Having personally faced a number of health challenges in life, and experiencing the struggle of family and friends with their own hardships, I’ve found there is great truth in the statement “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”
As important as living a long life may be to us, it’s more urgent to think in terms of your personal “healthspan” than your lifespan!
Let’s be honest, nobody looks forward to a long lifespan confined to a sick bed or with limited mobility, restricted travel, non-stop doctor visits, relying on prescription drugs and medical procedures just to stay alive and healthy— not to mention a catastrophic illness or accident that can change your entire life from one day to the next!
I’ve run my own technology and creative consulting business for decades which, in the past, was both a blessing and a curse. While I enjoyed the rewards and freedom of being in control of my own career and time, it also came with an incredible amount of stress and eventually health problems. Before long that stress, and my genetic history, manifested as high blood pressure, weight gain, blood sugar issues, mental fatigue, anxiety, anger and depression. It all started coming to a head with an accident where I was rear-ended at a stop sign by another driver; leading to months of pain, medicine, and physical therapy (plus loads of additional stress!)
I had to choose change or face what I knew would be not just a lower lifespan but an incredibly lower healthspan.
It didn’t happen overnight, in fact it took several years, but eventually those choices led to a family move from the noise and crowds of urban Los Angeles (which had always brought major stress for a boy who grew up in the lakes, rivers, and mountains of the Pacific Northwest) to a new home built on an acre lot in rural Texas. What I may have sacrificed by some peoples standards is tiny compared to what was gained!
The next 8 years saw my blood pressure drop, along with my anxiety and stress levels, all but one prespcription medicine went away with the one remaining dosage more than cut in half, blood work became normal, 70 pounds and 6 inches around the waist were lost; I’m in better shape now physically than I was 20 years ago, with a more active and full lifestyle than ever before. My potential healthspan now matches my potential lifespan!
Everyone’s circumstances are different. What I had to do may not be what you need to do. There are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions. But what can you start doing today to move towards creating a better healthspan for your lifespan?
Just a thought.
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