Motivating and coaching you to make One Degree of Change to make your personal world a better place!
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
One Degree of Change #42 Entropy
and how some age faster than others
In life, any biological system gravitates
toward disorder. Think about ice melting or metal rusting, or human beings
aging. Things become more random and break down over time. I remember
learning this in physics and the term for this was "Entropy". The
natural order toward disorder. As human beings, over time, we age and
become more disordered in our bodies and minds. We get weaker, our joints
and bones break down, our brain becomes more chaotic and we forget things.
I like physics because it has “laws” like
the law of gravity. You can't break a law, you can only break yourself
against the law. In other words, you wouldn’t jump off a building and say
“watch me break the law of gravity”. The only thing you would break is
yourself. Laws don't care what you think.
I learned in physics that what opposes
Entropy (the process of randomness and disorder) is WORK. Think of a pile
of bricks on the back of a dump truck. If the dump truck unloaded them,
there isn’t a great chance that they would fall off the truck and form a
house or even the wall of a house. The bricks have to be arranged by a
bricklayer into a house or a wall. This requires work and so work put into
a system can slow down entropy, however, it can never stop entropy because
entropy always moves in one direction, towards randomness, disorder, and
death. Pretty morbid, I know. But what is encouraging is that we can slow
down and delay the random aging process by putting work back into our
bodies and minds.
Think about it, why is it that you look
at one person who is 70 and they look 60 and you look at another who is 60
and they look 70? One has been affected by entropy (aging) more than the
other. It has nothing to do with time (chronological age) and everything to
do with opposing the natural forces of break down (biological aging).
Growing older and aging is NOT optional but how fast you age is totally
within your control. Human beings that age more rapidly become a burden to
themselves and society because they require more work to care for.
Think about it, the person who is
elderly, disabled, and in a wheelchair or the person who has dementia
requires a lot more energy and work to care for. However, it’s someone
else’s energy, not their own. I’m not saying we shouldn’t care for them,
I’m just saying it requires more work and energy (time and money) on the
part of someone else. I don’t know about you but I want to delay this as
long as possible. I don’t want to burden my family or anyone else because
I can’t care for myself anymore at 70.
According to Jay Olshansky, an
epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, "You don't want to live
to be over 100 years old if the last 20 years of your life are spent in
pain and sickness," Olshansky said. "Ideally, you want to
compress the years of decay and disease -- what I call the 'red zone' --
into as few as possible at the very end of life.
However, as a society, we are aging more
rapidly biologically than chronologically. For most people, the period of
disability isn’t a year or a couple of years anymore, it’s over a decade.
The average life span (years we are alive) in the U. S. is 79 years but the
average health span (the number of years a person can expect to live in
relatively good health, free of chronic disease and disabilities of aging)
in the U.S. is 66 years. That’s 13 years of poor health and disability.
Have you ever wondered why there are so many “long-term” care facilities
going up all over the place? It’s because A LOT of people can’t care for
themselves as they age and they have to move somewhere so that someone else
can care for them. But these facilities cost big bucks so you better save
your money because years of disability will cost you (or someone else) tens
or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Most people are “present biased” when it comes
to their health. They only think about the present and not the future. I
think about the future, how do I want to function in my 70’s, 80’s and
90’s? I have to be honest, I don’t expect to be breaking push-up records or
running marathons, but I do expect to be able to care for myself in my OWN
home, which I can take care of too!
If work opposes entropy and slows the
aging process, then it’s time to get to work. Shopping and cooking healthy
requires work. Exercising instead of sitting on the couch or computer
requires work. Getting up early and meditating or praying requires work.
Taking your supplements every day requires work. Delaying the instant
gratification of sugar, alcohol, drugs, social media takes work. However,
the sooner you accept the responsibility and get on with getting on with
it, the easier it gets. Healthy habits take work and work takes commitment
and energy. It’s a positive or vicious cycle. Putting work into your body
slows aging, disability, and death. Not putting work into your body or
worse, abusing your body accelerates aging, disability, and death. Wayne
Dyer said, “Healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones-
Is it time to slow down entropy and
aging? Is it time to get to work on yourself and your health? Only you and
the mirror can answer that question. When you’re ready, we’ll be here. www.thehealthfactor.net