Which would you choose...a long life or a good one?
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
Healthy lifestyle choices do more than help to minimise or prevent disease. They aren’t just about ‘living longer’. They promote ‘wellness’ and optimum quality of life.
We’ve all met someone like this before.
“Why should I bother with my health? I don’t want to live to 100 and grow old and decrepit….” Some people would quite literally rather die than eat their vegetables!
The trouble with this view is that ‘health’ (or disease) is not something that happens to you in the future. It is happening to you right now, every single day.
There is a parallel here with the differences between our mainstream medical system and the Natural Health approach. Modern medicine continually makes advances in extension of life. This is something that our doctors do very well. Improvements in surgical techniques and medical research do make a difference to our life expectancy. But they don’t do much to stop us getting sick in the first place. And why should they? It’s not their job. Whose job is it? Yours! It is well established (but not always happily accepted) that the largest contributors to your health result from your own choices.
Genetics play a role too. We are not saying that they have little effect on your health. They are however, for most of us, a baseline. Given your genetic make-up, you can either optimise your health by making wise choices, or sabotage it. These principles apply to each of us regardless of our genes. The plot gets even thicker when you consider that your diet and lifestyle can even influence whether those genes of yours express themselves!
Eating well, exercising, drinking enough water, getting good quality sleep…. all these measures are not just chores designed to extend your life. Having a longer life is not much fun if it isn’t a good life! Implementing health daily habits increases your chances of not just living longer, but living healthier and happier. Most would agree that it is preferable to live a full life with few limitations and then to suddenly ‘drop off the perch’ (or pass away peacefully in one’s sleep) than to live a life that continually deteriorates and becomes more miserable.
Longevity is almost a pleasant side-effect to a healthy lifestyle. The real aim is to have a high quality of life. Healthy diet and lifestyle choices bring such benefits, and you don’t have to wait until retirement age to enjoy them. They increase your chances of every day being better, starting with today.
This is why some naturopaths and other complementary medicine professionals refer to themselves as wellness practitioners/consultants. Healthy lifestyle choices do more than help to minimise or prevent disease. They aren’t just about ‘living longer’. They promote ‘wellness’ and optimum quality of life.
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