We’re in trouble here in the West. A lot of trouble.
The average American is about 30 pounds overweight and does about 17 minutes of exercise per day (and walking is considered exercise).
He eats far too little fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat, and far too much meat, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium.
He watches over four hours of TV per day, is stressed, anxiety-ridden, and depressed, and more likely than ever to die from illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.
We’re caught in a downward spiral of disease, disorder, and death, and if we don’t correct our course, scientists warn us that the social and economic consequences will be grim.
At first blush, the situation might seem hopeless and the impending catastrophe inevitable. If a storm is coming, why not just batten down the hatches and brace for impact?
This thinking is wrongheaded.
While it’s in vogue to live solely for your own interests, pleasures, and benefit, and to care nothing about what goes on in the world around you, it’s also poisonous, both personally and socially.
“It has nothing to do with me,” many people say, until, one day, the wolves arrive at their door.
Often, when caught in a mire, the worst thing you can do is nothing. And make no mistake—no matter the situation, something can always be done about it.
No fate or outcome is assured so long as people will work toward something else.
In fact, most of the milestone achievements in every field of human endeavor were once considered impossible. The odds were too great, people once thought, the difficulties too complex, and the work too demanding.
That’s why we should reject defeatism. We shouldn’t stand by idly and watch this healthcare nightmare unfold.
What can you do, though? How can you make a difference?
First, you can set a good example for others by being fit and healthy.
Don’t discount the impact this alone can have. I’ve heard from thousands of men and women over the years who started their own fitness journey after watching someone close to them transform their body.
“If they can do it, why not me?”
Why not indeed!
And who might you influence outside of your immediate circle? Very few people, you think? Don’t be so sure.
Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of men and women close to starting a fitness regimen, maybe for the first time in their life.
They just need another nudge or two to make the leap, and sometimes it’s as simple as seeing someone in the flesh who represents their goal.
“If they can do it, why not me?”
Another easy win:
You can spread the word about what works.
When you’re fit, you get asked all the time about “how you do it.” Point them in the right direction (flexible dieting and strength training) and away from the piffle (fad diets and BS supplements).
If you want to save yourself many breaths, you can just send them my way, where they’ll find articles, podcasts, and books that break it all down in simple terms anyone can understand and apply.
There are many other ways to help, of course, but know this:
The world desperately needs people who strive to show others what they’re capable of and inspire them to try.
It also needs people who refuse to accept low standards, no matter how glittery the window dressing appears.
And so, by getting and staying fit, you’re doing a little good every single day. When the sun goes down at sunset, you can smile, because it takes a part of you with it.