Now that we are in the midst of another holiday season when our thoughts turn to good tidings and well wishes, we also begin the often difficult task of deciding on the best gift for ourselves and loved ones.   Gifts for our kids tend to be fairly easy, since they usually want or “need” everything they see.  Where does that leave us, the adults?  Sure, there are plenty of clothes, gadgets or trinkets we can buy because we are feeling generous, prosperous or affluent.  But these aren’t the things that really matter.  For those we care about we don’t usually wish them a new iPod or new necklace, we wish them love, good health, and a long life.  But merely wishing for things does not make them happen.  Instead of just wishing for health and a long life, consider giving the gift that can help it come true.

We manage everything that matters to us in pretty much the same way.  Whether it is an education, our careers or even a hobby we are passionate about; we commit to it, work for it, and learn what is needed to be successful at it.  Even though success is not guaranteed, our chances for success are greatly enhanced by working for it, and not at all enhanced by merely wishing for it.  Just as we actively prepare for retirement so as not to outlive our money, we cannot assume good health and vitality will be waiting for us in the future without putting in the work now.

Health is not happenstance, yet our concept of health is so overwhelmingly passive that we make vitality a wish, not an intention.  We accept the gradual deterioration in cognitive and physical function as unavoidable, not a peculiarity.  While none of us gets a guarantee of sustained vitality any more than we get a guarantee of prosperity or wealth, we could undeniably be masters of our fate.  Not even our DNA is our destiny.  Lifestyle and environment affect how our genes are expressed.  The vast majority of chronic diseases that can sap your vitality and shorten your life are preventable.  It is all about making informed choices; not about the prescriptions you take or the surgeries you endure.

What should we do?  First we need to know what our health risks are, and where we currently stand.  With the right knowledge and set of skills we can dramatically reduce our risk of all chronic diseases.  We can manage our weight for a lifetime, not just a few weeks or for a friend’s wedding.  We can remain strong, productive and improve our chances of retaining our youthful vitality throughout our lives.  I call it age management.  This is what my practice is dedicated to.  I know what needs to be done to be healthy and vital because it is my specialty.  I can teach you how to turn what you learn about yourself into what you do for yourself.

So this holiday season, give the gift of health.  I recommend that you get and give one of Alternity Healthcare’s personalized health assessments and individualized action plans for yourself and loved ones.  It really is the gift that keeps on giving.  Aren’t you worth it?