Some people are gifted with a strong constitution and common sense when it comes to making healthy choices. Others of us have to learn the hard way. Quite a few seem to survive young adulthood despite their lifestyle choices eating anything they wish, exercising or not. By middle age, our habits have a way of catching up to us. Mid-life often includes a turning point when we think more seriously about improving our health. If you have ever made a definite commitment to health improvement, you probably have a story behind what inspired you.
I'll never forget the day in my 30s when my primary care physician in Boston used a scare tactic to motivate me to change my lifestyle. She painted a vividly horrific picture of what my life would be like in 10 to 15 years if I continued to eat haphazardly and avoid exercise. Obesity, fatigue, osteoarthritis of the knees, gallstones, high blood pressure, risk of diabetes and heart problems, sleep apnea, depression, social deprivation and general misery! She pulled out all the stops. I was speechless. Concerned for the future me, I began to exercise 20 minutes a day (not a second longer), and found a nutritional counselor to support a low-calorie eating plan. A year later and 40 pounds lighter, my doctor was amazed at my new shape and improved energy. In fact, I inspired her to improve her own fitness.
Some of us have been inspired by those we love. A daughter quits smoking after her father dies of cancer. A man becomes fit so he can keep up with his beloved grandchildren. An entire family learns a new way of eating to support a child with a chronic illness. A woman is inspired by watching a friend become a triathlete. For many, a personal health crisis, large or small, compels us to change. Sometimes numbers can move us to action: a high blood sugar reading, elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, or the size on a clothing tag.
Many of us know what we should do to improve our health. Sometimes, it takes just a tiny flash of inspiration to set us in motion. In upcoming blogs, we will explore ways to gently incorporate changes that support fitness for a lifetime. If you're over 45 years old, try the Personal Health Assessment to identify opportunities to improve your health through the choices you make every day. If you are under 45, take the Longevity Calculator quiz to gauge your health and discover steps you can take to be healthier in the future.
This information is purely educational and does not replace a physician's advice that may be unique to each individual. For all medical concerns, please see a physician to establish a diagnosis and explore proven treatments. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company or REAL Powered by Humana program.