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Neighbors of Kane County

Your Finances: Recreation and health

Jun 02, 2015 12:45PM ● By Katelyn Nelson

If we had control over our destiny by answering one question when we were born, what would we provide as an answer? The following question would force us to make a choice: would you prefer to be healthy or would you prefer to be prosperous? This question is proposed to remind us of the value placed on having a healthy life. It is fortunate that we can be both prosperous and healthy if we are lucky or if we take the effort to make our bodies as healthy as possible.

Studies have just been completed that show a direct correlation among exercise of 15 minutes a day to increase the heart rate and the ability to lower the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. The attitudes toward recreational activity and our medical health have changed drastically for many of us who were alive for a good portion of the last century.

Do you remember these ads…

• A picture of a pack of Camel cigarettes with the caption, “More doctors smoke Camels…”

• A picture showing a happy family with the caption, “They are happy because they eat lard…”

• A picture of a young baby with the caption, “For a better life start Cola early because studies show that those children who drink Coke fit in better later in life…”

I attended a meeting in March where Mark Moyad, MD, MPH of the University of Michigan Medical Center (Department of Urology) showed these ads to point out how our attitudes have changed and the increasing importance of exercise and good nutrition. I would recommend his book Fad Diets, Dietary Supplements and RX from A to Z: What Really Works and What is Absolutely Worthless—2015 Update. He emphasizes that because heart disease is still a number-one killer of men and women, that anything which helps improve our heart is beneficial not only to the heart but also mitigates many other diseases that humans contract.

As the doctor spoke, I thought about the theme for this month’s Geneva Neighbors magazine. It is definitely a tremendous advantage to live in a community where recreation is readily available from walking paths to bike trails along the Fox River. We can also use the Kane County Forest Preserve open space in addition to Peck Farm and the walking trails provided by the Geneva Park District. Island Park is one of several local open areas preserved throughout the community for residents to walk, bike and play.

The public pool and the ice skating rink provide unique venues not found in many communities. The baseball stadium encourages children to get out and play ball for exercise. Throwing, running, hitting and keeping in shape are always more fun when connected to an activity.

The park district and high school tennis courts are also facilities that provide us the opportunity to stay healthy by exercising.

The downtown business district is a wonderful place to walk and experience the charm of our safe community. The bonus for us is that at the end of our walk we can stop at a number of places for ice cream, fudge, or gelato. You may think that eating sweets is incongruous with exercise, but I am sure you can find some ad or news article or study that illustrate how getting a reward is a highly motivating process.

The last quality that makes Geneva so special is that we feel safe as we explore our streets, use our facilities, and enjoy the many easily accessible recreational opportunities. 

Scott Lebin is an Investment Advisor Representative with and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. member FINRA, SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. Non Securities products and services are not offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.