The ACA, or Obamacare, is a federal attempt to provide easy shopping for health insurance plans on what are called exchanges. While the effort to make it easier to shop and compare plans is valiant, it’s still not that easy to make a decision what with all the variables one has to consider beyond monthly premiums.
But, as a fitness and wellness professional engaged in the fine arts of personal fitness training, I am here to tell you that no insurance plan can do for you what you can do for yourself.
So, below is a compilation of the ways and reasons by which to ensure a longer, healthier life:
In terms of quantities, frequency of meals, nutrient balance, and flavors; but don’t forget fun – that is, the social and emotional aspects of dining should count, too.
In terms of frequency, intensity, duration, regularity, and type – that is, cardio, strength, flexibility, balance, agility and whatever combination thereof that will improve your quality of life and recreation; and don’t forget, doing it with others adds a social component that may sustain compliance and fun. Some may want to go it alone, others may need others around, and some may even want the competitiveness of numbers and buddies. But whatever your desires and needs, exercise, or activity, is one of the best body and mind-builders available.
In terms of sleep, relaxation, meditation, or simply time off from the daily grind – that is, vacations are good but we need more regular decompression times. While exercise is great for you, you need to take time off between workouts, esp workouts of the same type and intensity. Mix it up – one day cardio, the next weights, the third stretch or yoga, etc. Stress is a mental as well as a physical downer if not relieved…safely. So heavy drinking or drug use may alleviate stress during the time the palliative effects are in the body but they don’t truly relieve stress. That said, a drink or two of an alcoholic beverage each day ain’t bad for you.
See Your Doctors for Preventive Care
Certain check ups on a regular basis reduce the long term costs of not finding a problem soon enough. Dentists, ophthalmologists, audiologists, gastroenterologist, cardiologists, and internists will be of great value in making sure the main problems that we face, esp as we age, get caught before they become hazards to quality and quantity of life itself.
Pick the Right Parents and Grandparents
Yes, you do not get a choice but your heredity matters greatly. So what can you do if you get the short end of the DNA stick? Optimize what good traits you have, work on minimizing the effects of the bad ones, and keep an eye out for symptoms of some of the ones you can’t effect by making healthful choices along the way.
Wear seat belts – need I say more?
Finally, Become or Stay Part of Group of People
Family, friends, colleagues, running buddies, etc – that fulfill some of your emotional and spiritual needs. Recent studies have shown that older folks die sooner when they become isolated from others.
We can’t stop death, and maybe we can’t completely defeat disease, but we can fight it. And when you can’t win, that’s when and why you need decent insurance. No matter how you get it, I’m a big fan of having something so you have some financial security in the face of the many assaults on our well-being that are out of our control.
Until then, be well.