Living life in Thirds (part 1 of 3)
Where are you in your “health” life? Is your health where you want it to be? For the most part we focus on our wellness as it exists today, not where it will be in 10, 20 or 30 years. Is it because that is a daunting thought? Focusing on today and the next few months is hard enough. How are we expected to look beyond that? Life gets in the way because today has priority – bills, job, family, friends, relationships, politics, etc. – the list is long. Since we have to navigate through the short term our focus understandably isn’t on the long term.
But what if there were easy, simple ways to live our lives today that give us our best chance at good health tomorrow and will increase our longevity? Think about it, there are 3 possible outcomes of your lifestyle today. First, you can give yourself the best chance of enjoying your life both mentally and physically. Second, you can live a life that may result in an early death but you are willing to risk the tradeoff. And third, the worst case scenario, you can live a life that may result in an early death, only it doesn’t. You may be mentally sharp but in a wheelchair or on dialysis, and just as bad, you may be physically capable but with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Our current lifestyle is as if we were sitting up on a tee waiting for some golfer to whack us down the fairway. Who knows where it will go. We are inviting acute and chronic disease into our lives with our current lifestyles. And it’s all so avoidable. Our lives today are built around stressors at every corner. Everything either introduces or welcomes stress and there is no escaping unless we are intentional about it. We wake up to stress, live it all day and then bring it home, getting our last dose as we check our phones before going to sleep.
Our bodies were not built for this – being chased by the bear all day. Stress in small but continual doses leads to chronic stress which leads to inflammation of the blood which leads to lack of motivation in the short term and disease in the long term. Take your pick – cardiovascular, stroke, diabetes, cancer – any number of deadly results that could be avoided.
For the last third of my life I choose the first option and will live it in a way I can enjoy both mentally and physically. I will avoid the most likely outcome for the majority of people who make poor longevity choices who die at an early age or worse, live a long life but are not there either mentally or physically. The sad thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of work to choose a healthy lifestyle and option 1, but it does require some effort today.
Where are you in your “health” life? Take comfort in the fact that you don’t need an overwhelming list of time consuming activities to enjoy option 1 nor is it too late to start.
Stay tuned for part 2 of 3 to learn about easy, simple techniques that can take you there.