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Making Health Your Hobby

Making Health Your Hobby

Making Health Your Hobby

About a year ago, during the height of the pandemic, I introduced something called Wellness Wednesdays. I would give a short talk on our TV channel about some topic of health, such as how foods can affect medications or how to improve your sleep. One of the most popular talks was called, “Making Health Your Hobby.”

You might ask, “How can good health be a hobby? Isn’t it just something you have, or you don’t have?”

At the moment, yes. You either have good health, or you don’t. But if you decide to make health your hobby, I guarantee it will improve, no matter what it’s like right now.

Compare it to a retirement account. You put money into your IRA throughout your life and reap the benefits of those savings in retirement. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it, right?

Well, health is the same way.

If you put a little bit into that account every day—a little exercise, better food, better habits—you’ll reap the benefits going into your future.

If you’re one of those people who has been depositing good things into your health account your whole life, you have seen firsthand how it benefits you as you grow older. But for those of you who haven’t yet opened your health retirement account yet, it’s never too late.

Did you know that on average, Americans buy more medicine per person than the people of any other country in the world? More than 50% of all insured adults in the US take prescription medications for chronic health problems. This includes three out of four people over the age of 65. And 25% of people over age 65 take five or more medicines regularly.

I think you’ll agree, those are staggering numbers. But probably not surprising.

Think about the ailments you, your friends and your family members might experience.

Acid reflux, joint pain, stomach pain, indigestion, excess weight, shortness of breath, exhaustion, memory problems, easy bruising, gum disease, and many others.

When you make health your hobby, these ailments start to improve, or may disappear completely. Remember, your quality of life is just as important, if not more important, than how long you live.

Let me be clear. It’s not about dieting, running marathons, or depriving yourself of everything you enjoy. It’s simply about making healthier choices. Consistently. Religiously. Happily.

Start with your diet. At this point, we’re all smart enough to know what foods we should eliminate. Banish unhealthy oils, highly processed foods, sugary snacks and drinks, and excessive alcohol. All of these things cause excess inflammation in your veins, joints and organs, causing serious and chronic health problems like heart disease, joint pain, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Get more exercise. The rule of thumb is 150 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, each week. Work your way up gradually. Do something you enjoy, so you’ll stick with it. Exercise with your partner or a friend to stay motivated. Exercise lowers blood pressure, lowers insulin resistance, increases heart function, improves mood, and releases natural medications in your body that may reduce or even eliminate the need for pharmaceuticals.

When you change bad habits and you start to get rid of a lot of those ailments I mentioned earlier—when you make health your hobby—the way you feel will be all the motivation you need to keep it going.

Be social, volunteer, and cultivate compassion. Studies show that people who connect and give back to their communities report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with life.

You have to invest in your health in order to reap the benefits as you age. Make health your hobby. Open an IRAH—an individual retirement account for your health and start making your deposits today!

Until we meet…