Live for the Long Haul

Suppose you could only have one car in your entire life, and let's also suppose that you don't live where there is an extensive mass transit system, so you really need this car. How would you take care of it to make sure that it lasted as long as you needed it? You would probably learn everything you could about proper car maintenance. You would change the oil, belts and hoses regularly, and you would research fuels and lubricants to make sure that only the highest quality products were allowed anywhere near your car's engine. Your car would get regular check ups with its mechanic, and you would meticulously follow your mechanic's instructions about how to best drive and care for your car.

Let's change gears and talk about you and your body. You only get one body. Sure, there are organ transplant options and even synthetic or mechanical devices you may be able to get in a pinch, but these are not always available, and they are never as good as your original. Geroscientists, who study aging, believe the human body was designed to live 120 years. What are you doing t keep your body fit and functioning for the long haul? Regular health check-ups are important, but they only detect problems, and while early detection makes fixing problems more likely, detecting problems is not the same as actually preventing problems in the first place. To paraphrase Smoke the Bear, only you can prevent chronic degenerative diseases.
What do heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and even some cancers have in common? They are all lifestyle related degenerative diseases. Your doctor can identify the disease and may be able to prescribe therapies to mitigate their symptoms, but the choices you make every day in what you eat, how much you eat, how much and what kind of exercise you engage in, and how much sleep you get have a far greater impact on whether you get any of these diseases in the first place, or how it progresses once the disease process starts.
Research shows that it is never too late to start living your life for the long haul. The key to living a long, healthy life is to focus on true wellness, not fads or short term, quick fixes. You owe it to yourself t live at least as well as your car. Changing life-long habits and breaking free of addictions is not easy, but it can be done. If you need a jump start, call your mechanic, or in the case of your body, a wellness coach.


Captain Sharon Jentzer, USN (Ret.) founded the Jentzer Wellness Institute in response to the growing health care crises in the United States. She brings to wellness and life coaching her unique leadership experiences working with people around the world in fast-paced operational and highly technical settings. She is highly regarded for her leadership abilities and is often asked to assume leadership positions in the organizations of which she is a member. Her low-key, understated style suppor...

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