Health Topic Archives

Personal Responsibility & A Balanced Life

Is it just me or are we becoming a society of excuses? Excuses why we don't have time to eat right, don't have time to exercise, and don't have time to take charge of our health.

This generation will be the first generation of diseases associated with overeating such as childhood diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure secondary to obesity. We are raising the electronic generation that eats junk food, just like we did when we were kids, but don't get up and move because they are attached to their computers, electronic devices, or cell phones.

Then we have the working parent generation. We are too busy just trying to work, on top of the guilt associated with being working parents, getting kids to where they need to be, making sure homework is done, keeping the house clean, figuring out how to feed everyone, and trying to have some family time. There is barely any time to sleep or eat. Who has time to exercise?

Then there is our parents’ generation. Many of them are in great shape but still need to focus on balance and flexibility exercises, cardiac health and bone loss. These are all diseases that can incapacitate a senior but are helped and slowed down with exercise.

The answers to all of these problems are simple: education, priorities, and goals.

We need to teach our children how to be healthy, how to have proper diets, how to get out and exercise, how to use their imagination in place of the electronic gadgets. When we were growing up, we did not have the diversions that kids do today. We ate junk food, but there was nothing else to do but go outside and play and use our imagination. There were no cell phones, no computers, and only three channels on the black and white TV. Kids today need to learn how to balance the demands and distractions of life. There is a cycle of obesity developing within our youngsters’ generation. This will lead to poor body image and poor self-esteem. On and on the cycle goes.

Our working generation needs to learn to balance all the demands we have, and to understand that by taking time for ourselves to eat right and exercise, we are helping our family. If we have an excessive or prolonged illness because we are stressed, overworked, sleep deprived, and are not taking care of ourselves, we are not doing ourselves or our families any favors. Take time to exercise and take care of your health. It matters and makes a difference.

Finally, there is our parents’ generation. Most of them are people with the strongest work ethic I have ever seen. They want to be financially and physically independent as long as possible. It is important to continue to emphasize, instead of taking that high blood pressure or cholesterol meds, talking with their doctors about trying exercise and diet first. Exercise strengthens their bones and slows down the effects of osteoporosis. One can also prevent instability injuries with balance exercises. Quite often, these are diseases that, given the tools and direction, people can control on their own.

The next step is clear. It is time for us to form an action plan. It is time to take personal responsibility, no matter what stage of life you are in, and to take a more balanced approach starting today.

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"It takes more energy to be reactive than it does to be proactive."