How to stay healthy

Okay, this will be a generalized, common sense post. It’s not intended to go into a lot of detail, but is intended to be more philosophical in nature.

Here’s the deal for staying healthy.

Think of your health as being like playing a hand of poker.

The cards you are dealt…..those represent your genetics, and those things life throws at you that are beyond your control.

How you play those cards represents your lifestyle…how you respond to life….in essence what you choose to do or not do with the body you have.

You can’t do anything about the cards you are dealt, just as you can’t really do anything about your genetics (at least not with todays current technology….who knows what may be around the corner though!)

Medical school is 4 years long. (this is after all the premedical stuff, which is usually at least another 4 years…often many more than that)

Following medical school is internship and residency training.

This is typically at least another 3 years (much more for some specialists and subspecialists).

The point of this tangent is that becoming a practicing physician takes a long time and a lot of work.

Fortunately, you don’t need to have “Dr.” in front of your name to still be able to play a pretty good hand with the cards you are dealt.

I’d estimate that at least 75% of the stuff I tell my patients is such common sense that the average 5th grader could tell it to them.

(Now that other 25% of stuff is the tough stuff that takes some time and hard work to get a handle on)

If you are like the vast majority of people however, you are in luck because the 75% the fifth grader knows (and you do too whether you want to admit it or not) is usually more than adequate to get you a nice long happy healthy life in the overwhelming majority of cases.

So, what does that 5th grader know?

Come on, do you really need me to spell it out for you?

Eat right, get plenty of exercise, get enough sleep, have fun, don’t use tobacco, don’t use drugs, don’t drink excessively, don’t do dangerous things like running with scissors, driving without your seatbelt, having unsafe sex, etc., etc., etc.

Get the picture?

I know, I know, some folks get dealt a really bad hand. Some folks get stuck with horrible hereditary stuff. Some folks grow up in households where they aren’t given the opportunity to eat right or exercise or whatever. Some folks have horrible tragedies befall them through no fault of their own.

I get that. I’m not talking about these folks however.

I’m talking to the rest of you. The folks who are blessed with decent genetics, a fortunate upbringing, and no serious tragedies. In other words, the vast majority of folks who are likely reading this blog.

Oh, and for the most part, even if you are one of the unfortunate folks with hereditary problems, tragedies, etc., doing the stuff the 5th grader would recommend is still a good idea.

Even if you aren’t dealt the best hand, you should still try to play that hand the best you can.

It’s all about choices really.

Choose the salad (not smothered with cheese, croutons, and dressing by the way) rather than the Big Mac.

Choose to walk to school or work or the store if possible rather than driving a car.

Choose to park in the farthest spot from the front door rather than endlessly circling the parking lot looking for the closest spot. (In addition to the health benefits, you’ll save time, aggravation and gas)

Choose to not smoke (Oh, and yes, this is a choice, even if you are “Addicted.” My next post will go into this.)

Choose to not drink too much.

Choose to not do drugs.

Choose to wear a seatbelt.

Choose to go to bed at a decent hour and get a normal amount of sleep. (How to get a good nights sleep would probably be a good subject for a post some time).

Are you starting to get the picture?

Good health to you!

…Sam

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