Elections traditionally bring out bidding contests between the major parties as to which one will spend the most on “Health”. We are supposed to believe that whichever party spends the most on health is doing the best job in that area.
Realistically this approach treats the Health System as a bottomless pit which consumes an ever increasing percentage of the budget and there is never enough money to “fix” the Health System.
There is another alternative which lots of health professionals advocate, but which politicians have so far failed to recognise.
Instead of a “Health System” designed to treat illnesses after they occur, we could actually allocate some resources towards preventing more people from getting seriously ill in the first place. It’s the old story of “Prevention is better than a cure.”
This idea is one of the basics of the Wellbeing Movement, which has been growing steadily over the last 10-15 years.
Of course adopting a lifestyle which would make us healthier and thus more likely to avoid serious diseases, requires some effort and commitment. That’s a choice for each of us to make.
Dr.Ross Walker, a well- known Heart Surgeon and regular media commentator on health issues, has written a chapter in our book about health for retirees, in which he recommends 5 key lifestyle choices that people can adopt if they wish to significantly reduce the risk of contracting a serious illness. Here they are–
1 The most powerful “drug” on the planet is Happiness, Peace and Contentment. Heart diseases and many common cancers occur more frequently in people suffering acute stress, social isolation, loneliness, discontent and clinical depression.
2 Exercise and move more 3 to 5 hours per week of regular exercise that raises the heart rate plus consciously moving our bodies by walking, swimming or just being more active.
3 Eat less & eat more naturally To help in this area, Dr Walker advises us to –
*Eat off smaller plates *Eat smaller helpings * Don’t have second helpings * Avoid deserts * Don’t graze
4 Cultivate a regular sleep habit 7-8 hours of good quality sleep for adults offers major health and happiness benefits.
5 Quit any addictions. We all know that drug taking, smoking and excessive drinking are all bad for us, both physically and mentally.
You can read Dr. Walker’s full article, plus numerous other articles on the Wellness movement in our book “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement”. It’s available on this web site