What is a good health “impression”? Let’s start with a few simple analogies to help explain.
Growing up, we were told never to “judge a book by its cover.” If we did that we’d miss out reading a great book, simply because there wasn’t a great picture on the cover compelling us to open it. It’s interesting how a simple piece of advice can apply to other areas of our life. Take, for example, meeting a new person. Will we make a snap judgement about them without getting to know them? Or, what about purchasing a new home? Will we miss the potential in a piece of real estate because the house is in need of an exterior paint job? There is also a flip side to this lesson, as well. Do we make the assumption that a pretty package automatically makes something good for us? Common sense would tell us that it doesn’t. But how many times do we make the decision based on appearance alone for the sake of a good health “impression”?
When it comes to our health, the same philosophy can be applied. Judging our personal health by what we see on the outside can be deceiving. Deceiving and deadly. Many times, the last sign we see that something is wrong with our health is the one on the surface. Take, for example, high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation, hormone imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies. Just because we can’t see the effects of these conditions doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Yet, how many of us do just that? It’s almost like we’d rather wait until it’s a four-alarm fire before we acknowledge there is a problem with our health.
The difference is choosing to be on the offense, versus the defense, when it comes to protecting our most cherished possession – our health. For too long, many of us have been on the defense, blocking the curve balls that life throws at us as we age. We seem to prefer reacting to health scares and challenges, rather than investing in prevention. But, what an easier road we could travel if we chose the offensive approach. Choosing to take the steps each and every day to give our body what it needs to serve us well. Daily steps such as:
- Staying physically active
- Getting the recommended sleep each night
- Drinking alcohol with moderation
- Not smoking
- Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein
- Creating a baseline of our health so we can anticipate problems before they arise
- Learning to listen to how we feel each day
- Advocating for ourselves
- Relying less on the “truths” of big business and the media
- Assuming less
Healthy aging requires nothing more than our willingness to not be passive any longer. To challenge the status quo so that we can reap the benefits with good health. Removing our assumptions enables us to enjoy a better quality of life, for ourselves and those we love.