Will you be like Smokey the Bear?

February 24, 2016 7:15 pm Published by

Will you be like Smokey the Bear?

In my last blog, I asked the question, “What will make up your 80.4 years of age?” I discussed the idea of whether you will decide to live your life in a way that strives towards optimal health (however you define “optimal”) or whether you will choose the path of most people and have your health deteriorate as you age.

In this blog, I want to talk about fires.

If you look back through the history of the fitness industry, there have been many trends and gimmicks (Thighmasters, Ab Rollers, Step aerobics, Jane Fonda, Dancer-cize and even the jogging craze of the early 1980’s to name a few.)

Some of these gimmicks made a lot of money but didn’t necessarily make a lot of people fit!

In western society, we have always tended to look for short-cuts and ways of doing things that maximize efficiency while providing convenience and decreasing the effort or energy required to complete a task. Think TV remotes. Or drive-thru banking.

But we also tend to treat our health and the care of our health in much the same way. If we get a headache, we don’t tend to look at the underlying causes for the headache, we tend to reach for medication to make the symptoms go away. If our back hurts, we don’t tend to think about our posture or strengthening our core muscles or getting adjusted by a chiropractor, we tend to go to bed and take a pill for the pain or to “relax” our muscles. If we are overweight (as are 2 out of every 3 people in North America) we go on a diet for a short period of time rather than address the reasons in our lifestyle as to why we gained the weight in the first place.

In each of these cases, it seems like we are only really treating symptoms rather than focusing on underlying causes or prevention. In a way, we seem to be focused only on fighting fires rather than preventing them from starting in the first place. Smokey the Bear was an iconic American advertising  character created in 1944 to educate the public about preventing forest fires.

Will you be like Smokey the Bear?

Take a look at the habits you have every day – how you think, how you eat, how you stand and sit, how you work, how you exercise (or how you don’t), how you sleep, how you handle stress.

It is these every day choices that gradually accumulate over the course of our life that become our lifestyle. If each of these habit areas, are you running around trying to put out fires, or are you being vigilant in preventing fires and taking useful and effective steps to make healthy choices?

Until we talk again, slip on a pair of shoes or comfortable boots and take yourself out for a walk. Spend some time thinking about whether you are putting out fires or preventing them. The ironic part of this is that as you are thinking, you will actually be taking steps to prevent a fire by taking yourself for a walk. Regular physical activity is the single most effective and important way we can achieve better health.

For more information or to get some help on achieving better health, please contact us at Thrive Fitness ( Of course, you can always try to find Smokey the Bear too……