Sadly, far too many people face health emergencies at some point in their lives. Sadder still is that so many of these can be avoided with the right action plan. In the insurance industry, they talk about hazard and risk. Hazard is the identification of what bad event might happen. This could be as wide ranging as being hit by a falling meteor to slipping on the ice. Risk is the prediction of likelihood of the event. So for the meteor strike, the odds are millions to one that it will not happen whereas the chance of slipping on an icy surfac is near 100% at some time in our lives if we live where freezing occurs. That risk drops to near zero in the tropics. I think you get the picture.
In terms of avoidable health risks, we know for example, that smoking greatly increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Sometimes nonsmokers get it, but the odds are so low as to be statistically insignificant (unless you work with asbestos or chemical solvents). Smoking also increases the risk of cardio-vascular disease. Obesity afflicts a hugh portion of the population and is also a major risk factor for cardio-vascular disease. For overweight smokers, it is a matter of when, not if. Obesity also is a major risk factor for developing certain types of cancer, most notibly rectal-colon. And finally, it is a major factor for developing diabetes which then leads to cardio-vascular disease and very often kidney failure. Sorry to be such a downer, but we just covered the leading causes of premature death in Americal. And yes, it is that simple.
To go a step farther, a person can be a non-smoker and not overweight and still be in poor health. A heart weakend by a sedentary lifestyle is prone to failure. A diet lacking in essential nutrients will leave a person with a weak immune system and at risk for many forms of cancer and other afflictions. An unfit body is more prone to slips, trips and falls as well as the number one cause of time lost from work, back injury.
If these facts won’t motivate you, then lets consider your body as a house filled with valuables. You can a) hope that nothing happens, but if it does, trust the fire department to come and put out the blaze before irreparable damage is done. Or b), put in a good alarm system with smoke detectors and heat sensors for early detection. Or c) you can have a sound fire prevention plan by doing everything possible to lessen the chance of a fire. Please note that plan b still depends on plan a.
Compare the above plan to our own health care system. Plan a is to do nothing proactive but trust the medical system to cure us when we get sick. Plan b is what we hear all the time in the media and is falsely called prevention but is actually early detection; annual physicals, colonoscopy, pap smears and mammograms. Then if they find something….well it is easier to put out a small fire than a raging inferno, but there is bound to be smoke and water damage. Plan c requires educating yourself whether it’s recognizing an overloaded circuit or our own body’s nutritional requirements. But with plan c, there is no emergency; no damage. The structure is intact and we continue to use it everyday. In fact, it is probably the best maintained structure on the block, looks great, and will outlast its neighbors.
So how is your “house”? Is it in good shape or is it overdue for maintenance and repair? It is not too late. If you don’t know where to start, get a professional assessment. Get on a regiment of appropriate exercise and sound nutrition that will stack the odds in your favor. We at RTowne are anxious to steer you down the road to true wellness but ultimately, it is an individual choice that only you can make.