Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Would It Take?

The Question: What would it take? Where is the magical line, what is the metaphorical straw, that will push us over the edge into taking responsibility for our own good health? For some people, it takes a major health scare for them to make changes in their life. For others, sadly, even that is not enough.
At some point in all of our lives, health should become the number one priority. The question is if we will make it a priority now or will we let other circumstances decide for us? People often say that they are" too busy", "too broke", "too tired" to do what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle. How can that be? How can it be that living longer and better is not a bigger priority than making some extra money or watching TV? Isn't that what it really comes down to?
In the western world, we have the luxury of being able to trim and save a bit and then use those resources in other areas of our lives. Most of us drive cars, eat at restaurants, own iPods and televisions, and yet we "don’t have enough money or time to exercise for an hour a day"? We don’t make health enough of a priority to trade an hour of TV or reading or “relaxing” to do some exercise. Smart money says that, if we get chronically ill, suffer a heart attack, or undergo some other often preventable health episode, that we would then wish that we had spent a little more time dedicated to our health. That's the smart money, but, even then, I have seen that it's sometimes still not enough to force changes to be made.
 The money aspect of this discussion is often a tender spot for people. Personal trainers are not cheap; there is no debate in that. The question is would you rather drive a Cadillac or walk around in one? I often see $90k+ vehicles sitting in the McDonalds drive-through line. These same people could be driving a $30k vehicle, be seeing a personal trainer a couple of times per week, and changing their lives for the better, but the priority seems to be on their vehicle.
For many of us, of course, personal trainers and gym memberships are simply too expensive - even if budgets are trimmed and resources gathered. However, taking long walks, playing catch with our kids, and throwing a frisbee for an ever-eager pup, is absolutely free. Not only do those things give us health benefits, but they give back to us in many other ways. We will see sights on our walks that are beautiful and alien and astounding, we will forge a stronger, deeper bonds with our families, and we will give our pets even more reason for their unquenchable joy and, best part of all, we'll have a whole lot of fun. That's the beauty of exercise - we see the positive results in physical ways and also in mental, psychological, and emotional ways.
"What would it take?" - it's not a question that can be answered for somebody. It has to be answered according to our own values and ideals. Let's take a minute and think about what it would take for us. Let's be honest. Will we push on until that health scare moment arrives or will we take the necessary steps now to prevent that moment of crisis by instilling in ourselves the habits of a healthy lifestyle? 

~ Yoshia

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