More Important than Gun Control

I was at a very interesting meetup today. People there were passionate and articulate about their companies, projects or areas of specialty. One gentleman wanted to create a gun range experience where people could to learn how to protect themselves in actual situational scenarios. His concept was that they would be confronted with decisions taken from real life encounters with bad guys. They would learn whether or not to use deadly force. Obviously, this topic spurred much debate on both sides of the gun safety issue from the people there.

But I had a different take on what was happening in that meetup. I saw three people who had body mass indexes in the range that makes them at risk for pre-diabetes if not insulin resistance and had cardiovascular risk factors that alarmed me. One person had body frame imbalances (head forward, rounded shoulders, compressed ribcage, backward tilted pelvis) that indicated poor respiration, stressed digestion and eventual systemic joint inflammation.

I was looking at people that had significant lifestyle risk factors right here and impacting them right now. They remained unaware of them while the topic in the room was about deadly force and the right to protect oneself. Yes, it is a huge topic and rightly so. Gun control and gun safety are societal issues that will not be resolved anytime soon. But my concern is for an issue that is even bigger. It impacts many more people with a greater cost than guns. We are using deadly force on ourselves with lifestyle choices (or non-choices) that leave us at risk for health incidents. Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes was the loaded gun that was pointing in that room and probably every room in America. We have to protect ourselves and our loved ones from an issue that can be managed and ended much easier than the gun control topic.

The risk of serious health problems is great. More people will lose their lives because of lifestyle choices and habits than from guns. People do not see this as an immediate threat – but it is. So here are some health tips that will remove that lifestyle gun that is pointed at your head or heart.

  1. Find out your body mass index and if it is higher than 25 lower it. http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
  2. Exercise. One of the best things you can do for yourself – bar none.
    1. Walk more. Park your car away from your destination. Use the stairs
    2. Do some weight training weekly
    3. Embrace a more active lifestyle. Dance. Sing. Walk the dog.
  3. Eat less. Diets don’t work so just have smaller portions.
    1. At restaurants have the waitperson bring you a ‘to go’ box when they bring the food and put half of the meal in the box for later or for never. Or share one entre with two people
    2. Use small plates at home and load it once.
    3. Drink more water (people think they are hungry when they are usually thirsty instead)
  4. Sleep more. People with disturbed sleep are at risk for many health problems.
    1. Don’t watch the telly late at night. Read instead. About stress management. Inspirational topics. About what makes you feel good.
    2. Find a meditation practice that you like. Pray. Practice Gratitude. http://www.yourvitaledge.com/2011/11/22/your-vital-edge-the-grateful-heart-gratitude-is-the-best-stress-reliever/
    3. If you can’t sleep. Do some light exercise. Get your body’s rhythms back in order.
  5. Laugh more. Most adults are too serious. Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.

Be more social but don’t hang out with people who have a body mass index higher than yours. They are not making the right choices so don’t pick up their bad habits.