Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all served notice to young Baby Boomers of the important need to take care of your health. Some listened but most of us didn’t. We went year after year ignoring our health. Maybe we simply thought as long as we avoided drugs we would be fine. But the years of physical abuse on our bodies by our own hands is taking its toll. If you are going to live without regrets about your health you must become proactive.
I attended my ten-year high school class reunion and it startled me when I noticed how rough some of them looked. They looked like they had been pulled through a small knothole forward and backward 100 times. They appeared to be 10 years older than some of the other students.
Why did they look so rough? All I can do is guess but they were the kids who chased drugs and had Monday morning hangovers. Perhaps through the years they had continued their destructive disregard for their bodies? When it came to their health they failed to live without regrets.
Drugs and alcohol never interested me. Neither did smoking. But for most of my adult life I’ve been over weight. Carrying too much weight has put unnecessary stress on every body part. I should’ve taken better care of myself.
The happiest day of high school career happened when I walked out of the last day of gym class. I hated gym class with a demonic passion. It’s embarrassing to be unable to do a single push up. And I’ll never forget running outside on the track and getting lapped by every classmate. Yes, leaving gym class for the last time might the highlight of high school.
But my dislike of physical exercise did not serve me well. As years turned into decades my weight increased. It has harmed my body because I made bad choices. To live without regrets regarding my health meant I needed to make changes.
What about you? When it comes to your health have you discovered how to live without regrets? Yes, with age comes a variety of health issues. And many of them come through no fault of our own. We did nothing to bring many of our health concerns into our life.
Instead, I’m wondering about the decisions you’ve made which have impacted your health.
For example, as a teen I remember old people complaining about how loud we listened to our rock and roll music. They didn’t seem to understand you couldn’t really listen to the Rolling Stones unless the music bounced off the walls of your chest. How many times were we warned, “You better turn the music down or you’re gonna go deaf.” Who cares? (“Shut up old man.“) But guess what? Huh? Speak up. What did you say?
Why Did We Allow Our Destructive Health Habits to Continue?
In these later years of life. I find myself looking back wondering why I didn’t make every effort to liver without regrets and take better care of my health. In answering this question we find motivation to start addressing the issue of our personal health.
We Failed To Live Without Regrets Because We Felt Indestructible.
In our youth we felt as though we would live forever. We had little exposure to the tragedy of death. None of our friends or relatives had died. We had not even attended a funeral. We were convinced death called only on the old. So we plunged forward into life not yet realizing death can come to anyone at any age.
In our youth we felt like a relative of Superman. We could run fast, jump long, dunk a basketball, and shovel snow for hours. At the end of a long day, we were tired, but after a good night’s sleep we were ready to roll the next morning. And, like Superman, nothing could hurt us.
If we had only realized years ago we were not related to Superman. Now, looking into the mirror, we see the proof staring back at us.
We Failed to Live Without Regrets Because We Thought Bad Health Only Happened To Others.
As we were growing up we heard stories of young people who ignored their health and as a result passed away. But those exceptions lived on the other side of town or were a friend of Uncle Billy. It never crossed our mind the same thing could happen to us if we disregarded our health.
We Failed to Live Without Regrets Because We Convinced Ourselves We Didn’t Have The Time To Pursue Health.
Books on time management have sold well these last several decades and continue to do so. Why? We all feel the stress and strain of not enough time in the day. Who needs one more agenda item to an already booked schedule?
No wonder we decided not to address the issue of destructive health habits. If we could afford to worry about such things a lack of time killed the idea. And it does take time to exercise, eat right, and be a steward of your health. We failed to take into account, however, the high importance of guarding our health.
What Can We Do To Minimize The Possibility of Health Related Regret?
To Live Without Regrets Call The Doctor And Make An Appointment Now.
I have a friend who is battling colon cancer. His journey has followed a sad but typical pattern: detection, surgery, chemotherapy, and the announced hope of “everything is fine.” But it wasn’t. It’s still growing and appearing in frightening places.
My friend uses courage to write about his journey. In a poignant moment he shared to never having a colonoscopy. And then seizing the opportunity, and turning it into a teachable moment, he pleaded with all readers not to make the same mistake.
If only he had called the doctor earlier. His entire battle with cancer may have been avoided.
To minimize possible regrets about your health take a moment and get a check up. How long since you’ve had some important but routine tests?
There are many excuses for why you’ve not called the doctor.
Maybe your health insurance is terrible. You feel you can’t afford to see the doctor. But I’m sure my friend would rather gotten a colonoscopy and financed it through the bank than face what he is facing. Don’t use money as an excuse for failing to take care of your health.
