Today I want to share with you a short message I received from an old friend undergoing her medical training.

"I just want to say how impressive and forward-thinking I find you with respect to your personal training blog. I'll admit that I haven't read through the entire thing (I'm so stupidly busy these days), but from what I have seen, it is reflecting everything we have been learning in our population health classes. Basically, the only way that our healthcare system as we know it will be able to last is if Canadians begin PREVENTING illness (and maintaining wellness!) as opposed to always treating acute illnesses, and I think it is greatly to your credit to be putting your expertise on a forum where anyone, especially those more marginalized individuals who could not otherwise afford the services/ advice of a personal trainer, can access it. Its just awesome. And I will be recommending it to my patients if they need a resource." -L.F.

"Lisa! What a kind and articulate little note this was. It warmed me all up - thank you.

I'm so glad you've found the blog helpful, and useful. I have 3 clients who are also doctors (one a student) and yes, we as health care providers are all on the same team. I am happy there is a large movement toward preventative healthcare, and hopefully we will all continue to see it grow. Empowering people to put their health into their own hands, as much as they can is incredibly important. An unhealthy lifestyle leads to such a swarm of health problems, and if we can convince patients to start taking better care of themselves, there will be more time for those with more helpless diseases to seek and receive the care they need."

I am not sharing this conversation with you to boastfully demonstrate these kind words, but rather so that you can hear another health professional's opinions about how important it is that we all begin taking responsibility for our health.

I have friends who still smoke, and say that they don't really care what happens to them. They assume firstly that it won't happen to THEM, and if it DOES, they will be taken care of by medical care and doctors, and that everything can be fixed. What they don't understand is how miserable illness will make your life. Who wants to constantly be in and out of hospitals? To be passing up days playing in parks with their family for fighting for parking in a hospital lot, surrounded by those struggling physically, and for the likelihood of despair and a quick decline? Small sacrifices in our lives help the bigger picture, enormously.

Every cigarette you skip, every night out of binge drinking you skip, every salad over fries you order and every bout of exercise you push through adds up. Eventually, we can cut costs and make a bigger difference for the well-being of our society.

Food for thought.