I find it hard to be healthy. It is little consolation but deep down inside I know that it is not my fault. I believe that it has never been harder to get fit or to stay fit. We are all ‘busy’. It is a common answer to the broad question of “how are you?”…. “busy”. It means our priorities are elsewhere, or worse, our priorities are everywhere and effectively nowhere. One way or another it is hard to make health a priority.
The path of least resistance is currently an unhealthy road
Fitness, as a part of being healthy, should be the easy bit. In terms of being physically fit for a particular role or task we kind of know what we should do, don’t we? The rules, research and recommendations seem to constantly change but we feel that we should exercise, not eat crap and get some sleep… or variations of that combination. But it is not easy, the odds are stacked against us and it is getting harder and more confusing. It feels as though we are moving away from a health sweet spot. If you lived 100+ years ago you probably would have caught some horrific Victorian disease and died. A little after that, you would have fought in one of the great wars… and died. Then there was a period, a sweet spot of around 40-50 years where staying alive was relatively easy and life was simple and as a result you could argue that people were healthy, perhaps as healthy as they had ever been.
Yes, they all chain smoked at their desks and drank 2 martinis at lunch but it seemed to work. But now, lives are becoming busier. We are more sedentary than ever, we spend more time staring at screens which (allegedly) ruins our sleep and our food options, although wide, are more toxic that ever. Massive budgets are at work to market unhealthy choices at us. Experts are employed to convince us to choose the unhealthy option. We are constantly surrounded by and bombarded by bad choices which are unfortunately the easiest option.
The path of least resistance is currently an unhealthy road. You can’t even buy fuel these days without being forced to go on a weird procession around the petrol station past countless tempting sugary bargains. Reports suggest that 80% of supermarket foods have sugar added. NOT contain sugar but have sugar added. Sugar is effectively a drug, a legal drug and it is added and offered at every turn. What hope do we have? It’s hard.
If you can get fit and stay fit then congratulations, as swimming against the tide of unhealthy options is hard and your all work my just result in you not slipping into a diabetic coma. But that is where the problem lies. For us it is easier to go with the flow and we all suffer. The net result is a series of shocking headlines about weakling teenagers and primary school kids who don’t know what a tomato looks like. I believe the saying is, “what one generation tolerates, the next embraces”. I find it hard to stay fit, I hope my kids don’t find it hard to stay alive.