Proactive vs. Reactive Health

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin

Hey, ZyckFit Family!

I’m Ethan, a friend of Tommy’s for about 10 years. Currently, I work as a public health researcher by day and a college instructor by night. In public health, our primary concern is to promote and protect the health of people and the communities they reside in. We do this through implementing preventative healthcare programs and enabling people to take charge of their own health and the health of their communities.

In the U.S., most of our healthcare dollars are spent on treating illnesses, and not on preventing them. This is because as Americans (especially American males), we react to health issues rather than proactively attempting to prevent them. A typical journey through our healthcare system might look something like this:

1. We get sick, but not sick enough to do anything about it, so we ignore it.

2. We have lifestyle factors that either exacerbate our illness, or maybe even caused it to begin with (poor diet, low physical activity, tobacco use, risky sexual behavior, etc.).

3. We eventually get to the point where we are so sick that we end up in the hospital.

4. Now our illness has progressed into a full-blown (EXPENSIVE) problem.

5. We’re treated, but are left to deal with a chronic disease and exorbitant healthcare cost (cost incurred by not only us, but by all Americans)

When we have the large majority of people conditioned to think about their health reactively rather than proactively, our system becomes fragile, our quality of life deteriorates, and people die. Heart disease and cancer are the TOP TWO causes of death in the U.S. Last year, they were responsible for over 1.2 million deaths. The sad part… heart disease and many cancers are largely preventable illnesses.

Encouraging each other to put more effort into building a culture of proactive health can go a long way, not only for ourselves, but for our communities as well. If everyone went in for annual check-ups with their primary care physician, exercised regularly, maintained balanced diets, and stayed away from tobacco products, our health system would be flipped inside out! Being proactive about your health is not only a service to you, but also to your community. Think Prevention! Think Proactively!

Big shout out to Tommy for all that he’s doing in the field of fitness and holistic health! We need more people like you!

Best wishes,

Ethan J., M.P.H.