There’s a health care crisis in America. Our system is expensive and it sucks for a lot of people. The cavalry isn’t coming. Our politicians can’t get out of their own way.
But there’s hope.
It’s totally within our control to take individual responsibility* to tackle it.
There’s lots of talk about excessive provider charges, and associated high insurance premiums, but what if we took out 80% of the reason for needing care out of the system by preventing self-induced heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers?
By now if you don’t know that diet and exercise are good for you, and smoking is bad for you, you probably can’t read this.
But how much exercise? What diet? Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pescatarian, Flexitarian, Vegan? Even that is starting to get political!
Dan Buettner has done a great job of answering this question with his book, The Blue Zones, which discusses five populations around the world who live the longest, and the freest from disease. Yes, it’s diet and exercise, but also stress reduction, companionship, and purpose.
Why not just copy the model provided by these groups and call the debate done?
You don’t even need to read the book, just read the article.
And for an even briefer summary, here it is expressed as what NOT to do!
- Be isolated, lonely, depressed.
- Eat a diet heavy in meat, processed foods, and low in plant foods like greens, whole grains, beans, and vegetables.
- Sit all day at work, in the car, and in front of the TV and don’t move or walk throughout the day.
- Work too much with high stress.
- Sleep too little.
- Smoke cigarettes.
- Lack purpose.
- Hang out with people who sit around, smoke, and eat junk food.
*I recognize that there are misaligned incentives for promoting certain foods, and there are food deserts, but those are topics for another day! Let’s do what we can now.