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Perspectives

With over 15 years of wide-ranging and in-depth experience and expertise in exercise science, nutrition, fitness, health promotion, rehabilitation, behavior change, and applied research, Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin can draw on virtually any subject that falls within the realm of self-care. While her social views are moderately liberal, her perspectives on health and wellness are surprisingly conservative. Dr. Nina emphasizes personal accountability and she doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to this subject matter.

WOMEN’S HEALTH

As women, we tirelessly work every day to support the overall health and wellbeing of those we care about, oftentimes, at our own expense.

There’s no doubt that women have an amazing ability to thrive no matter what circumstances we face. We tackle our jobs (sometimes multiple jobs), we take care of our significant others, our children, our parents and our friends and still manage to look our absolute best and rock our natural beauty. Problem is, despite these inherent capabilities, we often put our mental and physical health needs on the backburner and then wind up feeling sick, tired, and depressed. As a health expert and blogger, avid athlete, wife and mother, I am continuously striving to offer practical and affordable solutions that make it easier for women to put their health first.

HEALTH & DISEASE

Exercise is medicine and optimal nutrition is an enabler of good health.

I believe that human beings are designed to be physically active and that not doing so creates physiological imbalances within the body that ultimately contribute to obesity and related health problems. In the not so distant past, human beings were required to perform strenuous physical activity daily, as they had to hunt and gather food and constantly roam for shelter. Food supplies were scarce and unpredictable and it was nearly impossible to overconsume on a daily basis. Although people are no longer required to hunt and gather for survival, these behavioral patterns our engrained within us. As such, we must strive to create environments that promote regular physical activity and sensible eating in order to maintain optimal health.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Physical fitness doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Oftentimes I’ve had to give people a lot of tough love because the way I see it, many, perhaps unknowingly, use their ‘busy’ lives as an excuse for not becoming physically fit. Fitness is simply a general state of being healthy and while it is usually a result of exercise and good nutrition habits, it doesn’t always require structured exercise in a gym or a tightly regulated dieting program. People can achieve an optimal level of fitness by making subtle changes in their lifestyle and sticking with them.

DIETING & WEIGHT LOSS

I promote dieting resources that encourage a balanced approach to weight loss.

People who are trying to lose weight often fall victim to one or more of the hundreds of dieting programs and books on the mainstream market. Some of these do actually contain useful advice and tips but, unfortunately, most make empty promises. Dieting resources that encourage a balanced approach to weight loss are the only ones that are effective over the long-term. A balanced approach is one that includes regular exercise and other forms of physical activity, a sensible diet based on sound nutrition, and realistic strategies for long-term weight maintenance.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

While childhood obesity is a nationwide problem and children are indeed in a ‘crisis’, it all begins at home, plain and simple.

Children are not to blame for their overweight or obese state, as many don’t know any better, especially if they haven’t been exposed to positive lifestyle behaviors. As role models, parents need to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits so that their children acquire such patterns of behavior. Healthy people become healthy parents and healthy parents will more than likely promote positive behaviors in their children.

HEALTH CARE REFORM

In my opinion, society in general has failed to promote a culture of disease prevention and personal accountability and we’re paying for it.

In the United States alone physical inactivity accounts for about 250,000 deaths each year and approximately $24 billion a year in health care costs. Medications are now prescribed at the earliest signs of diseases like high blood pressure (hypertension) and type 2 diabetes, which are amendable, and, in some cases, reversible with positive lifestyle modifications. Given current debates over comprehensive health care reform, there definitely needs to be more of a drive to implement mandates that emphasize disease prevention through physical activity and health awareness in order to shift the paradigm to one that focuses on proactive versus reactive approaches to health and health care management.