"A Wasted Gift" (Blog #165)

The most up to date numbers are finally in and they're not looking good. Twenty percent of Americans suck chemicals in through their lungs. Although, the percentages of people who smoke has dropped over the past ten years. But that still leaves 1 in 5 Americans smoking, that's roughly 50 Million people. Lets forget the dozens of horrible diseases smoking is KNOWN to cause us, it wrecks the quality of our lives. So why do we do it?!

The numbers in America when it comes to obesity aren't any better. Obesity levels are at around thirty-eight percent in America, and some experts say that number is rising. Now granted, this is tracked by an out dated method using your BMI (Body Mass Index) which takes your height to weight into consideration and nothing else. For example, most NFL running backs are considered obese because they are stocky and short. So we take this with a grain of salt, but we can't deny this epidemic.

Sadly, when it comes to regular exercise America is failing miserably! The CDC's latest reports are showing that Eighty percent of Americans are NOT getting the recommended amount of movement every week. The worst part is that the US recommendations are embarrassingly low (in my opinion):

"The U.S. government recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both. Adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights or doing push-ups at least twice per week."

Simple right? Well, we're not doing it!

And when it comes to the foods that we are putting into our systems we may be failing the most in this area. Home cooking is at an all time LOW and eating out is at an all time HIGH. Ironically enough, the debt levels for many Americans is at an all time high as well...Connection? Even our children are losing the knowledge of where food comes from. Most kids cant name the fruits and vegetables in their local super market because they think food comes from a box, a microwave, or a drive-thru window.

And I won't even get into the lack of sleep most Americans get (less then 6 hours per night), the amount of TV time most Americans watch (about 30 hours a week), and the amount of alcohol Americans consume (more than 5 drinks a week) is pushing our health down the drain quickly.

This is unacceptable and changes must be made if we want to prolong our lives, our children's lives, and more importantly, the quality of our lives. With a few simple tweaks, huge progress can be made but it has to start with you!

So I guess the real question is why? Why are so many of us wasting the gift of life? Why are so many of us doing things that we KNOW hurt us? Is it big corporations just making things they know are addicting? Is it all about money? Do we have any control at all over these problems?

The answer is Yes to all of the above! But the good news is you do have control over it all.

Stop Smoking

Limit your Drinking

Lower Your Stress Levels (this seems to be the leading cause of all of these issues)

Join a Gym and Lift Weights 2-4 Days A Week

Stop sitting on the Couch and watching TV so much

Get outside everyday and Walk for 30 Minutes

Disconnect form your Electronics

Go to Bed earlier

Drink (almost) nothing but Tea, Water or Coffee

Learn how to Cook

Stop Eating out so often

Talk to a Financial Planner and Save your $$

Stop wasting the Gift (life) you have received

Declutter your life from things and negativity, simplifying your life will help greatly. Everyone can and will benefit from these suggestions above, even myself. To fix an issue you must first identify the problem, make a plan of attack, and follow through with the plan with aggression and consistency.

You hold the power to make things happen, but it takes a pro-active approach. Changes will never just happen if you sit and wait around.

"The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step."