The High Cost of NOT Living Well

Dying young is not a problem for most people in the modern world; living, and living well, is the challenge.  I recently heard a popular radio doctor warn people to not just depend upon the "pill fairy" or wait for the doctors to fix their problems, but rather to take control of their health future.  I'm confident that you are among that growing minority who want to experience anti aging that works, and who realize that you cannot do nothing in the present and expect to enjoy optimum health in the future.

I am going to paint a somewhat dark, yet accurate picture of the future that awaits those who take no proactive measures for living well in the present in order to assure good health in the future.  Here are the top four diseases, resulting in nearly 70% of deaths in developed nations:
        1) Vascular diseases (resulting in heart attacks, arteriolosclerosis, stroke, etc.)
        2) Cancers
        3) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (from smoking & other lung irritants)
        4) Diabetes

Medical doctors will tell you that a poor diet, inadequate exercise, and other harmful lifestyle choices can significantly affect one's propensity to suffer and die from one of these causes of death.  Being afflicted with and suffering through the treatments for these diseases is not living well, and is not a pleasant way to spend the last 25-30 years of your life.

One Man's Story

Here is the story of a man who lived a full and robust life till age 81.  He kept in fairly good physical shape, not ever getting more than twenty pounds overweight.  He was not very active, spending much of his time at his desk, driving in his car, or meeting with people.  He periodically worked in the yard, went hunting, rock hounding, or golfing, but had no regular workout regimen.  He never drank alcohol or smoked.

At 56 years of age he experienced pain in his arms, went in to see the doctor, and ended up with a four-way coronary bypass.  He began to walk regularly, and tried to be more careful about not eating foods that the doctor said were bad for him.  Never having been a man who took pills, he was counseled that he needed to take several medications to protect his arteries and heart from further damage.  Other than these changes, his lifestyle and activity level were unaltered. 

Over the last 25 years of his life, he underwent additional surgeries for an aortic aneurism, replacement of his heart's mitral valve, a two-way coronary bypass, and insertion of a pacemaker.  The number of prescription drugs he regularly consumed increased as well.  He spent his last month in the hospital, and finally succumbed to kidney failure, resulting from his heart medications. 

Was he living well?  In some respects the answer is a hearty "Yes!"  By other standards, the answer is a reluctant "No".  While I am thankful for the 81 years that God gave my father, it's not the way I want to spend the last 25 years of my life.  Now some would maintain that I'm doomed to the same fate since it's in my family, but I'm learning and working to end my life a little differently.  I'd be happy for 81 years, but I am striving to avoid the drugs and surgeries.  I'm thankful for the men and women who developed the drugs and performed the surgeries, but I hope not to have to avail myself of their products and services.

It Doesn't Need to Be This Way

Why are the killers of over half of the people in the developed nations (heart disease and cancer) virtually unknown in the developing world? We are living longer because we have wiped out most infectious diseases. We need to be living well by learning from and following important aspects of their diet and lifestyles. There's reason to have hope.