In most Western nations today, the plethora of ever-evolving laws can overwhelm us. Luckily, there is still no law that says we can live only to a certain age or at a certain level of health and happiness. Many individuals take advantage of this; they live much longer and healthier and happier than others. Millions of others, unfortunately, allow their health to slide through sheer neglect.
Given that health is an important element of happiness, these neglectful people set themselves up for unhappiness later in life.
Although some people with poor physical health, but great mental health, can still experience a good measure of happiness, it doesn't come easily.
Staying physically and mentally active is the easiest way to be happy.
The degree to which we maintain our mental and physical fitness will largely determine how fulfilling our later years will turn out.
Perhaps you know several people in their seventies and beyond who are in excellent mental and physical condition.
They are living life with more vigor and joy than most people in mid-life.
They play tennis or hockey, run, walk, hike, dance, communicate, and debate with the same amount of energy that they had in their thirties or forties.
On the other hand, you undoubtedly know many people only in their forties or fifties who appear lazy, tired, and unenthusiastic. For them, getting out of bed in the morning, twisting a bottle cap, or turning on the TV set is a major project. Not only is their physical well-being significantly compromised by mid-life, but their mental well-being is far from what it used to be.
They are negative, complain a lot, and never seem to learn anything new. To add to their woes, their spiritual health leaves a lot to be desired.
The main question is: What measure of physical, mental, and spiritual fitness would you like to have in your retirement years?
Undoubtedly, like everyone else, you want to wind up among the active people with an incredible joie de vivre.
Now the million-euro’s question is: What are you doing about it today?
This question applies whether you are presently in your late thirties and working at a full-time job or in your sixties and fully retired.
Paradoxically, many working people who say they look forward to an active and healthy retirement are setting themselves up for the opposite. By working too much, many workers are subjecting their bodies to excessive stress that can lead to many ailments, including cancer.
Others are also eating too much, watching too much TV, and exercising too little. Still others keep on smoking cigarettes despite all the evidence that smoking dramatically increases the risk of serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and emphysema.
It behooves you to do everything within your power to maintain good health now so that you still have it in your later years.
In the event that you still have great health, it is a mistake to take it for granted.
Great health is often not appreciated until it's lost - sometimes for good. For certain, there are no quick fixes for regaining your health once you lose it.
The Constitution of the World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
In the event that you are less healthy than you should be, you should put a lot more time and energy into improving your health than increasing the size of your retirement portfolio.
Retiring rich, but unhealthy, won't do you much good. Without good health you can never be truly rich.
Thus, take special care of yourself - because no one else will!
You will have to put the time and effort into maintaining your health even when you reach one hundred.
More than anyone else, you are responsible for your health.
Neither your doctors nor your hospital nor your health insurance policy can do one hundredth as much for your health as you can.
It comes back to maintenance and prevention - your three best doctors will always be wholesome food, exercise, and a positive attitude.