Every morning I throw an apple into my bag for a midday snack, and I am always reminded of that old phrase, “An apple a day….,” but in reality I just like the taste of apples. I never really think about the health of my one serving of fruit, its vitamins or its nutrients. In truth, while I am aware of things that are deemed “healthy,” I never stop to think about what it really means to be healthy, and the amount of work that sometimes goes into the health industry. Health can improve life in many more ways than by generically “being good for you.” In fact when you think about it, so many of the great things in our lives come from staying physically healthy.
If anyone knows what hard work health can be, it is Dr. Simon Turner. His career is focused on working with sheep to reach the goal of what he calls “benefitting human health and ending suffering.” It sounds far-fetched, but the technology is very real. Because sheep have similar bone structures to human beings, Dr. Turner can use them to test techniques and devises that help with human orthopedic problems. His research has improved treatments for injuries, osteoporosis, and even cancerous bone.
What strikes me most about Dr. Turner and his work is his focus on human suffering. His work helps to ease physical pain, but really it does much more. Imagine what it must feel like to be debilitated by injury, always stuck in bed or on the couch, then finally being able to get up painlessly and enjoy a jog in the fresh summer air. Or what a big step it must be for a patient in a long battle with cancer to learn that their bones are disease free. Wounds are just as mental as they are physical, and the ability of research to battle difficult health issues has wonderful emotional side effects.
Dr. Turner will be explaining how his work serves the health of others, and how that work fits into a long historical relationship between animals and science, at Beet Street’s Science Cafe tonight. His talk will begin at 6:00pm at Stonehouse Grille, but be sure to come at 5:30pm if you would like to grab some food, drink, and a little social time beforehand.
Now, we can’t simply rely on doctors and researchers to make all medical miracles happen. There are so many little things that we do in our day to day lives that can nurture our bodies and souls. Just taking a stroll around one of Fort Collins’ gorgeous natural areas will put your mind as ease and get you in tune to the outdoors after working hard all day. Besides being a great physical exercise, walking has been shown to memory and even brighten your mood To double your positive mind/body vibes, take a friend with you. They will enjoy the benefits while you both build a stronger relationship. Locally grown produce gives you many of the the nutrients you need without any chemicals or additives, and when you pick it up at the Farmer’s Market over the weekend you also know that you are supporting your community (and we know that giving has great spiritual benefits as well). You probably do many of these things unconsciously. But I think that being aware of ourselves, of our minds and bodies, gives us more opportunities to take care of them.
As silly as it may seem, taking a bite of that apple really does make me feel better. I may not see the effects, or even think about it every day. But I am sure my body is affected, and so is my soul.
If you are looking for more Fort Collins events that boost your health, check these out:
Six Day Races at the CSU Oval
Nutritional Health Series at the Library
Preserving the Summer Harvest at the Gardens at Spring Creek
Free classes at Old Town Yoga
This week’s classes and festivals at Whole Foods Market
Fort Collins Parks and Trails