Seniors already have Health Laws
(Or: The dos and don’ts living well)
By: Patrick M. Kennedy
With all the pro people, con people, and I-don’t-care people squabbling like little children on a playground, there is quite a controversy about the recent passed Health Law. But laws, rules, suggestions, and habits for good health have been around for ages. What’s new? What’s the fuss? We have been beaten on the brow since childhood by health laws. You know things like brush your teeth and wash your face, go to bed early, don’t wear your skates in bed, and say your prayers, were orders barked at us as kids at bedtime. Those were the early health laws or rules or must-dos.
As seniors, it’s a different set of physical and mental norms and opinions about what’s healthy and what’s not for the mind and body, and for whom. Brush your teeth and wash your face, every day, are rules still bugging us. There are others like take a bath/shower often, comb your hair, get plenty of sleep, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” said Benjamin Franklin, but he didn’t have late-night TV. Dress warm in cold weather, and wear comfortable shoes. Laws still sorta hangovers from childhood. Exercise by walking, bending, lifting, biking, hiking (different from walking?), or even just strolling. Maybe even skipping rope, golfing or bowling are thrown in. And the big law here is, avoid exposing too much bare skin to the sun, but not in bowling, unless you are lawn bowling. And the biggie, less potato couching and lazy-boy lounge lazing. Lose weight/gain weight.
Then there’s the law of eating well. Good healthy food, less sugar, less fat, more veggies’ and fruit, and be sure to eat plenty of roughage and fiber to keep the system rolling on, but don’t eat a 2x4 board or today’s newspaper, that is taking this law too seriously. We know eating smart is an absolute law for a better life, and this rule is a current fad being pounded from every direction: Magazines, infomercials, TV, and an occasional snake-oil salesperson that passes through town, gathers a crowd, charges a fee, spouts some gibberish, and tries to sell seniors a book or CD about better food. Don’t listen to them. There is another health law called, have fun, and eat a sprinkle-covered doughnut once in a while, or more often.
Now the universal and more important laws for seniors, like, have annual checkups with your doctor and dentist. But just remember what George Carlin said, “Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do practice?” One meaning of practice is: repeated performance of an activity in order to learn or perfect a skill. Do you really want to be a guinea pig? Or take the advice of Erma Bombeck, “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” Maybe a way to reduce stress is to avoid the doctor … or maybe not. Going to the dentist every year is a health law based on masochism, or the tendency to invite and enjoy misery of any kind. This is against the regular law, sometimes, and may be only promoted for oral profit or something like that.
Health Laws have been with us since the Stone Age, so what’s new. Even the Cave Man … well, maybe not.