With each passing day over the last couple of weeks, life has become more surreal than I have ever experienced in my almost 57 years. I have never seen empty store shelves the likes of which are happening around the world. I have never witnessed a level of fear over a virus such that has occurred with COVID-19. In China, where the virus originated, the average age of individuals who have died as a result of COVID-19 has been 56, 62% of which were men. Around half of those treated had underlying medical conditions, most commonly diabetes and high blood pressure. In America, an estimated 60 percent of all Americans have at least one chronic health condition, and 40 percent have more than one. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes can exacerbate a Corona virus infection. Studies have shown these conditions, which are largely a self imposed result of unhealthy living, increase the odds of severe disease and death. If you have been the type who proclaims “I do not do healthy”, have you considered re-evaluating how you live your life as you pass all the empty shelves in your grocery store? Have you even consider how your unhealthy habits leave you more susceptible to dying from COVID-19?
Let’s be real and consider that COVID-19 is not the first pandemic, nor will it be the last that afflicts people around the world. We will get through this one way or the other. But going forward, if you have maintained a sedentary lifestyle and lived on unhealthy foods, are you going to take personal responsibility for your own health? Or, are you going to continue with your ways and demand that others fix your problems for you? Are you going to be proactive with your life? Or will you continue to be reactive only? Will you accept that your sedentary behaviors and dietary intake are independently associated with your risk of obesity and all that comes with it?
It is no dark government secret that an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are among the key modifiable risk factors for non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although such diseases often only appear in adulthood, these behaviors are typically initiated or reinforced already during childhood and adolescence. With the rise in childhood obesity rates, it is no longer uncommon to see children who have these maladies that we used to only see in the old and infirm. There is a growing tendency for our children to consume unbalanced diets with high intake of simple carbohydrates, oily foods, and consumption of sugar dense processed foods and drinks. Is it any wonder that our health industry can become overwhelmed without the addition of COVID-19 to add to their already heavy burden?
COVID-19 might take your life, you also might get run over a truck tomorrow. We just do not know what life has in store for us, but we can do all that is possible to live the healthiest lives we can. Sedentary lifestyles with unhealthy diets increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety. According to WHO, 60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles, making it one of the more serious yet insufficiently addressed public health problems of our time. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of children are also insufficiently active, with serious implications for their future health.
As bad as COVID-19 might be, there are far many other concerns in life you had better start taking just as seriously.
Start living a healthy life today!