What would it be like if we were rewarded everywhere we went for making healthy choices?
Imagine with me for a moment. You walk into your workplace, an environment that gives you a little bit of stress because of the deadlines you are under, or the relationships that are not happy making. Your boss calls a meeting. As you sit there he/she goes on, ‘I want to offer an incentive to each of you. Each time you use our workout room I am going to give you a bonus of 50.00 on the paycheck for that period.’
Would that motivate you?
What about this scenario? Your insurance agency calls, ‘We are giving incentives now for healthy eating. If you will submit a journal of what you are eating to us and we can see you eat 5 servings of vegetables a day and no more than 3 servings of processed bread a week, we will lower your rates by 25%.’
Would that motivate you?
What would motivate you to take care of yourself?
What would our country be like if we rewarded good behavior?
And how imperative do we find it to make changes in our country’s paradigm for health care?
What would it be like if YOU created a gap between your chronological and biological age. This would reap the benefit of energy to spend with those you love, clearer thinking in all the decisions on your plate every day, our elder generation remaining self sufficient for a longer portion of their life span, meaning less time for caregiving, less money for medical attention and more time and money to simply enjoy the beauty of life.
This all sounds great, right?
So why are the cases of organizations and groups employing this strategy so few and far between? Why is it the exception and not the rule?
Perhaps the futility of old patterns is not yet causing enough discomfort to evoke change. Growing diseases like Alzheimer’s WILL take a toll on our economy and resources if we do not do something about our attitudes around health care, including the care of our senior population.
I would like to suggest we start NOW and not wait until things are bad and force us in a new direction.
This is not to undermine the value of any of the forms, practices and ideologies around medicine only to emphasize that we NEED to focus on the simple and potent building blocks of health. If we do, this alone could turn things in a positive direction for our society. While there are many for me to share with you, here are three fundamental ones.
Number One: Choose a nutrition rich diet.
Processed foods cause inflammation, inflammation causes stress throughout the body, and stress throughout the body is going to lead to LESS health. It is simple and logical.
But are consumption of food is not based on reason, it is largely based on emotion. So the question is not how to produce the research that shows this is so, we have that don’t we? The question is how do we create the environment where it feels GOOD to eat healthy? Where it is not so much a sacrifice but a luxury because of the quality and the way we make it affordable and available?
Number Two: Make a commitment to steady exercise.
This is the same series of challenges. We have plenty of proof of the benefits of exercise and if you have a bit of a steady practice you can attest to it as well.
But exercise is still sometimes framed as ‘work,’ or ‘sacrifice,’ what can we do to alter that attitude? What sorts of structures need to be in place to make it accessible and attractive to our culture that is often over worked and under paid?
Number Three: Sleep.
Sleep is when our brain releases toxins. Sleep is when our body repairs and re-energizes. Sleep is not an option it is a necessity.
What can we do as a culture to increase the awareness around sleep and its importance? And what changes can we make to support it as an attractive choice for a world where lights and stimulation go on through the dark hours all around the world?
These are big questions, and from a large view, difficult ones to answer. However, we can begin where we are to make choices for our selves and our loved ones that put a new paradigm in motion.
From this one point we can begin to look locally, state wide and globally.
Health is not optional it is a necessity.
If we take these building blocks seriously we can even shift senior health issues like the debilitating cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia spreading like wild fire. The advantages would be our senior population moving into the role of mentor and support rather than feeling at the end of their lives they have to become dependent to the point of total care.
THIS would be life giving at its finest.
Join me in asking these questions that could change the horizon of health care for all ages and all time.