It has been reported that for the first time in history, the next generation will not live longer than their parents. Our children’s life expectancy is shorter than ours. This should bum you out. How in the world, with all of the advances we’ve made, is it possible that we are getting sicker and will even be living shorter lives?
Many will search long and hard, and spend a great deal of money, trying to answer this question, but here is a simple answer that I think you’ll agree with. The reason we are so sick, and our life expectancy is expected to shorten, is that our current lifestyle is so incongruent with what it was prior to the boom of chronic illnesses like heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, etc.
Think about the environment that our great, great grandparents lived in. Approximately eighty percent of Americans worked as farmers. This means they got up early, did physical labor (i.e. exercise) all day, ate primarily locally grown, organic whole foods, and lived in relatively pure conditions with cleaner air, less chemicals, and all-around more natural surroundings. Nowadays, we are bombarded with chemicals and toxins that our bodies were not designed to be exposed to or consume. The foods are highly processed, full of artificial sweeteners, coloring, and flavoring. The air we breath is polluted. You cannot scoop up a glass of water in any lake, stream, or pond, or get it from the tap, without it containing chemicals and trace amounts of prescription drugs.
The rates of chronic illnesses are skyrocketing. Seven out of ten Americans take at least one prescription drug, with antidepressants being among the most popular. Roughly seventy percent of adults are overweight, with a whopping one-third being obese. Amazingly, approximately sixteen percent of children today are obese (another fifteen percent are overweight). The number of new cases of cancer continues to rise every year, despite the billions of dollars that goes into cancer research and treatment.
Things are not looking so good. These numbers are staggering, upsetting, and scary. In regards to the current status of our health, we could say it really is the worst of times.
So, are we doomed? Do we throw in the towel and accept our ill fate? Or is there hope? While it is the worst of times in regards to chronic illness and a challenging environment, it is the best of times if you are committed to getting, and staying, well.
Think about the availability of healthy resources we have today. You can walk into Heinen’s, or any other grocery store, just down the road from your house and have access to a huge variety of fruits and vegetables without having to plant them, take care of them, or harvest them. All you have to do is pick them up and put them in your cart. We have immediate access to gluten-free foods, grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, and any vitamin, mineral, or other supplement you might need.
We also have access to fitness centers and gyms like never before. For a small fee, you can join a gym that contains every piece of exercise equipment you could ever want or need. Most offer specialized classes, at least one of which would interest you. Personal trainers are available to help teach you, push you, and get you started safely. An indoor track and pool are within a short drive.
We have access to environmentally friendly products like BPA-free drinking ware, natural and safe cleaning products, and companies that are focused on providing high quality, natural, and safe products. And we know more now than ever before in history about what it takes to live well and be healthy.
So, things are very bad right now, but they are also very good. Do nothing and continue to live the way you always have, and it really is the worst of times. Start taking advantage of all the amazing resources, many of which were not available even a decade ago, and you’ll quickly realize it is the best of times.