The impacts of a healthy lifestyle are so great that they cannot be (in my opinion) calculated… neither directly nor indirectly. There is so much research telling us to be more active and get more exercise yet we remain ambivalent… why?
I don’t think it’s for one particular reason, but rather an amalgamation of different lifestyles, responsibilities, and ease. In the United States we are too busy to cook for ourselves, too busy to shop often for fresh produce, and, more often than not, too busy to actually sit down and eat.
As a chiropractic physician, I harbor an active interest in preventative care and healthy lifestyles. Utilizing this approach, my goal is to prevent chronic diseases, which now plague the United States and account for the largest increase in healthcare costs in the recent decades.
People often wonder about the life expectancies in other countries, and why ours is lower, although we spend more of our gross domestic product on healthcare. The answer is that most other nations …. yep, you guessed it… lead healthier lives. I was discussing this topic the other day with some co-workers of mine, and they told me about some friends of theirs from Europe who lead what we would call “busy” lives, yet they go to the market every one or two days to buy fresh vegetables, meat, milk, etc. These Europeans were also surprised that we do not do this here in the U.S.
Other examples from around the world also argue for the benefits of healthier choices. People in Asia eat more fresh fish, rice, and vegetables, as well as bicycle or walk as a primary mode of transportation. Simply put, aside from serious and unfortunate circumstances, our health is our own responsibility.
The message is simple… the formula is simple… but we have yet to embrace the transformation. I said earlier that costs cannot be calculated. Eating healthier and exercising more can reduce medical costs down the road, cooking can be therapeutic and a stress reliever and eating as a family has a plethora of added benefits.
We should rethink our positions on this...