How To Stop Your Health From Getting In The Way of Living Your Best Life
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided you agree with the concept of living your best life. You’re probably someone who knows all too well how it feels to want more and to feel motivated to achieve success and therefore create the life you want. Many people like you are also reaching for the stars, and with one, often fatal, concept absent from your mind. To achieve your success however it looks, sounds, and feels, to you, you will need to be alive, somewhat healthy, and energized to do it. I’d like to propose that while many people are out to achieve and succeed, they are over investing in success while underinvesting in the very thing that will make it either possible to achieve or enjoyable once they have achieved it; their health and wellbeing.
While the fountain of youth may still be undiscovered, the age-old quest for longer life still advances. The progression of scientific and medical technology is certainly keeping people alive for longer, and yet the majority of the conditions treated by these advancements are often completely avoidable and reversible in most cases. Have we gotten lazy and decided to accept the cure rather than avoid the cause? Are we deciding to live for today and let the medical community fix us further down the road?
Shockingly the statistics shape up like this:
98% of the U.S. population don't meet the minimum requirements for a healthy lifestyle
97% of the U.S. population believe they live a fair, good, or excellent lifestyle
Surprising right? I found it hard to believe too until I got into the health and wellness industry.
Most people I speak to believe they are already leading a good lifestyle and therefore don't believe there is anything to worry about, or worse; know they are living a poor lifestyle and believe they will be the exception to the rule and won’t be impacted by todays lifestyle choices tomorrow.
How does this happen?
Today, our minds have become conditioned for increasingly quick stimulus response relationships in which we expect to see the consequences of our actions sooner, rather than later. Think about how you feel when you click on a link and it doesn't load right away? How long does it take you to give up and move on?
Moreover, our minds have a limited capacity to take in information about the world around us and therefore have to filter our sensory inputs to select for information we deem as relevant and important to our experience and desired outcomes. This means we are able to systematically delete, distort, and generalize information to fit our ‘model of the world’. Here are two great examples:
1 - When confronted with the huge amount of information indicating someone who drinks excessively and smokes is at risk of many serious diseases who are highly likely to end their life much earlier than if they stopped, they often come up with ‘corner case examples’ such as “my aunt drank like a fish and smoked like a chimney and she lived until she was 90!” They are deleting all the statistical information, and then generalizing the experience of one person as a universal possibility. You’ve all heard this from someone I’m sure!
2 - When asked if someone leads a healthy lifestyle, someone thinks back over their recent salad eating activity, the hike they did last week, and the list of possible unhealthy activities they don’t do, and concludes they live a health lifestyle. These people are often surprised to learn a healthy lifestyle requires more active components than inactive i.e. doing good things rather than not doing bad ones, although in the case of smoking they do score the point on that one.
What can you do now?
A recent Harvard study found that there are five simple habits that can be adopted by anyone to add up to a decade to your life. These habits include:
Eating a healthy diet
Exercising for thirty minutes per day
Maintaining a normal weight
Limiting alcohol intake
Over a thirty-year study of over 120,000 individuals, Harvard researchers found that the more habits were picked up on and utilized, the longer the lifespan.
Men who adopted all five habits by age fifty lived twelve years longer on average than those who took up none, with a fourteen-year increase in lifespan for women. These same people were also 82% less likely to die of heart disease, and cancer death rates dropped 65%.
The statistics above unfortunately show that many people will not achieve the length or quality of life they believed possible, and with few exceptions, it will be because of things that were entirely inside their control. You only have one body in this life, and you kind of need it to make the vision you have possible, don’t you?
It’s easier than you think to live a happy, healthy, and full life, while reducing your risk of traumatic diseases such as cancer, and heart disease. The answer is not in medical treatment of chronic conditions, or in extreme dieting, but in your decision to value tomorrow today, to get back to basics, and to recognize the long-term consequences of living a poor lifestyle today.
I have provided a detailed how to guide for each area of a healthy lifestyle on my site and will be publishing one a week until they’re all available. Feel free to subscribe and enjoy!
Thanks for reading!