Consider your car for a moment. It is a very complex, precisely manufactured and carefully assembled machine. If you really think about it, the modern auto is nothing short of miraculous. Does any one human being even understand all the workings of a car?
The same rings true for the human body, but interestingly enough, people are more willing to take better care of their cars than themselves. Maybe it’s because the car came with an owner’s manual.
So here is a quick overview of my owner’s manual for bodies.
Guarantee: Probably 40 years, bumper to bumper. After age 40, things get a bit dicey.
Proper break-in procedure: I think we all took care of the break-in during our teen years. Some of us did not break in our bodies carefully, we over-revved our motor, and it hasn’t ever run well since.
Like your car, the body has limited annual maintenance and much more comprehensive service at less frequent intervals. Annual service included an examination, checking high cholesterol and sugar. Comprehensive service is on a schedule not too dissimilar to the 15, 30, 45 and 60k your car is on.
Like your car, comprehensive service becomes more involved and expensive as the body ages. This service may include an EKG, mammogram or colonoscopy (think of it as a radiator flush). What about owner-performed maintenance?
o Don’t smoke
o Get some exercise
o Wear a seat belt
o Stay trim
o Get in a relationship (married people live longer)
o Eat little red meat and lots of green vegetables
o Keep blood pressure normal
o Keep cholesterol normal
o Try to be happy
What is surprising is what didn’t make the list – a whole bunch of stuff that isn’t proven to make you live longer, “good stuff” like organic foods, 98% of vitamins and herbs at the vitamin store, stretching and self-help programs.
Another idea that people hold dear is doing extra of one thing so you can skip another one entirely. An example: Have you ever seen someone light a cigarette after leaving the gym? A certain amount of exercise is essential, but extra exercise does not detoxify nicotine.
And the notion that “Smoking/fast food/ (insert unhealthy vice here)_ makes me happy” is not taking a step toward longevity.
We all need to take better care of our bodies than of our cars. Attend to these basic recommended owner-performed maintenance items, and your body’s engine should run long and prosper.
– Dr Don Bucklin, National MRO, AKA “Dr B”