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Fitness Factor 5: Environmental Fitness

By Roland Pankewich

We have come to arguably my favorite topic in this series because I believe that environment contains both the lowest hanging fruit and also the areas that contribute to the BIGGEST overall shifts that are possible for someone on the health journey. There is an old saying that states; you cannot heal in the same environment in which you got sick. If you take that as a general statement then do an analysis of just how insidiously sick our day-to-day environments can be, I think you will understand the importance of this statement if you are one who is on their own personal health journey. Let’s dive in!

I think of environment in 2 specific contexts;

  • The one which you live in that surrounds you (external environment)
  • The one which is within you (internal environment)

There is a mutually exclusive relationship between these 2 in the sense that if you shift one, the other automatically has to change. For example, if your internal environment is NOT healthy (physically), there is a good chance your external environment is a match for that meaning that it is not optimized for your well being in a way which is priority. The opposite is also true. Let’s say you have read this article and it has inspired you to start becoming more aware of the things you can do to change your environment (an internal shift of awareness). You will probably take action and make changes to improve your external environment as a result. This is a wonderfully reciprocal thing! Changes within yield changes without! All that being said, to become aware of this, we need to know what an “optimal” environment should look like to know how far away we are from living within one. This is where we have to understand how far humanity has really moved away from optimal and how we have allowed some awful things to take up residence in our “normal” environment. We haven’t changed much genetically over the last 200,000 years but our external environment sure has. This, I feel, is the big disconnect.

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, human-kind has introduced somewhere north of 40,000 chemicals into the planet’s ecosystem. Factory farming, industrial manufacturing, air-borne pollution, man-made electromagnetic fields have all generated end products that are part of a normal house-hold. The food we eat, the water we drink, the light pollution and EMF frequencies we are bombarded with are foundational things we ingest everyday that contribute a certain toxic burden. In addition to this, the act of simply being hygienic or creating a home environment has an element of toxicity to it via the personal care products, household cleaning products, and even the furniture we use/sleep on ALL have the fingerprints of our toxic environmental manufacturing processes as it off gasses. Fighting against this process on a global scale is a tough one that is likely slow to shift because it is at a societal level. That being said change IS possible at the level of the individual, and when people of similar minds start to share info, we can quickly create a wave of change! The other good news is that these specific categories in life;

  • food
  • water
  • air
  • light/EMF
  • personal care products
  • household products
  • non-physical toxins (TV, music, movies, thoughts)

are ALL within our conscious control should we care to dedicate the necessary energy and effort to create the changes that better reflect our desires for improved health. This is where the internal environment starts to shift, and drives big changes within the external environment because let’s be honest, you can take all the high-quality supplements you want, if you don’t nail the basics of health, supplements don’t have a chance to move the needle that much. So, then the question becomes what does one do? Well, the exact details would require a series of separate articles but here is a point and shoot list of categories and action items which will help you start making changes tomorrow;

Food

  • When able, buy organic or adhere to the EWG working group’s list of the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen to reduce chemical pesticide burden with the food you eat. Eat wild caught fish and naturally raised meat, when possible, also. The closer to nature your food, the better and cleaner it likely is!

Water

  • Use a high-quality water filter such as a Berkey or an RO system for drinking water and a shower filter to help protect the skin microbiome. Tap water while safe contains many contaminants that add toxic burdens to our system simply by drinking it.

Air

  • Filter the indoor air with a HEPA style filter and upgrade your HVAC filter to the highest quality available. It’s a good idea to open your windows daily to let some fresh air circulate.

Lights/EMF

  • High-efficiency lights are great for the pocket book but awful for health and wellbeing. Looking for LEDs with the blue dominant spectrum removed or ones that mimic full spectrum light are more ideally suited to the human circadian rhythm, sleep habits, and energy levels overall. Consider turning your WIFI off at night also when its not needed

Personal Care Products & household cleaners

  • Everyday the average human is exposed to hundreds of chemicals via thigs they put on their skin (absorbs into the body) or what we use to keep our home environments free of dirt. Looking for more natural solutions which are free of common chemical irritants is a VERY underrated way to lower your toxic exposure.

Non-Physical Toxins

  • What you listen too, what you watch, how often you scroll, what you choose to think ALL coalesce to add to your health (if resonant with it) or take away (if they incite fear and general negativity). Be mindful of what you feed your subconscious mind. This underpins your reality. 

When we do this, and pair it with utilizing health-promoting supplements which help process toxins out of our system, we create a better dynamic balance of lowered toxic burden in our external environment ALONG WITH greater ability to process internally stored toxins. The same advice is always true, treat your internal body like the temple it is, but be mindful of the external environment you keep. To be truly healthy, it has to resonate with the one you desire inside. Thank you for reading as always and see you next month!

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