We’ve learned a lot about the human body and staying healthy over the past 60 years. As a result, we’ve seen changes in public policy, surgeon general recommendations, and what’s considered “healthy”.
This 1949 Camel cigarette commercial claims, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”
And I love watching The Twilight Zone. That was a show ahead of its time, and a sign of the times as the show’s creator, Rod Serling, regularly appeared with a lit cigarette.
Cigarettes are still around. Many people choose to light up despite the warnings. Some struggle to kick the habit. Still, far fewer Americans smoke in 2017 than did in 1950.
We got the message: smoking’s bad for your health.
(If you smoke and would like more information about quitting, go to smokefree.gov for information, tips, tools, and support.)
These days, the public health warnings have shifted from the dangers of smoking to warnings about health risks of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle:
Obesity is the new smoking.
Sitting too much is bad for your health.
Whether or not you believe the claims, I think most people would agree that eating nutritious food and exercising regularly (specific recommendations vary, but generally agree on moderation, reducing processed foods and more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean meats) are better for your health than not.
Will public health warnings lead to restricted food marketing and regulations on less healthy food, like they did with cigarettes?
Or, you can do what’s best for your health, take care of yourself, and adopt a healthier lifestyle now.
Even without a Surgeon General’s warning.
It’s hard to stay motivated to eat right and exercise. I struggle with it too. It helps to
Look at it as an investment.
Not just for now, but for your future.
Here are 5 reasons it’s a good idea for your future to take care of yourself now:
Feel better now and in the future.
Many health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes, are cumulative and progressive. Whatever you can do now to minimize your risk will help your health today and years from now.
Do it for quality of life, not just quantity.
Better to be well and strong enough to do what you love for all your days, rather than being restricted because of your health. Your actions now will help determine whether you’re able to dance with your grandchildren or have to watch from the sidelines.
What if you live to be 90? If you have to worry about whether you’ll fall or if you have limited mobility, you’re more likely to stay home and limit your options for activity. Regular exercise conditions your whole body and improves mobility as you age.
Lower cost of health care.
Who knows what the future will bring in the area of health care costs? It’s expensive to be sick. Eat and exercise to prevent lifestyle-related illnesses. It may prevent you from putting your financial health at risk in the future.
Ingrain good habits.
It’s hard to break bad habits. Think about those cigarette smokers who were killing themselves, but were so addicted to nicotine, they couldn’t quit. Take baby steps and keep it simple. Do what you can to live a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food and exercising regularly so you can keep those good habits going.
It’s amazing to see characters in old movies and TV shows smoking on airplanes, in elevators and hospitals. Will super huge sodas, extra large cinnamon rolls, and king size candy bars ever be an oddity?
That’s hard to imagine.