I have great news for everyone reading this column today. You may be able to improve your health dramatically in the next 180 days.
The most significant health threats of this generation are often the result of poor personal choices.
Most premature deaths and ill health will be caused by obesity, poor nutrition, insufficient exercise, choosing to engage in risky behavior and general neglect of our health.
Although there are numerous doctors and other excellent health professionals standing ready to assist us in recovery efforts once our health has failed, these fine people cannot restore our health for us.
Being proactive is the only way to protect and enhance our health status.
Becoming better informed about how our body functions and how to improve our health is one of the best investments we could ever make.
I have found that most of the patients I have seen over the years do take an interest in learning more about how to prevent the problems that brought them to my office. In many cases one of the most valuable services my office can provide is teaching.
Unfortunately we are all subjected to a steady barrage of misinformation on a daily basis. In this information age it has never been more important to be selective in believing what we read or watch.
It seems every information source including newscasts now have a blatant agenda. We are merely the media-consuming pawns of financial and political interests.
To become more knowledgeable about our health and how our bodies function, it is important to look beyond the easy reading section of popular magazines, blogs and television commercials. These appealing items are all sponsored by someone wanting our money.
Better health is not dependent on the latest gimmicky trends.
We can likely improve our health by behaving more like our great grandmother or grandfather did in their day.
One of the most beneficial steps we could make would be to focus on eating more real foods. The closest thing we can get to pure, unprocessed, unadulterated real food the better.
This may be one of the most difficult steps as well. Finding real foods is becoming more difficult as grocers, food services and vendors constantly shift toward more processed food items with unnatural ingredients that can be produced more cheaply and have longer shelf lives.
For many the next step would be to get moving. This is so hard for many people due to our schedules and current habits. Start from where you are. Whatever improvements you make in your routine will be steps to better health.
Another valuable step is to review your priorities in life. Whatever you currently spend the most time on is your greatest priority. Although we tend to think that we have certain priorities in life, once we stop to evaluate how we actually spend our time we are likely to realize our behavior doesn’t match our ideals.
To reduce the personal costs of risk taking, it is important to take a hard look at the activities we are involved in and the habits that we have drifted into. In many cases we are exposing ourselves or our children to risks unnecessarily.
Most people who enjoy good health these days are pretty independent thinkers. They are comfortable making their own decisions rather following the next trend.
Financial counselor Dave Ramsey has a famous quote that goes “Live like no one else so that you can live like no one else.” By that he means make financial choices today that tend to preserve cash and build wealth so that later in life you can live well and have greater financial independence. Since few people actually plan how they use their financial resources, to do this you would be living like no one else.
I recommend that you take the same perspective with regard to your health. Make smart choices today that are contrary to following the crowd. Considering that the majority of adults in this generation will be facing chronic illness by the time they reach age fifty, to take an alternate path would likely be a good thing.
Making the right choices today will lead to enhanced health and more enjoyment of tomorrow.