You hear it all the time. “At least you have your health”! Do you though? It probably depends. If you are simply ‘alive’ do you ‘have your health’? What if you are on prescription drugs? What if you are obese? Stressed? What if you don’t exercise? I think it’ll depend on who you ask. My opinion is that if you aren’t happy. And if you do not regularly exercise (for fun) and eat mostly healthy food, that you likely do NOT have your health, particularly if you are in your 40’s.
Ideally, we would exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle from childhood until the day we die. Once we get a bit older it gets a bit more complicated. We have children, spouses, jobs, churches, parents, bills, poker night…whatever. Our lives get very busy with important things. But, with that, at least we have our health! Don’t we?
Actually, we don’t.
In my personal Facebook network (Well over 1000 friends, thank you :-)) there are no less than 4 people that died of a heart attack in the last year. As far as I know, they were all in their 40’s. I’m not going to name any names, but just from reading posts I know that it was devastating to every family involved. This has to change. Once we’re in our 40’s shit starts to get serious. Yet the agreed upon #1 priority if you poll everyone you know (which is health) always takes a back seat. To everything.
We don’t have time to find an exercise program/sport/activity that we like because our kids have soccer or we need to cook dinner for our family. Or, Thursday night is game night or whatever the hell. Date night. Happy hour. Baseball practice for our kids. Swimming lessons. Cleaning the house. Working late. Volunteering at a community function or for our kids school. And we HAVE to make sure we get our basement finished before we do anything else!
We need to cut this shit out…we need 4-6 hours per week to find something we enjoy that involves physical activity. That needs to be a priority and people are going to have to deal with it. Including God, our spouses, our bosses and our children.
Sounds crazy right? Good! Your kids will get it when they are older. They might not now, but they will. God wants you to be healthy. He wants you to be healthy so you can donate to the church…and volunteer, or help a fellow parishioner move. Will your spouse be upset? Maybe. Boss? Probably…until you start reaping the long term benefits of regular exercise and become a more productive employee and happier person in general. Find a way to make it work. Why do YOU need to worry about the heart attack in the name of making other people happy? “It’ll never happen to me” is probably one of those things thought by just about everyone in their 40’s that has had a heart attack or a stroke.
You guys need to start offloading some of your responsibilities. Are you the one that always cleans the house?? Sorry. Either deal with a messy house or let someone else clean it. Remember – we’re talking 4-6 hours per week here. This doesn’t mean never go to church or clean your house or leave your kids in the car while you go to the gym. It just means YOU need to make time for you. Screw everyone else. Take some stuff off of your plate and don’t feel bad about it!
This isn’t a blog post meant to tell you to not care for your family/spouse/job/church/obligations. It’s a blog post to tell you to care a little bit less about them and more about you. Fit it in as a non negotiable then put in everything else around it. Not the other way. Once it becomes a part of your lifestyle it gets much easier. Make health a priority and do your best with everything else. Not the other way around.
I do realize this is all easier said than done. But it’s also much better done than said. You’re in your 40’s. So you’re probably putting money into your 401K at this point…you might as well be around to spend it.
Do you have your health? You know better than anyone. When someone says that to you, you have a lot of people that you love that need that to be true.
*Disclaimer. Finding something you like is key. Search far and wide. Try everything. And try it for 3 months. Keep going…even if it takes years. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just keep looking for something you enjoy with other people you like!