Let's face it - being healthy these days is a lot of work. Back in the good ol' days, you could eat whatever you wanted, smoking was good for you and the term "aerobic exercise" had not even been invented.
Nowadays, you can't smoke, can't drink, can't eat anything you like, have to work out at the gym every day, have to go to the doctor at least once a year, and have to take a bunch of medicines. What do you get out of all this work and sacrifice? Someone pats you on the back and says you're healthy.
Things aren't as easy as they used to be. On the other hand, in the good ol' days, there weren't any fast-food restaurants - or if there were, a small soda pop was 8 ounces instead of 20, and an order of small fries actually was small.
In the good ol' days, snack foods didn't come in small bags and packages - or if they did, they weren't in every vending machine in every school and every workplace begging you to snack instead of eating a regular meal.
Back then, you had to climb steps every now and then to get to the second floor. You might walk or ride your bike down to the grocery store. You and the family might have a pickup game of football in the backyard rather than sitting inside playing video games.
Medical care was different, too. If you had health insurance at all, it was an indemnity plan, so you went to the doctor only if you got sick. They didn't know much about prevention back then.
Now, there's a bunch of numbers I have to remember - and none of them make any sense. All I know is that they always seem to be too high. My BP is too high. My LDL is too high. My BMI is too high. Heck, even my blood-sugar level is too high. I can remember that one, though, because I love to eat sugar.
And they didn't have all these shots. Seems like there's a shot for everything these days. Flu. Whooping cough. Shingles. Tetanus. Human papilloma virus - whatever that is. Back then, we just got all that stuff. And most of us survived. It's a crying shame about them other folks - but that's evolution for you. Survival of the fittest.
Same thing is true for seat belts, bicycle helmets and those crazy drinking and driving laws. Seems like the government passes a law against everything. How in the heck are you supposed to get six crying kids into car seats in an environmentally friendly two-door sedan?
Doctors these days are crazy, too. Did you know that when you turn 50, now they say they need to stick a camera up your butt to make sure you don't have cancer? What are they teaching kids in medical school?
Sound familiar? If you want to know more about all this madness, read the La Plata Health Watch - brought to you every Monday by The Durango Herald.
Dr. Matthew A. Clark is a board-certified physician in internal medicine and pediatrics practicing at the Southern Ute Health Center in Ignacio.