I was asked the other day what life advice I could give a twenty (20) year old.
…..Boy, where do you start ??.....
Obviously this is not a short simple answer, so I have decided to create a four (4) part blog regarding the four (4) areas of health in our life that every young adult needs to know. It is primarily the decisions one makes in their twenties that dictates the life they will have in their middle aged and senior years. Tune in each week for the next part.
This is primarily a health and fitness site, so it stands to reason that I should begin our life lesson with, “physical health”.
I ask the young reader to look around at the people they see in Walmart the next time they go shopping. Notice how most middle aged people are overweight, walking with canes, or suffering from an overall unhealthy life. This was not the case in the 1980’s and before, but is a recent phenomenon. What has changed?? Answer: Our eating habits and our activity level. The results of this change are a life filled with disease, depression, obesity, ailments, and fatigue. So my question to you is: Do you wish to share in that life, or do you wish to live life abundantly throughout your years. Believe it or not, the choices you make now will dictate the future you have. Arthritis, obesity, blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes, and a host of other chronic ailments can often be directly linked to the health choices you began as a young adult.
Many years ago when I was a young man, I got very excited when I bought my first respectable vehicle. It was beautiful full sized Ford Bronco. I was so proud of it. I could take this thing anywhere and through anything and it just kept chugging along. I had a “man’s” vehicle that was tough and I dogged it out. In addition, I hardly ever changed the oil!! It didn’t matter though, because it still drove just fine. When confronted by others about getting it serviced more often, I would simply reply, “I hardly ever service this truck and it still runs just great.”
As you can well guess, this attitude did not have a happy ending. My pride and joy Bronco died at a very early age. This really caught me by surprise since I had always been able to slack off on service and drive it any old way with no consequences before. What I didn’t understand was that when a vehicle is new you can get away with that kind of treatment, but as the vehicle aged, the bad treatment it received when it was new began to show. By the time it was older, it was too late to correct the bad habits because the damage has already been done.
By now you should be able to see the metaphor I am alluding too. Most of the chronic diseases of old age and even middle age are the result of slow damage done to the body beginning when you were young. Just like not changing the oil in a new car, every time you fail to do this, small micro damages are done to the engine that don’t affect its performance when it is still new.
I am sure you have heard someone in your life say, “I can eat whatever I want and never gain weight”. Perhaps you have said that yourself. That mentality is a recipe to end up like one of our Walmart examples. Trust me when I say that the time is coming when you will give account for every bad health decision you ever made.
So, what should a young man or woman be doing different.
Starting healthy habits now make life a lot more fun and bearable than trying to start them later in life. It is just like quitting smoking. It is a lot easier to quit when you are 25 than when you are 50 and the health results are far greater! So, take control of health now and be a blessing to both yourself and your future family.