Site icon David's Way to Health and Fitness

Care For Yourself, Before Someone Else Has To.


Last night as I was preparing to head back out on the open road in my semi, I caught a bit on the local nightly news about the fast rising amount of heart problems in women as young as in their thirties. I wish I had been able to watch the entire segment, but what I did see made me think of all the people all of us can see on a daily basis who are prematurely afflicted with ailments which in years past were pretty much only seen in our senior citizens. I find it a sad state of affairs when a person under the age of sixty is all stoved up as if they are pushing eighty years of age. Even worse is when you look at the health problems in obese children who suffer from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other dietary related issues. In every direction you look while out in public, you can see more individuals with weight issues than without. Fathom the irony of folks complaining about the skyrocketing costs of health care while they are sitting in a booth at the McHappyland restaurant shoving the super sized, number 6 value meal down their gullets and that of their children too. Griping about high medical co-pays between bites of Big Macs and swallows of a large chocolate shake, while never once taking personal responsibility for the impact those sometimes daily meals of convenience have on their own health.

Another area where I watch the dietary habits and health issues having an impact on younger adults under fifty is with my occupation as a professional trucker. As a commercial driver you must pass a Department of Transportation physical every two years, or once a year if you have health issues which could cause you to be unsafe on the road in an 80,000 pound truck. I simply find it astounding the amount of young men I have worked with sweating out these physicals because they are not only obese, but also have high blood pressure and or type 2 diabetes as a result of a garbage diet and living a sedentary lifestyle. Most will provide lame excuses why they can not eat healthy or exercise on a regular basis. The reality is, they are choosing not to eat healthy or to be active when they are off work, sometimes you just have to make time for yourself. It really is that simple in concept, you just have to make plans and then execute them. So many of these drivers will be worried sick about not passing their physicals and thereby losing their livelihood, yet return to the same old unhealthy practices once they have squeaked by another examination. My take on a lot of this is if you have time to drink a few beers during your down time, you have time to exercise. If you have the time to dine out, you also have the time to pre-measure and prepare healthy choice foods to take on the road with you.

Here are a few points to consider in regards to your health:

The physical risks of being overweight and obesity are greater for some people than it is for others. The risks from obesity can depend on inherited susceptibilities to conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. High blood pressure is exacerbated by weight gain. It can also be brought back down by weight loss. The same is true for type 2 diabetes, weight gain can bring in on, while weight loss with a healthy diet and exercise can also make it all but disappear. You can in fact get your A1C numbers back down to a healthy level. You do have a choice in how you live with type 2 diabetes, it does not have to be bad.

Because body fat crowds the heart and lungs within the body cavity, the risk of heart disease becomes elevated. That body fat smothers your heart as it tries to beat, which only serves to make it work harder to provide oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body. When you are fat, your lungs can not take in their full volume of oxygen which causes your heart to have to work harder. Every extra pound of fat tissue in your body is fed by literally miles of capillaries. The heart in obese people must work extra hard to pump blood through the body. The bigger you are, the harder it has to work. Even an otherwise healthy heart can be overstrained by excess body fat. When a sick heart finds itself in this predicament, a sudden increase in workload can also result in a sudden decrease of work by your death. Cardiac arrest is much more prevalent in the obese than it is in the fit and active.

To close this all out; to those who would tell me their dietary habits, sedentary life and obesity is their personal life choice and is none of my business or that of anyone else, I have this retort. Your personal choice of a life style damn well is my business if only through my increased health care costs as a result of your unhealthy habits. Face this, it is a reality that we have a large number of people on preventable disabilities that every taxpayer and purchaser of medical insurance is subsidizing. That alone makes it the business of others, but lets take this farther:

I know all of this might get a few a bit defensive, maybe even angry. When I author hard hitting pieces, they are meant to be a wake up call because I care about the welfare of others. I care about the society in which I live. I care about our young people who are being dealt a bad hand in life by parents who live unhealthy lives. I chose Brenda Sue to be my co-author at David’s Way because I know she also cares about helping others. I would rather give you uncomfortable truths than to sugar coat a lie to make you feel better.

Show others your love by being your own best friend. Love and fight for yourself. Take care of yourself in body and spirit. Live a healthy life, mentor and lead the way for our young in chasing dreams.

God bless.

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