This is not really a post about sex. But it sort of is.
Most of us have seen those commercials for Viagra and other products that treat ED. The commercials feature pictures of people like the couple on bikes in today’s photo (though they need bike helmets!) Like most drugs, the commercials also contain warnings. The Viagra commercial’s warnings include this one, “Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex.”
Being healthy is something I write and speak about often—about the importance of lifestyle choices such as eating well, exercise, not smoking, and more. I used to write about living a long time (a long lifespan), but now I’m more focused on having a large number of healthy years (a long healthspan).
Some friends have joked with me (or have even said in seriousness), “What’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy yourself?” They mean they would rather trade some extra years of life to be able to enjoy steaks, deep fried foods, and sugary desserts now.
If they are serious, they’re missing two things. First, there are plenty of delicious healthy foods. That’s something I’ll write about another time. My focus here is the second thing they’re missing: that it’s not just about a premature death, it’s also about a premature loss of your health (like the reference in the Viagra commercial).
It’s not fun to be sick—to be in the hospital, to need to go see doctors all the time, to be a drag on your family. Sickness happens, but we have a chance to reduce its likelihood.
I want a long healthspan and if I can do something to reduce the changes of spending time in the hospital and seeing doctors all the time, that’s worth a lot of lifestyle adjustments. It would suck if my heart wasn’t healthy enough for sex, yet another reason to eat healthy foods, to exercise, and to not smoke.
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