It's funny how people who strive for fitness, take an active role in their own health, disease prevention, diagnosis, and recovery/cures. The rest of the population does not seem to be that interested in the process.
I was killing time Friday waiting for my wife's car to get out of the shop. I was sitting next to a guy at the counter at Bob Evans restaurant, eating breakfast.
The guy appeared to be in his late 50s or early 60s. He was telling me about all of his latest ills, "and how all of these diseases just seem to creep up on you as you get older, without any warning." (In his case, diabetes, foot/leg issues, high blood pressure, heart disease and 10 other things). He has had two stays in a nursing home, since he turned 45.
He mentioned that he had just gotten back from his high school reunion. I assumed (but didn't say), his 40th or 45th. It was his 30th H.S. reunion! I said that I went to my 30th a year ago and had fun. He wouldn't believe that I was older than him until I showed him my license. "Holy crap, you're almost 50," he said.
He asked what I did to stay in shape and relatively healthy, and I told him a little of my routine. He said that he works out 2 times per week for 20 minutes. I told him that that wasn't sufficient to stay in decent shape and didn't even meet the minimum for cardiovascular fitness. He asked why a doctor hadn't told him that fact? I said that it was his body, and he should be the one who takes the initiative to find out more about his own body's intracacies and requirements.
He asked about what I was eating...wheat toast (dry), egg white omelet, etc. I told him that I was splurging, since I had the day off, and don't normally eat like that for breakfast. I normally juice my own veggies/fruit and add some omega oils and protein powder to make a smoothie for breakfast. It was 10:00 a.m., and he was on his 2nd breakfast for the day! He said that he felt hungry again, and was eating 3 eggs and biscuits and gravy to "hold him over" until lunch.
I don't hold out much hope for the poor guy attending his 40th H.S. reunion. He doesn't take an active role in his own health at all. It's like he's watching a bad, B-rated horror flick from the sidelines, when it comes to his body.
I'm definitely not perfect. I like drinking my own homebrewed beer, (sometimes to excess). I have a sweet-tooth, every now and then. I definitely drink too much coffee. I don't eat a perfect diet. I don't fill every possible spot in my schedule with running or excercise routines. In short, I don't do everything that I can do to get as fit and healthy as I possibly could be. BUT, I definitely strive to stay in decent shape and eat healthily, and am always surprised by the positive results.
For instance, I rarely need pain or anti-inflammatory drugs anymore. The last 50-miler that I did and also the 100-miler that I did in February, I didn't need any ibuprophen (during or after) the race. Fifteen years ago, after running (just) a marathon, I would have needed to take Advil for a day or two for the pain, swelling, and stiffness. Now, I only need it for REAL injuries and trauma, it seems.
Fitness is a personal journey. Along the way, you get to know your own body better than any health professional, dietician, or personal trainer ever will. Heal thy self! Or, at the very least, be intimately involved in the process.