Are You Being Proactive?

Given the option to choose between proactivity and reactivity, which one would you choose? We should always choose to be proactive. That is rarely the easy choice, but it is more often than not the right choice. Following my recent annual physical, the option to choose a path was given to me. I chose the path of proactivity!

Late last week, I had an appointment with a new doctor. Typically, my only healthcare visit every year is that annual physical. After reading Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia M.D., I came prepared with a couple of questions for my PCP. After hearing his answers to those questions, I knew that some changes needed to be made.

 In this great book, Dr. Attia talks specifically about, what he calls, The Four Horsemen of Chronic Disease. These four disease processes are responsible for 80% of deaths in non-smokers over the age of 50. Aren't you a little curious about the 4 things that are most likely to take your life?

The Four Horsemen that Attia refers to are:

Heart Disease
Metabolic Disease
Neurodegenerative Disease

Years ago I read a book called All I Want To Know Is Where I Am Going To Die So I Will Never Go There. To be fair, I didn't read all of the book because I didn't really enjoy it and I found the format of the book to be very difficult to follow. However, I did read the title of the book and that title alone is relevant for this discussion. All I want to know is how I am MOST LIKELY going to die. Don't you think that that is important information? That is the beauty of these 4 horsemen that Attia references. Looking at our family history we are able to get a better idea about what we will need to address in terms of our health if we are going to extend our health span.

Looking at my family history, I realized that heart disease is the most likely "horseman" to get me. In Stephen Covey's gem of a book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the first habit that he covers is - Be Proactive. In an effort to do just that, I went to see a cardiologist. Did I need to see one immediately? No, I did not. However, if there are things that I can do today to prevent heart disease from knocking on my door in the future, then I want to get started now! 

At my initial visit, my new cardiologist asked me "So, if you have no heart problems, then why are you here?" I explained that I wanted to get out in front of any potential issues. He advised that I return for a follow up visit in a couple weeks to do a stress test and an ultrasound. Again do I need this right now? No, I don't. Even with no current issues, the results from these tests will provide me with an established baseline. As I age any future tests that I will have done will be compared to these results.

I am choosing to be proactive today.

What are you going to do today to be proactive? 

What are you doing to extend your health span?

Movement is my medicine,


Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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