I’m getting married at the end of August to my wonderful fiance Phil. As excited as we are, it’s been a challenge putting a wedding together during Covid times. While things look more encouraging now, in planning things out at the very start of the year we had to really think long and hard about how to keep all of our guests safe. I guess big life events force us to look at the bigger picture. And next to our wealth, our health is perhaps the biggest factor in the quality of our lives.
I’ve often thought of it this way. There’s no point making a large amount of money with your investments only to be unable to use it because your health is so poor.
For some reason, we think about our money proactively. But with our health, most of us don’t start thinking about things until there is a problem.
When you think of it, that’s kind of like not thinking about your retirement income until you want to retire. No matter how much you’d like it to be optimal, unless you start planning decades before there’s going to be a problem.
But now is the time in history to be thinking that way. That’s because a mountain of evidence suggests there is a revolution coming in medicine. It should come crashing down upon us over the next 5 – 10 years. So for once in history, we hold in our hands the ability to greatly extend both our lifespan, and our healthspan, unlike we’ve ever had before.
So as I think about marriage and our future, I’m planning our ideal health outcomes along with our financial outcomes. And in considering this, I’ve come to realize that many of us don’t lead the lives we could because of a lack of proper planning around our health.
Why We Do This
Perhaps this typically underwhelming approach to health is because of an ‘out of my hands’ mentality. I mean, in the past, there wasn’t really a whole lot one could do short of eating more fruits and vegetables. I’ve always been interested in health, so this month I read Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition and Modern Medicine. The book really tied it all together for me.
It’s a substantial body of work done by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist, who’s just retired and spilled the beans on the medical, pharma and food industries. As he puts in his forward to the book, he could only write such a book after retiring as “no ivory tower academic bastion would want to take credit for the ‘medical heresy’ that you’ll find sandwiched within these pages.”
The book details the 8 pathologies that underlie all chronic diseases. Here’s the quick read: sugar and processed food are killing us. The medical community is sustaining rather than elevating society’s current downward path as the industry is trained to treat illness rather than prevent it. And because of the economic incentives within the medical industry, there is little impetus for change. So our best course of action is to care for ourselves by “protecting the liver and feeding the gut.”
While the book is a great read for someone such as myself who is interested in nutrition and health, most people are not going to read it.
Much like preaching to the choir, it seems that those who are interested in health tend to read these things and those who are already perhaps not in the best of shape, tend to avoid them.
Here’s a better approach.
There’s an old saying from the financial industry. It goes like this.
“What gets measured gets managed.”
It’s dear to our hearts here at Schneider Insurance as it’s been the regular measurements of our client’s financial health that has over the long-term contributed to both our and their success.
So it’s up to each of us to take our own health into our hands.
Taking our health into our own hands
While we’ve talked about game-changing services like Viome in the past, the reality is that most of us are not going to change our eating and exercise habits dramatically. So it helps to have devices and services that recognize, record and remind us automatically.
The best way to do that today is likely with the purchase of an Apple Watch. Personally, I’ve got a Fitbit which I love but Mark swears by his iWatch.
Apple is being very strategic in its approach to technology delivery. They realize that health is one of those categories that will never go away and thus they’ve put great time and investment in the development of their watch.
Today, it can alert people to things such as the likelihood of a heart attack, the risk of a fall along with collecting all kinds of stats on things like sleep, blood pressure, etc. Next year’s model is rumored to come with a blood glucose monitoring system built-in.
In 10 Years
Today there is a new blood test that will test for 60 different types of cancer. We’ve just entered stage 2 clinical trials in humans for mRNA cancer vaccines which (much like the Covid vaccine) will use our own body’s antibodies to cure cancer. Companies like 23 and Me are working on drugs that will reduce chronic inflammation which is known to cause everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s. And a dozen more game-changing approaches to health care are on the horizon.
But you’ve got to get there. It’ll be 10 years before these life-changing technologies are widely available in Canada. So as opposed to spending that time on the same path a lot of people are on, consider the investments you can make today in your health so you can hopefully live the optimal life you could.