The Family Tree – Leverage Your Lineage

July 27th, 2010 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Living healthfully to get a handle on risk factors certainly helps with fighting the odds of disease. It’s true. We really don’t know what “genetic cards” we’ve been dealt but there is certainly wisdom in getting a handle on the health issues ingrained in your own family tree. It is better to do this when you’re younger than when you’re pushing 50 like me, but any time is a good time for a reality check and paradigm shift. Trust me, you don’t want a wake up call….

Take my family tree for instance – we have heart issues, stroke, diabetes, not to mention eye issues and thyroid problems. My hubby – Galdolf the Grey has heart issues and stroke on his side of the bella familia. Both sides have family members who are long livers and some very short livers. It’s a game of roulette deciding what your focus should be, but an important exercise nonetheless. It’s not a good idea to think, “well I look like my Dad therefore will follow his health path”, not so fast. Our genetic make up is much more complicated than that.

When I reflect on my own situation for instance I know I have a thyroid condition and feel I have a tendency to have heart issues if I don’t take charge of the key risk factors. I also feel I could have adult onset diabetes later on if I let myself slides (which I’m not planning to do, of course).

So, the focus of my routine is to exercise regularly, eat properly and manage my weight. That’s a trifecta of wisdom to manage the gamut of potential issues. My doctor says I’m healthy as a horse. It’s hard to know if I’ve been hardwired healthy or am managing my risk factors as well as possible.

Now, if you’re lucky to be blessed with family who are long livers all round you still need to take stock. We live in a world where there are multiple epidemics – obesity and adult onset diabetes. Also, life has changed dramatically from your ancestors who may have eaten more healthfully and did regular activity as a way of life. We now live in an obesogenic society with numerous conveniences (see my post on May 27). So, if you don’t make a concerted effort to do regular activity and have a handle on your weight you may be asking for trouble.

It’s so easy to make excuses, isn’t it? It’s just as easy to tune your attitude in and take charge (see post on  June 8). I have suggested you take the RealAge test on April 13. The link to the right will get you there. I still stand by that today. It’s an thorough test looking at all risk factors and provides sage advice.

I used to work in a children’s hospital and had many patients who were heroes in my life. Many didn’t have time on their hands to work out their options. They were simply given grave news and needed to deal with it, likity split. So whenever I find myself making excuses I think of the little heroes in my life and give myself a kick in the pants, pick up and move on. Hopefully you will do the same.

Talk about information overload, there is a bounty of solid evidence on many of the major risk factors from heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and more. It’s true, knowledge is power and using it to your advantage is powerful. Being an ostrich by poking your head in the sand will not help your cause or be a good example to your family. Take charge of your BODY AS TEMPLE!! After all you don’t want to be the smartest person in the graveyard.

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