Yesterday I walked out of the operating room at Mercy Southside Surgi-Center tired but exhilarated. Six patients and I had partnered, via surgery, to restore their mobility and put them on a track to get out of pain, gain strength and get their lives back. Whether in the OR, the office, the playing field, or in the laboratory doing research, I simply have the most amazing job.
While it is a privilege to get to perform the “doctor” part of my job, perhaps the most fulfilling role I play is that of teacher. Everyday in my office, via TV, the internet or when writing my books, I get to teach my patients and the public one astounding fact:
We control 70 percent of our health and aging with the decisions we make everyday!
Seventy percent means you have the power to change your life and control how you age. Only 30 percent of how we age is predetermined by genetics. (This means we can stop blaming our parents.)
Aging is not an inevitable decline from vitality to frailty. You can live a life that is vital, healthy, joyful until the very day you stop living if you take control of the 70 percent of the aging process that is determined by the decisions you make today. You are a powerful force in your own life and for the people in your care.
Today, the biggest deterrent to living long and prospering is not lack of information, health care or products. It is sedentary living. Most of us sit all day long at our jobs, and even at play. More than 33 chronic diseases have been grouped into what is known as “sedentary death syndrome.” The severity of these 33 diseases, including stroke, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers, can be directly controlled by getting 30 minutes of mobility a day. Move: you live. Sit: you suffer.
In fact, if you add only 20 minutes of mobility to your usual day of sitting in the office, in the car or on the couch, you can decrease your chances of early death by 20 percent. This is a start, but not the whole story.