Everyone knows he or she “should” be doing regular exercise, but most people have not exercised in so many years that they don’t know where to begin. As a result, people start and stop various training programs and routines. They join gyms, buy workout clothes, spend hard-earned income, and ultimately fail to follow-through because they don’t have a clear idea of how to exercise effectively.



Whether you live in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe, your health care decision-making is impacted by the type of health insurance available. In the United States, a fee-for-service system implies that you will be paying for some or all of the costs of every service used on your behalf. In Canada patients receive health care through a publicly funded system. Costs are funded via income taxes, so Canadian patients pay indirectly for their care. The majority of Western European countries have national health care systems in place. In France, for example, the national insurance program pays 70% of costs and much of the remaining 30% is paid by supplemental private insurance (most of this is paid by the patient's employer). Regardless, for any given person, more health problems mean more costs. Thus, preventing health problems in the first place is a strategy that will save families stress, anxiety, and financial resources in the long run. In health care it can be said that the best defense is a good offense.



How do you determine whether your life is going well? Whether you're happy and fulfilled vs. merely going through the paces? Whether you're growing and developing as a person vs. merely expressing more of the same old, same old? In short, when the alarm goes off in the morning does the prospect of a new day cause you to be filled with excited anticipation and a sense of being actively engaged? Or do you wish you could bury yourself beneath the blankets and put off your daily routine for as long as possible?



Did you know that your spinal column's spongy intervertebral discs (IVDs) comprise 25% of this segmented structure's entire length? Did you know that an adult's spinal column is approximately 24-28 inches in length? A little quick math shows that the total height of your spinal discs is approximately between 6 and 7 inches. But most of us don't get to enjoy the maximum height, springiness, or shock-absorbing capabilities of our spinal IVDs.

Why is that? Another fact known to anatomy students is that IVDs begin losing their total water content at the early age of 2. If you're a young adult, that water-losing process has been going on for 20 years. If you're older, tack on a couple of decades. But this is a natural process. Whether we like it or not, our body parts are not built to last forever. They are designed to keep us healthy and fit for about 150 years (another little known fact). What's not natural is the sedentary lifestyle associated with living in an economy driven largely by the service sector.



Most of us like to think of ourselves as young: young in heart at least, if not actually young in years. But is it possible to stay "forever young" in terms of health and wellness? Of course, probably no one would want to remain forever young in terms of life experience. Our experiences give us character and contribute to our growth and development as persons.