Monday, September 21, 2009

“If I Only Knew…A Wake Up Call for You and Me”
by John Alexander Madison
September 21, 2009

DID YOU KNOW that smoking is hazardous to your health? It’s no secret smokers should not only fear heart disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other breathing problems that can seriously cramp their lifestyle, but death as well. Smoking kills over 400,000 Americans each year- and each one is entirely preventable.

DID YOU KNOW that a sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise) is a factor in many health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis? Moving around now will help you keep moving around in the future. A brisk daily walk would be a great start.

DID YOU KNOW junk food contains trans-fats (which clog your arteries and add extra calories to your diet) and super-sizing it a fast track to bad health? As you get older you need high-quality, low-fat foods. Pitfalls of consuming junk food include being overweight and eating foods high in fat and sugar which contribute to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. But for many, the drive-through is just too convenient…it's what is available at lunchtime while you are at work.

DID YOU KNOW excessive stress can kill you? Reducing stress can impact your health dramatically – reducing risk of heart disease and stroke, but also issues such as insomnia and eczema.

DID YOU KNOW that flossing promotes good health? Gum disease can have a negative impact on heart health. Daily dental care is critical, including flossing.

DID YOU KNOW that consumption of alcoholic beverages, even in moderation, damages brain and body cells because they generally contain chemical additives? Most suicides are alcohol related. However, my senior medical advisor says a glass of red wine per day for ladies and two per day for men can be beneficial to your health due to anti-oxidants. It should also be noted that grape juice may provide similar benefits.

DID YOU KNOW that lack of sleep makes any health problem worse? Why do you stay up late? Turn off your television earlier. A good night’s sleep (8 or more hours) ensures a longer life.

AND, surely you know that chemical abuse hurts your body. It does. Chemical abuse includes over-use of prescription drugs as well as narcotic addiction.

DID YOU KNOW regular use, in excess, of over-the-counter medication is also chemical abuse. Headaches are not caused by aspirin deficiency, nor are digestive problems due to insufficient antacids in your diet. Try to avoid headaches and stomach aches by eliminating the real cause of these maladies.

DID YOU KNOW if you are overweight you will have many more health problems and a shorter life? Americans are usually the most overweight people in the world. Start losing that excess weight today!

DID YOU KNOW that drinking coffee is not a healthy habit? If you must have several morning cups of coffee and more throughout the day you are addicted to caffeine. Caffeine is a drug. If you stop today, and you are a Starbucks addict, you will also save about $2,000 per year. If you must continue, try cutting back.

DID YOU KNOW that eating chocolate negatively affects more people than you might think? No, I don’t believe it and I don’t want to hear about it! I think dark chocolate is great and great for you…it makes me very happy. So let’s move on.

DID YOU KNOW sugar is not your friend? Avoid it and feel better right away with fewer mood swings.

DID YOU KNOW that worrying is useless and a waste of time? Most things we worry about never happen and you usually can’t do anything about the remaining items. As Bobby McFerrin reminded us in 1988, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

DID YOU KNOW that drinking soft drinks is harmful? Carbonated drinks erode tooth enamel (because they contain carbonic and phosphoric acids) and they also appear to promote kidney stones. Drink more H2O.

DID YOU KNOW that eating meat (especially too much) is not a necessity? Get your proteins elsewhere.

DID YOU KNOW artificial sweeteners add chemicals to your body? Is that any better than sugar?

DID YOU KNOW that eating anything with a chemical ingredient in it that you can’t pronounce easily is probably not good for you? Is your body a chemistry lab or depository?

DID YOU KNOW that working too hard means you may not have your priorities in order. We should work to live, not live to work.

DID YOU KNOW that not chewing your food carefully may result in a variety of health problems? Eating too fast almost guarantees poor digestion. Turn off the television, put on some music, and eat more slowly. What’s the hurry?

So, if almost everything we do every day is bad for us, what’s the formula for immediate improvement in your health, a longer lifespan, fewer medical problems, and lower medical-related costs?

It’s nothing new, you’ve heard it before. Fruits and veggies baby, fruits and veggies…and more sleep and exercise…and find someone to love. Sincere love, it’s a wonderful (legal) narcotic.


So what was that all about? Well, with all the talk about a national healthcare program, one which won’t cost us a dime (if you believe that), it seems Americans should do all we can, immediately, to control or lower our health care costs.

You’ve just read about 20 ways to do just that. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is just plain smart…it’s a choice between a healthier, longer life and the less appealing alternative.

It is all about choices…good choices, smart choices, healthy choices…and, if you continue to make bad choices why do I need to provide health care coverage for you?

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