There are many, many useless debates in the health and fitness world.

Debates about milk…

Fights about whether to eat meat or not eat meat…

Anger over whey vs soy protein…

None of these really matter.

Seriously.

If you think different, I’m sorry, but you’re wasting time and energy on these arguments.

You see, there are really only 4 Horsemen of your body’s apocalypse, and neither milk, nor soy, nor meat are one of them.

Today you’re going to discover the 4 simple things you really need to be careful about if you want to live a long and healthy life.

Fortunately, they’re not even that difficult to avoid.

The great news is that this short list will bring you a LOT less stress when it comes to designing your healthy lifestyle.

Here we go…

The first horseman is SMOKING.

Seriously, people still do this?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, but this is one of the worst things you can do for your health.

However, smokers also teach us something about why so many “great health debates” are pointless drivel.

Look, smokers are inhaling poisonous gasses into their lungs repeatedly on a daily basiss, and yet according to research from the British Medical this cuts a smoker’s lifespan by only 10 years.

Only 10 years from inhaling smoke directly into your lungs on a daily basis for over 35 years.

So really, is one diet coke a week going to kill you and knock 10 years off your life?

What about a glass of milk each day?

Or eating whole grains?

I don’t think so.

(In fact, most research from Walter Willet at Harvard University shows that eating whole grains actually EXTENDS someone’s lifespan…but that’s an argument I’ll never get into.)

If you smoke, please try to stop. And NEVER, EVER, EVER give up on trying to quit. It may take many attempts, but you can do it.

The second horseman is excessive DRINKING (of alcohol, of course).

This horseman killed my father and for that I would like to whip this horseman’s butt. But alas, I cannot.

But perhaps I can spare your child a lot of pain and misery by convincing YOU to take a good look at your own alcohol intake.

Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States (with smoking and obesity ranking first and second).

The bad news is that it’s really easy to drink excessively. More than two drinks per day for a man, and one for a woman, will add up into health problems over time.

Binge drinking – six drinks or more in a single session – is probably even worse.

My father died at 69 years old. Not even 70. Who doesn’t hit 70 years old in Canada in this day and age?

I mean, c’mon, right? Stupid Horseman.

Don’t make the same mistakes he did. Please.

You know the facts.

Your decision.

The third horseman is OBESITY.

Probably the most popular horseman of the four. You see it everywhere, all over the world.

Such a shame. But probably easier to overcome than quitting an addiction like cigarettes and alcohol.

However, while cigarettes and alcohol are thought of as being ‘more evil’ than simple obesity, a recent study concluded:

“Obesity appears to have a stronger association with the occurrence of chronic medical conditions, reduced health-related quality of life, and increased health care and medication spending than smoking or problem drinking has. Only 20 years’ aging has similar-size effects.”  Ref: Health Affairs, March 2002 vol. 21 no. 2 245-253.

Did you catch that message?

The author concluded that if you’re obese, then you have the health of someone TWENTY years older than you. So if you’re a 55 year old obese individual, you actually have the body of a 75 year old. (And surely NOT a FIT 75 year old.)

That’ what makes this Horseman so dangerous. You might not be buying socially unacceptable items like cigarettes and alcohol, but your body is losing an important fight.

So fight back.

Diet is your sword against this enemy, and exercise is your shield.

Take up your weapons and fight him well. I’ll be right be your side.

You’ll need me, because the fourth Horseman of your body’s apocalypse often fights in tandem with his partner.

And that fourth Horseman is LACK OF EXERCISE.

Ever so cunning, the fourth Horseman is thought to be innocuous.

What’s the big deal, right? You don’t struggle with cigarettes, booze, or obesity, so why should you worry about exercise, right?

That’s exactly what this Horseman wants you to think so you’ll let your guard down, and then WHAM!

You’ll get his trident in your back and be cut down by his gladius.

(Sorry, I’ve been watching too many episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand lately.)

The deadly skills of the 4th Horseman are not noticed until it’s too late. Your slim mother may have gone 75 years without health issues, but because of her lack of exercise – a lack of strength training in particular – she soon loses her ability to perform daily tasks.

One day, balance, determined predominantly by strength, fails her, and she tumbles. A broken hip is nearly impossible to overcome.

A little strength training done on a consistent basis will mean so much to us in the future. Take up exercise as your weapon today, it’s never too late at any age.

As you can see, the four Horseman of your body’s apocalypse are serious enemies. Far more serious than the annoying pests that so many “gurus” want to debate today.

Fortunately, these 4 Horsemen, your REAL enemies, can be avoided with a simple, healthy lifestyle.

I urge you, if you’re fighting with any of these Horsemen, to get weapons and support for your battle.

You CAN beat them. You CAN win. You CAN live a long and healthy life without massive sacrifices.

Let us fight these enemies together,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer
Certified Weapon to Fight the 4 Horsemen

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com