the relationship between health and wealth?
imagined myself standing before a large audience of exceedingly
wealthy men and women whose principal focus was money, its investment,
protection and yield. Though sprinkled with young faces and minds,
the attentive crowd revealed the posture, profile and anxious eyes
of folks at least in their middle years.
myself, joined them in the acceptance of youth-gone-by and the tentative
embrace of years-to-come. Rich and poor, we’re finally attended
by age, a solemn companion whose favor we doubt. In his possession
he carries wisdom, appreciation and grace, and prudently dispenses
these gifts to the worthy, the hardy and trim figures aglow with
the other hand, the ever-present attendant totes aches and pain
and a variety of ailments that impede our progress and diminish
our joy. He applies his goods with generous return to the puffy
and red-faced, the faltering and least prepared. The men and women
who neglect their health and strength do not do well in dispute
with advancing age. Come to think of it, neither do the careless
youth. Both invariably lose.
restless, imaginary gathering quieted as I adjusted the mike and
readied myself to speak. What would he say, this reluctant outsider,
this fellow whose only stock was in a pile of old Muscle Builder
magazines worth several hundred dollars on eBay, and an original
autographed poster of Steve Reeves, Hercules Unchained? Whatever.
A stray from the normal money-talk can be a grateful relief in the
middle of a three-day seminar discussing hedge-fund evaluations
and ten-year bond considerations. Speak up, big fella, and throw
in a laugh or two. It’s almost time for cocktails.
day, ladies and gentlemen. It’s an honor and a pleasure to
meet with you and I hope you are remarkably well.
often we convey our good wishes to one another with neither thought
nor meaning. I say, “How are you?” and you say, “Fine,”
and barely an eye or emotion is raised. We’re all fine, just
dandy, a little stern, sometimes angry, but always pressing on and
gallant, a smile displaying teeth available at a moment’s
the other hand, I say, “How’s the bond market?”
and you remove your spectacles, cross your arms and look off to
the future and beyond as deepening facial creases reconstruct your
expression. You begin to speak, but shake your head, laugh imperceptibly
and shrug your shoulders instead. You expressed a lifetime of pain,
experience, optimism and wonder in an intense and fleeting moment;
you shared the depth of your soul, your past, present and hopes
for the years to come; you almost reached out and revealed yourself,
your fears, doubts, joys and weaknesses. You were moved.
dollar and wealth, the economy and its management, poverty and its
reality are stirring subjects, yet an honest inquiry into your health
and well-being failed to register -- the emotional needle didn’t
even tick. The open mind filtered out the question like a screen
filters out impurities. How you are is no longer worth minor consideration.
The market, the score board, the bottom line… by these markers
life is evaluated.
spends the first 40 to 50 years of his life accumulating knowledge
and money, only to spend the money on his failing health in the
last few years and watch his knowledge waste away like the roots
of an un-watered oak. How’s that for wealth, management and
reality; how’s that for the bottom line?
did you miss it? At 35 the most important thing in life was your
wife and career and the dollar. Life’s cool. At 45, your family,
your career, your tan and the dollar retained your undivided attention.
Nice house you have there, have fun in Paris, Madrid and Rome. Work
and the dollar, your dog and the family continued, at 55, to capture
your primary interest. CEO and holder of major shares in a number
of aggressive corporations is admirable. Shall I get the car, sir?
in the still of the night, frightened and alone, you admit your
health dominates your worried mind.
growing waistline and the shrinking energy, the fading muscle and
the failing strength, the once-unshakable confidence replaced by
empty bluster, these symptoms of disease sneak up on you like a
recession and without immediate and determined action, they will
cost you everything you’ve got. They’ll bankrupt you;
lead you to the poor house, strip you bare and take you down, faster
than the deflated dollar.
tired, short of breath and feel a tingling sensation in my left
arm, Dr. Smith.” The realization is startling, more startling
than a 1,000-point, 2,000- or 5,000-point drop in the Dow. “Your
blood pressure is very high, very high, indeed, Mr. Jones. Your
blood sugar and triglycerides are off the charts. I’m arranging
a room at St. Paul’s for further observation. I’ll notify
your wife. Here, take this. It will help you relax. Please, have
and wealth, both are golden. Commonly -- disrespectfully, irresponsibly,
foolishly and selfishly – we pursue one at the expense of
the other: wealth before health, money over heartbeat, market strength
above back strength, and business briskness instead of physical
fitness. You’ve got it backwards, Mr. Jones. Ask Dr. Smith.
Mr. Jones, answer the following questions.”
~ What do you eat?
~ How much do you exercise?
~ Have you suffered hypertension or heart disease before?
~ Do you take any medications: insulin, blood thinners, beta-blockers?
~ Do you smoke, drink or take recreational drugs?
~ Are you under undo stress?
~ Do you sleep well, rest and relax?
~ Are you insured?
~ Who is your closest relative?
~ Are you allergic to penicillin or anesthesia?
you care for it, your body, like a battered and neglected pickup
truck, will slow down on the hills, cough and lurch under a heavy
load, take forever to start when it’s cold and stall out when
it’s hot. Have you ever heard of a smart and successful businessman
who mistreated his truck, his personal transportation, the vehicle
of delivery for goods and a reflection of his ethic and responsibility?
you invest in one further financial opportunity, navigate another
corporate merge or acquisition, or oversee the purchase of more
valuable real estate, I recommend you assess the only real property
you own, the body you live in.
eat right and live a long and strong, prosperous and joyful life.
is what I would do if I were you -- as certain, important and effective
as buying low and selling high:
~ Go to gym
~ Pedal stationary bike for 5 to 10 minutes
~ Lie on floor and do crunches and leg-raises for 5 minutes
~ Exercise as follows for 15 to 20 minutes:
3 sets of 10 repetitions each of bench press, light partial-range
deadlifts, machine dips, standing barbell curl
this workout with:
~ Bike for 10 to 15 minutes
~ Crunches and leg raises for 5 minutes
~ 3 sets x 15 repetitions of leg press
~ 3 sets of 15 reps of calf raises
~ 3 sets of 10 reps of stiff-arm dumbbell pullovers
should work out no less than three and no more than four days a
week, according to responsibility and recuperation, schedule and
spirit. This is vital, a priority, an obligation and, should you
let go of preconceived notions and conventional thought, it’s
schemes outlined above are not the result of long hours of research
by a field of medical professionals. They’re quickies I zipped
together based on logic and efficiency and good fun. I’ll
toss out another pair of routines in a month to assure complete
muscle coverage, maintain your interest and continue your on-the-job
training and skill development.
training is like flying an old B-29 bomber; once you learn you never
forget. And once we’re off the ground there’s no turning
back. Buckle up.
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