The Luck of Your Health

Only a small percentage of people have bad luck when it comes to their health. Only about five percent of people have a genetic disposition to develop diseases from their inherited genes. For the rest of us, luck is created by what we eat, and the things we expose ourselves to.

During March, thoughts turn to St. Patrick’s Day, the ides of March and the luck of the Irish. Other than leprechauns and rainbows with pots of gold at the end, do you feel lucky?

Do you have a lucky number, a lucky pair of shoes?

Do you carry a rabbit’s foot, or a four-leaf clover?

If a sports fan, do you wear the same jersey every time your favorite team plays?

What about walking under ladders, black cats, and salt thrown over your left shoulder?

As a child, did your mother warn you about stepping on cracks in the sidewalk?

Do you make a wish on shooting stars, when you blow out birthday cake candles, when you find a heads-up penny or when the clock rolls around to 11:11?

Do your friends flinch when you open an umbrella indoors?

If so, being superstitious may come into play… you know, anything that happens that you attribute to fate or magic or maybe luck or whatever you want to call it. In Mississippi, the most common superstition is carrying a lucky rabbit’s foot.

So, do you consider your health a matter of luck? There’s a saying, “If you have good health, you have everything.” Unfortunately, many people take their health for granted and don’t appreciate it until it isn’t at its best.

Good health means different things to different people. Good health runs the gamut – from healthy looking skin, thick hair, and strong nails, to good circulation, having a lot of energy, dealing with your emotions, making time to be active, paying attention to what you eat, a pink tongue, being able to set boundaries, and recover quickly from surgical procedures. A pink tongue? Yes, a pink tongue is healthy and normal.

Good health isn’t about being lucky. It’s about taking care of yourself, making smart decisions, and doing what is best for your body.

There are certain diets associated with lowering one’s risk from diabetes or heart disease, or reducing one’s risk for getting cancer. There’s even a link between red and processed meats and colorectal cancer, and risks from eating pork such as hot dogs and bacon. This is where eating a healthy diet made up of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, chickpeas, and lentils comes into play.

An important indicator of your probable life span may be your genes. Lifestyle choices, particularly diet, exercise, and smoking habits, also play an undisputed role in determining not only how long one will live, but also how well one ages.

Taking care of your health, combined with how you choose to eat or stay fit, plays a huge role in your overall health.

Don’t wait on luck to find you. Make some luck of your own. Find treasures among your family and friends, eat right, get plenty of sleep, exercise, establish healthy habits, don’t take unnecessary risks, get a yearly checkup, and schedule preventative screenings. And you’ll be more apt to live a long, healthy life – fingers crossed.