Maybe you are fearful of doctors. “White coat syndrome,” the fear of doctors, is very real. Let’s say it another way. You are not afraid of doctors. You are afraid of what the doctor might uncover. But that’s the point. IF there is something wrong you want the doctor to uncover it so you can correct the problem.
Remind yourself the majority of serious medical issues do not get better on their own. And if the check up turns up nothing to worry about then you have peace of mind about your health.
Maybe you feel fine. You ask yourself why go to the doctor when you don’t feel sick. A great question with an obvious answer: you might be sick and not know it. One of the struggles I have about health as I age is knowing how I’m supposed to feel at 60. I’m anticipating my body to be in decline but how do I know if the burning sensation in my should is just part of the aging process? Answer: go to the doctor.
To Live Without Regrets Start Walking 20 Minutes a Day Now.
The benefits of walking 20 minutes a day cannot be over estimated. Take a look at the books written about walking. A quick trip to Amazon.com reveals the wide-spread optimism regarding the benefits of walking.
- Walking: The Complete Guide To the Complete Exercise
- ChiWalking: Fitness Walking for Lifelong Health and Energy
- Walking: Walking for Weight Loss: Get in Shape, Feel Confident, and Be Healthier For Life
- Walking Your Blues Away: How To Heal The Mind And Create Emotional Well-Being
- The Healing Power of Walking: Facts That Will Knock Your Socks Off
I’m not recommending these books because I’ve not read them. But these titles illustrate the optimism many people have in the power of walking.
For me, some of the most dreaded words on the planet are “You need to start an exercise program.” What does this mean? Do I need to buy a book? Join a fitness club? Hire a fitness trainer? Buy special equipment? Frustration sets in and I give up at the thought of “starting an exercise program.” So what do I do? Right, you guessed it. I do nothing.
This is why walking is the perfect exercise to get you started on the road to no regrets about your health.
Think of why walking is the perfect exercise:
- You already know how to do it.
- You need no special equipment.
- You need not join a health or hire a trainer.
- You can do it anywhere.
Make the commitment to start walking now.
To Live Without Regrets Commit To Eating Healthy Now.
What’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite restaurant? Most Americans will provide alarming answers to those questions. We are in love with food which does little to make us healthy.
Here’s my idea of a perfect day of eating. I would have a breakfast of 4 donuts at Dunkin Donuts. Lunch would be at McDonald’s where I would order and consume a large extra double quarter pounder with cheese value meal. Supper would be at any pizza place where I would attack a deep dish double meat pizza. And if I had my choice, I would do this every day of the week!
You don’t need me to give you the medical statistics about the importance of eating a healthy diet. We all know poor eating habits combined with a poor diet lead to poor health. We need to work hard to convince ourselves we must eat a better diet to avoid the potential health regret as we age.
If you need information or recipes there’s no need to run out and buy a book. The internet is packed with information about making better eating choices.
Make the commitment now to start eating healthy now.
To Live Without Regrets Stop Doing Your Bad Health Habits Now.
What bad health habits are a part of your routine? Drinking too much alcohol? Smoking? Chewing? Overeating? Drugs? Those are the obvious ones which must be stopped if you are to preserve your health. But there are other habits which can also have a negative impact on your health.
Here’s a few examples to help you discover your own dangerous habits:
- Snacking at night is a big health problem. When you nibble at night, without being hungry, you start adding on the pounds.
- Watching too much TV. Watching TV contributes to a sedentary lifestyle. When we sit over long periods of time instead of move we are inviting health problems.
- Wearing headphones for too long of a period of time. Didn’t your eardrums get enough damage during the rock and roll era? Keeping headphones on too long while the music is cranked up is a bad idea.
- Staying up too late at night. Too many people do not get enough sleep. Chronic lack of sleep can contribute to future health issues.
Make the commitment to stop doing your bad health habits now.
Have you noticed a similarity between each suggestion? Yes, you got it. It’s the inclusion of the word “now.” This might be the most important word in the entire section. To live without regrets in the area of your health you must act NOW. There is no time to waste. You and I have ignored this area for many years. It will take time to improve your health. Become proactive with a vengeance.
This list of ways to reduce the possibility of a later health regret is not meant to be exhaustive. There are other ways to start turning your health around. But I am convinced of this: if you will start doing these four things now you will notice a difference in 30 days.
It’s time to live without regrets regarding your health.
So what are you waiting for? Go. Do. It. NOW.
What is the one thing you are going to do today to improve your health so you can live without regrets?