-by Mike Warkentin (CrossFit 204)
I turned 40 this year, and I finally started planning to die.
The topic of life insurance hadn’t really crossed my mind before, but suddenly it seemed like a big-boy issue that needed to be addressed. So I talked to a series of financial advisers and did a lot of reading about how life insurance works. None of the details matter, except one: Life insurance is not for you but for your family. You don’t get to use the money. You’re dead.
Lots of people have life insurance; they want to care for their families after they meet their end. Lots of people have health insurance, too; they want to ensure they’re financially secure if something bad happens and health deteriorates. Travel insurance, car insurance, home insurance—they all work the same way: Money comes after something bad happens.
I recently had a cup of coffee with one of our long-term members, and he talked to me about his life plan, which involved making good decisions that would help him live as long as possible. This conversation wasn’t about planning for bad events but preserving good things—planning to live rather than to die. What an amazing idea.
We certainly can’t prevent all bad things from happening, but when it comes to health, we can prevent a lot. For example, just by achieving a healthy weight, you will significantly reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, some cancers, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, breathing problems—the list goes on and on.
If you’re reading this, you’re interested in fitness. You are or have been a member of our gym or you want to learn more about fitness through this newsletter. That means you’re already thinking about prevention: Exercise builds muscle, strengthens bones, improves blood work, reduces stress, eliminates fat and so on. These are all good things that will help keep you out of the doctor’s office and the hospital.
But exercise isn’t enough.
At our Sept. 14 nutrition seminar, I used this analogy: If you’re trapped in a room with two zombies and you kill one, do you still have a problem?
The answer is chasing you.
Health is like that. Exercise is an amazing thing, and since 2009 we’ve focused on learning how to use it to make you as healthy as possible. Now we’re focusing on combining that training with an improved diet—we’re going to kill both zombies.
If you work out and eat better, you’re going to save yourself from a lot of bad things, and you’re less likely to need life insurance before you’re very old. But you need to kill both zombies before you’re as safe as possible. Eat well without exercise or train well but eat poorly and you still have half your problems.
Stay active, train hard, optimize your diet and do everything you can to live a long, healthy life.