The average American consumes about 50% more calories than that which is needed for optimal health. This would not be such a big problem if these calories were burnt off through daily exercise, but, at 600 calories per hour of running, the average American would have to run for 90 minutes a day to maintain a healthy weight. And let’s face it, very few Americans exercise for 90 minutes per week (let alone 90 minutes per day). That’s why 3 out of every 4 Americans will be overweight by 2020…
Fact: America (and the rest of the developed world) can blow as much money as they want on diet and weight-loss fads, but they will keep getting fatter until they correct their energy balance. It really is that simple.
Even though the guidelines given in the health plan advocated on this blog will result in significant health improvements, they cannot guarantee perpetual optimal health. Health and longevity are influenced by many factors, some of which we have little or no control over. Examples of these factors include genetics, the widespread chemical pollution in our air, water and food, and accidents.
Following these guidelines and building yourself a healthy micro-environment within which excellent lifestyle choices become easy and natural can add many years to your life and much life to your years. This is an indisputable fact based on countless scientific studies, conventional wisdom and plain old common sense. However, even though your chances of being healthy and independent at 100 will increase significantly if you follow these guidelines, this is by no means guaranteed. In the post about the Okinawan people whose traditional healthy lifestyles grant them tremendous health and longevity in comparison to westerners, we saw that these people still die from heart disease and cancer (the only difference is that their chances of suffering this fate is about 10 times less than that of the average American).
But hey, the primary purpose of being healthy is not to prevent degenerative disease. The primary purpose is enjoying the wonderful services of an optimized and fully functional body/mind each and every day. Your body/mind is the thing you use to interact with the world around you, to contribute and to share. Really, if your body/mind is fat, underdeveloped and sluggish, you are only half alive.
It’s time to start living.