The Best Healthcare Investment You Can Make

Wed. Jun 19, 2019

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The field of medicine has given us countless life saving medications and procedures but the best medicine is still one only you can administer.

Recently I came across this cartoon on a friend’s social media feed.

My first reaction to this cartoon was to laugh.

As someone who makes a living as a strength coach, I can certainly attest to how difficult it is to get someone to make a long-term, persistent commitment to changing their lifestyle.

But as effortful as such a commitment is it behooves us to remember that a life degraded by symptoms associated with heart disease, insulin resistance, muscle and bone loss are often the alternative.

On further reflection, as someone who has undergone multiple knee and back surgeries and who recently saw his Mom deal with cancer, I’m thankful that we live in a society in which we have the life saving and enhancing medications and surgical procedures for which people will eagerly line up.

But the most amazing medicine currently available is one only you can administer: exercise!

As amazing and necessary as my Mom’s chemotherapy and radiation where, my training her throughout most of her treatment period is what allowed her to maintain most of her strength and survive the assault of the treatment itself.

As strength coach extraordinaire Mark Rippetoe famously wrote, “strong people are harder to kill…”

In my own case, I’m grateful to each of my surgeons for the ACL reconstructions and lumbar diskectomies that have allowed me to continue practicing the martial art I love: Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

And thank goodness that the opiods I was consuming like Skittles before each of my back surgeries made the pain bearable.

But once each surgery was done, it was my responsibility to rebuild the strength I had lost so that I could get back to living the full, active life I wanted to live.

So let us never forget how fortunate we are to live at a time when medicine allows us to face down assaults to our health that would have been crippling or fatal to generations past.

But neither should we lose sight of the fact that the most important health care decisions we make lay within the parameters of our own agency.

Each one of us has the choice and responsibility to develop a healthy relationship with food and to develop our strongest selves!