We spend a great part of life planning and investing time and money on a multitude of things. We plan our time, our studies, our work, number of children, the type of house in which we want to live, our holidays, our birthdays and celebrations, our expenses, our savings, our retirement … you could say that we go through life constantly programming it.
The question is though, how much time do we spend making plans for our health? And, this obviously does not mean simply having private health insurance or going for a check-up when a doctor sends us because of symptoms of an illness that suddenly appear.
Although most illnesses start to appear when a person is approaching middle age, the risk factors that determine just when or what type are basically related to the habits and behaviour that we adopt or learn from childhood and continue on through to when we are adults.
As time goes on, the risks are there earlier; for example, in certain countries, diabetes type 2 – which was previously very rare in children – is increasing among adolescents. Regular physical activity in children and adolescents is decreasing, especially in adolescents. For this reason, more and more people are becoming obese and suffering from more health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
The ageing of the population is an unavoidable fact in certain areas of the world, along with a longer life expectancy, plus an increase in heart disease, respiratory illnesses and cancer, among others.
The more we do during middle age, the better prepared we are for the future
The musician and compositor Eubie Blake, famously said at 99 and just before dying:
If I’d have known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself
The best advice is to begin planning your health with the future in mind, have a regular, personalised check-up and start to change any habits that could prove detrimental to your health.