Life, as an Investment.

How much do you value your health? More than your car? As much as your house? Is it more valuable than your family…?

Health is something which we take for granted. Most of us grow up, go along through life, and then suddenly our body lets us down one day, and we seem to have this terribly aggrieved response, as though it’s not fair. But here’s the thing – how much work have we done to keep ourselves healthy? I am a naturopath and I see every day at work people who are genuinely surprised that their body is not performing the way that it did when they were 30…

If you think about it – the average life expectancy now is 81 years (http://www.aihw.gov.au/deaths/life-expectancy/). A few generations ago, it was a lot less. 50 years ago when I was born, average life expectancy was 65-70. We now have to plan to be here for a long time. But what are we doing with this extra time? Are we achieving more? Are we getting more out of our time in this mortal coil? On the whole, sadly, no. Humans spend more time now taking medication, living with obesity and fighting illness, so you have to wonder if those extra years were really worth the effort? Check out the GRIM books, for some scary reading http://www.aihw.gov.au/deaths/grim-books/

If you bought a car when you were 20, and were told that this is the only car which you would ever have, and that it needed to last you for 60 years, would you abuse that car, and run it into the ground, or would you try to keep it pristine for as long as possible? I’d like to say that we’d all take the love and cherish version, but the reality is that familiarity breeds contempt. If you live with something for long enough, it’s easy to forget that it is not immortal. This is possibly the problem, as this is what we are doing with our bodies. Instead of realising that this body, this vessel of life, this is the only opportunity that we have to keep this life going for at least 80 years. We treat it as though there was another body lined up around the corner. Like you can just trade this old scarred and worn out chassis for a newer model. Wouldn’t that be lovely… Run this version into the ground, then go out and just get a new one! Perfect. Great plan. Ain’t happening…

Guess what. This Is It. This imperfect and most likely highly flawed model is yours and this is the only one you get. You might be able to trade in a spare part or two, but that’s not a perfect system either, and frankly you are much better off trying to keep the parts which fit your own body in better working order for as long as you can, because you never know, you might be here longer than you realise.

I remember when I twigged that both my grandmothers lived until 94 years old. What a great age! And then the lightbulb moment… Good Lord – that is a REALLY long time to be living in the one body. I have got to do some serious renovations to keep the foundation of THIS life hanging in here with some semblance of quality of life. Because here’s the thing – if I am going to live to 94 (and I’ve publicly declared this, so cheers, I’m on for it!), I seriously don’t want to be dragging my tired old carcass around for the last ten, wishing that it was all over. I don’t have any particular need to do be doing pole dancing or parachuting either, but it would be rather nice to be feeling able to make myself a pot of soup, and take the pooch for a small walk, right up until the dire end.

So here’s the plan: I listen to my body. I support my mind. I put in good fuel. I nudge the fitness enough to make it work but not hurt. I sleep.

If you want to know how to implement the details of these steps, stay tuned…

Eve Armytage
Naturopath
Revive Your Health
9 August 2016.

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