Good Health is Best Gift to Ourselves
(Written for WA Business News and
‘The West Australian’ - Christmas 2007)
Next week will
see the time of many festivities and the giving of gifts, as our
country celebrates Christmas 2007.
As we reflect
on one of our state’s most successful business years ever and we
look forward to enjoying the holiday season and the giving of gifts
at Christmas, perhaps we should pause for a moment to consider
giving ourselves the most important gift of all this year – the gift
of good health.
paradox, is that whilst millions of families in the third world
countries face a daily battle just to receive the most basic
nutrition, many middle and upper class families in Australia are
facing a new – but just as devastating- threat; that of obesity and
degenerative disease caused by a lifestyle that has been just too
Last year a
World Health Organization report showed that whilst the world has
made significant progress in reducing the incidents of infectious
and viral diseases, the degenerative diseases such as heart disease,
stroke, diabetes and cancer are killing people in their late forties
and fifties at an alarming rate. Children are now also suffering
from diseases caused by our excessive lifestyle!
people are only too aware of the dangers of the notorious diseases
such as typhoid, diphtheria and cholera, they seem unaware that more
than over 143 million people around the world now suffer from
diabetes, and 165 million people wake up every morning to the
debilitating effects of arthritis.
affects one in every three people by the age of 75 years, yet almost
50% of all cancers could be avoided if we took simple steps to
improve our diet; exercised regularly and stopped smoking.
In a country
where wealth creation is now ‘king’, it has become all too
convenient to allow our doctors to assume responsibility for our
health, as we enjoy the ‘good life’.
For many of
us within the business community, we see these degenerative
illnesses as ‘things’ that have invaded our bodies, and consequently
rush to the doctor to seek scientific treatment and drugs so that we
may be ‘fixed’. The reality is that we should see these illnesses as
the end result of ‘processes’ that have resulted from our
lifestyles habits involving smoking, a lack of exercise, excessive
stress and a poor diet. These outcomes can be changed, of course by
our own actions and choices.
How often do
you hear a friend complain of arthritis, or high blood pressure for
example, and simply put these illnesses down to ‘getting old’? Most
people are amazed to learn just how many degenerative diseases are
directly related to ‘getting old’…. In fact there are probably none!
It is tragic
that most of us know at least someone who has been struck down with
a lifestyle-related disease at 45 or 50 years of age, leaving their
families devastated and without an income. So this Christmas we can
give ourselves the magnificent gift of ‘empowerment’ by reclaiming
our health from the worlds crumbling health systems and the public
diagnosed with cancer in 1993 and in some respects cancer was, for
me, a ‘gift’ as it forced me to question why as a then 42 year-old
business executive I was struck down with not only this shocking
disease, but that I also suffered with other degenerative diseases’
such as blood pressure, stress and arthritis.
past twelve years I have learned that by taking better care of ‘me’
I would not only ensure that my quality of life would improve but
that I would also be around long enough to enjoy my retirement and
to watch my children grow!
So as you
look forward to this Christmas, plan to give yourself the most
important gift of all this year: Make a commitment to stop smoking,
to drink a few more glasses of fresh water and add a freshly
squeezed juice each day instead of more coffee; take a little
exercise and laugh a lot more. In doing so you can then help your
80,000 billion cells look after you for many years to come.
Ross B. Taylor