“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
What is your expiration date? That may seem like an odd question, but you have one. Only God knows when that date will arrive for each of us. When we are young, we don’t really think about longevity or when our final days might be. The reality for everyone is the fact that our actions, while we are young, have a direct impact on our longevity. By the Numbers Currently, the average life expectancy for both men and women in the United States is around 79 years (76.5 for men and 81.5 for women). Those are the numbers, but lifestyle choices can add or subtract to those quickly. There are three main determinants of our health and longevity: Behavior, Genetics and Environment. Genetics Let us start with the one that we have the least control over – Genetics. We did not get to choose our genetic makeup. And, for some the odds may be stacked against us. If that is the case for you, it is imperative that you know your family history of any major risk factors and that you schedule annual checkups for early detection. Environment What about our environment? Do we have control over our surroundings? We should! We are not talking about just air pollution and occupational hazards, but in some cases, this could be social settings where we could be tempted to engage in health harming activities. We need to be aware of our environment and the effect it has on our health. Behavior The one thing we have the most control over is our behavior. Our lifestyle choices are the biggest factor in determining our longevity. Our decisions, big and small, are stacking the odds for us or against us. In Psalm 90:12, Moses encourages us to realize the brevity of life so that each day we can use our behaviors to seek the wisdom of God. Let’s remember that our purpose in maintaining an adequate level of fitness is to glorify God until our expiration date arrives!
Jeff Riddle MD5 Facilitator