…Because You Have To
Ok, so last week we talked about (cue The Imperial March) “The Death Party” stripping a large portion of the population from their insurance. Ok, so, not sure if that is going to go down or not, but ultimately, we are living in an unstable time, and we have to be prepared to take good care of ourselves and not necessarily rely on the health care community to do it for us. We spent a mighty lot of time on diet, which is still probably the most important thing we can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but there is more we can do.
I think people generally fall into two categories here. The first is: been there, do that. These are the people that are already religious exercisers and they can check that off the list of their “health to-do list”. The second is: I am not an exerciser and I am intimidated by the idea (basically a can’t/won’t attitude). The American Heart Association has a pretty well-defined set of recommendations for improving overall cardiovascular health as well as for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. But, I really like what they say on the bottom of the page (so I’ll quote it here)
“Something is always better than nothing!
And everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you’ve been sedentary for years, today is the day you can begin to make healthy changes in your life. If you don’t think you’ll make it for 30 or 40 minutes, set a reachable goal for today. You can work up toward your overall goal by increasing your time as you get stronger. Don’t let all-or-nothing thinking rob you of doing what you can every day.”
Well said, you really have to incorporate some kind of exercise plan if you want to age healthily. We are going to state a couple of obvious ones here:
- don’t smoke, don’t drink too much. We can call this the “no fun” recommendations, but they are really important.
- Be “sun-safe” – we are becoming more and more aware of how important this is. Only 30 years ago or so people were applying tanning oils instead of sunscreen so they could look bronze. Parents didn’t even think about applying sunscreen to their kids every 2 hours, so now we have a generation of adults who burnt, blistered, and peeled and have the sunspots and melanoma to prove it. The problem is, there is increasing evidence that many of the big brand sunscreens may be toxic. So, what is a person (or parent) to do? My number 1 tip for sun safety is: cover up and find shade. My kids (4 and 5-year-old boys) wear board shorts, a swim shirt, and a hat to the pool (I convince them to wear the hat by telling them I won’t have to sunscreen their faces….easy sell) so all I really need to do is spray their ankles and they are good to go. And, clothes don’t wear off in 2 hours, it’s set it and forget it. I have started wearing swim shirts too because the upper back and shoulders are some of the first spots to get burnt.
One thing to never forget is to cover the tops of your ears, your nose, and your lips. Those areas get relentless sun (ever hear of Mohs Surgery? I’d say about 95% it takes place in one of those spots) and they are easy to forget. So regardless, you are going to have to use sunscreen somewhere/sometimes, so what kind should you use? Here is a list (and some reasons why it is so important to be careful with your decision) of safer sunscreens to use.
The point is, there are so many things that we can do to keep ourselves healthy without any help from the medical community. So much of our chronic illness are preventable just by living well, and living well means aging well.
If you have questions or just need some more guidance on how to get started on a healthier regimen don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Follow us on Facebook and on YouTube for reviews and quick tips and tricks!
So stay well, until next time….Dr. Kent