“If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” This saying is attributed to the baseball legend Mickey Mantle. We care for the future in many ways: buying life insurance, building a retirement fund, or getting medical exams, but do we prepare for our future health? If we do not, we may either slip into our later years in poor health — unable to enjoy them — or we don’t have later years.
When building a house, we first have to build a good foundation so the house stands strong. Unlike building though, you are constantly laying or tearing down the foundation of your health. You don’t just lay the foundation and then you are finished — health is an ongoing effort. For some of us, it is easier to pop some pills than do the day-to-day work needed to build a healthy foundation.
Like Mickey Mantle, we tend not to think about taking care of ourselves for the moment. We’ll concern ourselves about that when we are older. Mickey Mantle was an athlete, but he retired from baseball at age 37 due to injuries, and he developed a drinking problem which lasted forty years. He bitterly regretted his long period of alcohol abuse and the impact it had on his health. His advice near the end of his life to those who saw him as a role model was, “Don’t be like me”. He died at age 63.
Now consider another well-known celebrity: Bob Hope. He was no athlete, but at age 78 he stated in an interview, “I walk two miles every night, no matter what city I’m in.” Hope lived to age 100, and he was still working as a comedian and actor into his 90’s.
Perhaps the oldest person on record, Jeanne Calment, lived to age 122. She took up fencing at age 86, and rode her bicycle daily until age 100.
These stories of celebrities, even though they show a clear pattern, are just stories. Scientific studies involve many people so as to be statistically valid. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health combined six studies for a total of 630,000 people over ten years and determined that moderate exercise for 75 minutes per week increased participants’ lifespans by almost two years, but when exercise was increased to 150 minutes per week and only considering those individuals in the normal weight range, the increase averaged 7.2 years. So reaching a normal weight and doing a reasonable amount of exercise gives you a much better chance of reaching age 100.
In the New England Journal of Medicine, a study was published which showed that those with a “favorable lifestyle” had a much lower risk of dying of heart issues — 46% lower in higher risk groups. Heart disease is one of the top killers in America. People don’t live to a ripe old age when a fatal disease cuts their lives short.
A social study by Washington State University, using community mortality data, showed that communities where walking was convenient and inviting had a higher number of people reaching the age of 100. The study author also stated that inherited factors only account for 20 to 35% of the chances that someone would live to that age. That implies that 65 to 80% of the factors influencing longevity are external and controllable. In other words, your longevity potential is largely up to you!
Our lifespan — what can we do?
There are many reasons we don’t do what we can for our health and our longevity: “I don’t have enough time.” “My job is too stressful.” “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” Once you really believe that the environment that you give your body makes a significant difference in your quality of life and your likely lifespan, you will find time and motivation for taking care of yourself.
The principle that “you reap what you sow” applies almost universally, including how we age, how much pain and disease we experience along the way, and how physically able we are to enjoy life. Modern medicine may increase lifespan by getting us past a medical crisis, but it does not have a great track record with chronic disease compared with simply “caring for yourself”. Natural healing respects the intricate design of the body and works with it, and requires that you be active in your own care.
It all adds up. Taking one move today towards your health makes a difference. Make another step. And another. After many days you may totally transform your health — one step at a time.
Dr. Nemec’s Comment:
Diet and lifestyle are crucial in how well you live and age. This is what we have focused on for 36 years at Total Health Institute. Whether you have been diagnosed with cancer, autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s or depression, they all come from an environment that is inflammatory, toxic and stagnant. So whatever you do, eat more plants that are uncooked, and go further with drinking pure water and getting to sleep early. If you want to live well, and possibly long, you must change your internal environment YOURSELF. Don’t wait to you grow a tumor or have a heart attack to do it. And if you need help give us a call at 630-871-0000. Remember there are many options to work on your health at Total Health Institute:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.