The RV Lifestyle, with its myriad choices and options is one of the best choices I can imagine for a full and exciting lifestyle. We couldn’t wait to retire and begin our pursuit of the open road 15 years ago and have enjoyed each aspect of the unfolding life as it has come. Those of you who are beginning, and those who have a long-term commitment to the freewheeling life will recognize that of all the considerations necessary to succeed in this life, health is the most important. No matter how you keep your financial plan in working order, no matter how you plan your trip or stays, if your health fails, the lifestyle will no longer be available in its full glory.
I have spent most of my working life studying and teaching health and fitness and have discovered many truths along the way. The number one fact is that your health is in your hands, the responsibility for your fitness is yours and yours alone. This society is one of quick fix and of adulation of the experts, to the point where we forget that the bottom line in our health is our own involvement with prevention of disease and protection of our general state of health.
I’d love to share these tips and practices with you, and perhaps help you make your way along the road to taking care of our most precious commodity, our health.
We are health consumers, and as such can be more involved in managing our health, and take responsibility for lifestyle decisions we make. We need to choose to enhance our health and reduce the burden we place on others, our doctor, insurance company, government, or environment. We know we need to strive to improve our nutritional standards, exercise on a regular basis and avoid dangerous health risks like smoking, too much alcohol, or overdoing it on over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The fact is, Americans do eat too much, exercise too little, and abuse our bodies with chemicals far too often.
We are responsible for massive amounts of health dollar expenditures. Most studies place 70-80% of our $2 trillion-dollar health bill in the category of “lifestyle choices”. That means avoidable health risks.
We are living in an exciting time for health care innovations. Breakthroughs in genetic research and technology make it possible for us to take control of our lives and our health as never before.
What does it take for us to begin to turn things around? Where to start with a healthy attitude and pursuit of health building activities? Perhaps looking back to our past, to a time when transfat was non-existent, we ate foods from our own gardens, or traded with the neighbors. We grew up playing outside: jump rope, biking, swimming, sledding, puddle stomping, and inventing a million activity games. We never considered movement a chore, but pursued body activities as entertainment and enjoyment.
I don’t need to remind you that the more time you sit and watch life go by, whether on the computer or watching television, the less time you spend doing. The less you spend doing, the more you are a prime candidate for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, decreased bone density, and a myriad of health issues correlated with a sedentary life.
In this column we will explore our personal relationships with health, how to make better choices, and work towards victory in the war on ill health caused by poor lifestyle choices.
Whether it is pursuing an enjoyable exercise activity, choosing nutritious daily foods, reducing stress, or preventing or learning to deal with illness or disability, we will explore the options in a modern world of many choices, many opportunities, and many challenges.