

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for visiting Val.

MyLovely1 profile image

MyLovely1 5 years ago

I always enjoyed this analogy .... I actually first saw the idea on a SDA pamphlet. I also heard that one's husband will treat you the same way they treat THEIR favorite car .... so pick a hubby who enjoys spending $$$ keeping up his classic car.

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for reading and commenting MyLovely.

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