Earn It!

It’s once again Christmas time. 

I am reminded constantly of this season of Saturnalia by the superfluous decorations everywhere and the tired holiday music that plays incessantly since the beginning of November. 

This supposedly religious holiday has degenerated into the most materialistic time of year. Crowds of people overwhelm malls, frustrated shoppers fight for parking spaces and traffic jams become the norm. 

The Christmas rush is upon us. Brace yourselves! The commercialisation of Christmas is getting worse every year. This materialism rings hollow for many, but especially for those who all they want this Christmas is that which cannot be bought once lost; health. 

The abundance that was once worshipped and desperately sought after now means nothing for those who no longer have the vitality or the time left with which to enjoy it. 

In its place is the painful regret of all the years in which health was knowingly approached with a negligent and irresponsible attitude.

We are perhaps the most fortunate generation ever, benefiting from the rapid advance in science and technology that has allowed us to map the human genome, gaining an in-depth understanding of how the complex organism that is the human body works. 

Medical science has advanced so far that the difference between what kills and sustains us is now common knowledge everywhere.

Moreover, the brutal truth is that health has to be earned every single day through conscious decisions and deliberate actions. 

If that is a tough choice for you, consider the alternative one that is certainly going to cost you precious years and vitality.

Looking at the top ten leading causes of death worldwide according to the World Health Organization, coronary heart disease, which is the buildup of plaque inside the arteries of the heart, is the leading cause of death worldwide. 

Suffering a stroke, which is commonly due to high blood pressure, obesity and smoking is the second leading cause of death worldwide. 

If that was not enough to get the point across, smoking is responsible for the fourth leading cause of death; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is the progressive failure of the lungs. In the developed world cancer is the second biggest killer. 

Most of those cases could have been avoided by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle in time. 

These facts hit close to home as we all have known people who have suffered from the above. Let’s face it, if it can happen to them, and if we choose to go down that same road it will happen to us.

Pause for a minute to think back on the people you saw in the last half-hour. 

Were they bastions of health? Doubtful. My case in point. Today, levels of obesity continue to rise with the tendency towards a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. 

We should all be aware that smoking causes lung cancer, and that too much simple sugars in our diet over a sustained period of time leads to insulin insensitivity and to diabetes. 

The benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle are continually being extolled, yet sadly people continue to ignore them until it becomes a case of too little too late. We no longer have the excuse of ignorance when it comes to being unhealthy.

I hate going to hospitals, maybe it’s the fear of winding up suffering in one, like those poor souls waiting to depart too soon behind sad eyes that stare out of the hospital ward windows into the sterile halls. 

Those suffering people with conditions that could have been prevented with a few minor timely lifestyle adjustments. 

This Christmas these people from all walks of life are hooked up to machines, fighting desperately against the limitations of modern science. 

They and their loved ones would give anything to get their health back, and most wind up giving everything trying. Now, you still have your chance. 

Most of you are blessed with the opportunity to still earn your health through conscious decisions and deliberate actions. Don’t waste it, start today!

@georgebovell