Your Health: Who’s fooling who?

In honor of April Fool’s Day, I decided to address the biggest joke out there, which happens to be one we play on ourselves every single day. I’m talking about your perception of your own health. Let me explain.

If you’re not sick, are you well?

If you’re not in pain, are you healthy and free from any disease?

It might be weird to hear this, but in our society it is less and less likely that you are well (despite how may you feel). And furthermore, it’s exactly for that reason…how you feel. For example, let’s discuss heart disease (a $403 Billion cost in the U.S. per year1). Typically the first symptom of heart disease is death from a heart attack. Thus, the reason it’s called a silent killer. In all probability, the 700,000 people that die from heart disease each year had no idea they had it until it was too late2. Furthermore, this isn’t the only silent killer.

Type II diabetes is another example. In fact, most lifestyle diseases are silent killers. We often don’t realize we have cancer until it’s usually in its advanced stages. What we fail to realize is that even with disease there is cause… then effects. Disease first… symptoms later. We don’t have symptoms before getting the disease. In all likelihood, it could be weeks, months, or even years from when we first contracted the disease before we even feel the effects of it! And yet, we’re a society obsessed about treating symptoms! We often feel that if we can cover these up that we’re healthy. Does this even sound rational? Yet, like you, I’ve been guilty of this in the past.

This discussion is not meant to scare you, but make you aware that you must be proactive with your health. As the late President John F. Kennedy said, “The best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. And so, my message here is to have you first start a plan of action.

Action Steps:

  1. Seek out health professionals to make sure you live a long and healthy life.
    1. That means seeing a dentist before you get a cavity
    2. Going to your doctor to get a physical when you feel fine
    3. Seeing your chiropractor to check your spine and nervous system
    4. Seeing a therapist to work out some of your stress.
  2. Develop a lifestyle that minimizes health risks.
    1. Decide how to phase out poor habits.
    2. Taking a quality vitamin (more on that later).
    3. Developing a meal plan where you choose a wise and nutritious plan versus a hastily formed, poor diet option.
    4. Exercising on a regular basis.
    5. Using relaxation methods to decrease the negative impact of your hectic lifestyle.
  3. Educate yourself about your body.
    1. Continue reading blogs, articles, and newsletters to hear passionate people talk health.
    2. Pick up a book about nutrition, exercise, or other healthy habits.

In all reality, it is the choices we make each day that make the biggest impact on our health. Decide on long-lasting changes rather than just until you lose some weight or until my high school reunion because the effects won’t last and you’ll end up only disappointing yourself from failure to adhere.

References:

  1. 1. Circulation 2003.
  2. 2. National Vitals Statistics Report, 2003.