Our generation looks good for our age but do we feel as good physically? Many of my friends and I have been dealing with various health issues that we feel we are too young to have. Whether it be joint problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, diabetes or migraines, it seems too much for our age. Though our genes do account for some of these issues, it seems that we are getting them sooner than our parents or grandparents may have. My orthopedist told me of my arthritis that “it comes earlier in each generation”. Just great!
I often wonder if it is our diet and lack of exercise that is contributing to these issues. I mean in this generation we don’t have to churn our butter or bake our bread before we eat it. That means it’s easier to eat all kinds of foods without the effort to cook it that may have changed our minds. If prepared goods weren’t so easy to obtain, I’m sure we would eat less junk. An apple would be an easier snack then than a cookie that needed baking or chips that required frying. But, in our times, there is a reason all these prepared foods are so critical. This is because life has gotten so hectic and fast-paced that some of us wouldn’t have time to eat at all if these conveniences didn’t exist.
This brings me to my second thought on why we are falling apart earlier than our ancestors. Stress. Many jobs these days allow you to telecommute since people require more flexibility to be there for kids or to pursue other activities. Luckily our improved level of technology allows us to do this but it all comes with a price. This ability to connect remotely often means that employees are expected to always be ‘on’ and this leads to the demise of work/home separation.
I don’t remember my parents doing work all night after they fed us and took care of our needs. They were tired after a full day at work and the challenges of home life but at least they were able to disconnect from the former and focus purely on family. Our current lifestyle of always having work in the back of our minds, I believe leads to more stress.
In addition to these things, we are always multitasking even in our free time. We often watch TV in the background while browsing the internet and checking emails. This means our brains are doing three different tasks even while we are so-called relaxing. These days it seems ‘downtime’ is frowned upon and those who still enjoy it are considered lazy. I think these ‘lazy’ people are probably doing the right thing by resting their minds and bodies occasionally. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. I compare it to the notion that being clean and organized are generally good but if a person can’t stop cleaning or organizing they are labeled as having OCD- a disorder.
Bottom line is that I think we are progressing as a society but many of us are losing our health or peace of mind in the process. We need to improve our diet, rest our minds and exercise our bodies. Maybe this would be a step toward being a sturdier generation with less ailments. OK, off to my doctor’s appointment……