It is no surprise that we tend to avoid speaking of end-of-life scenarios on health websites. In general, people avoid thinking about the inevitable end to their lives, and it is easy for us to dismiss life with a terminal illness as beyond the help of healthy living. But the reality is that life lived with a terminal illness is as real as the life that came before.
When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the discussion is often about extending life as much as possible or making the person comfortable. All-too-often, the idea of living that period of life with as much meaning as any other is forgotten.
But the benefits of healthy living go far beyond extending life and energising those in their physical prime. There are a number of benefits of a healthy lifestyle when living with a terminal illness.
No matter what stage of life you’re at, it is a good idea to have a life insurance policy which will take care of your loved ones if something does happen to you. Since you will likely struggle to get life insurance if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is important to take care of these affairs when everything seems to be going well. Living a healthy lifestyle can lengthen your life, but accidents happen and certain illnesses do not discriminate between healthy and unhealthy bodies. Today it is fast and easy to get a policy online—check out Lemonade’s life insurance offering, for instance. If you have already been diagnosed with a terminal illness, here are some of the benefits you will get out of a healthy lifestyle.
The pleasures of healthy eating
Understandably, if you are living with a terminal illness, your instinct might be to eat whatever you want whenever you want to. You don’t have to worry about causing harm to your body by overeating (if it’s not directly related to your illness). Pleasure is a worthy pursuit, but that does not negate the importance of healthy eating.
When the end is in sight, there is no point stressing about your weight or your figure. However, as nice as it might feel to binge on junk food, the pleasure only lasts so long. Thereafter, you’re left feeling sluggish, both physically and emotionally.
The key is to find a balance between eating the foods you most desire and the foods that are good for you. Moderation is crucial, for the sake of your continued enjoyment of food.
Exercise and endorphins
Exercise is recommended by experts to people suffering from depression because it causes your body to release endorphins, the so-called “feel-good” chemical. Of course, it provides many other benefits at the same time to a healthy body.
When living with a terminal illness, exercise is still an excellent way of improving your mood. There is a lot of emotional work that can be done in preparing for death, and everyone faces their own struggle. But physical exercise is a simple shortcut that works no matter what stage of life you are in.
If you are living with a terminal illness, speak to your primary care provider about what exercises you can do and what you should avoid. They can help you find the routines which make you feel good without putting too much pressure on your body.
A healthy sex life
Sex is often the last thing people diagnosed with a terminal illness think about. Sex takes energy, but there is more to the reticence. When living with a terminal illness, your body starts to seem like the enemy. It is easy to become disillusioned with your physicality and expect others to feel the same.
In reality, there are few better times to explore your sex life. If you don’t have a partner, casual sex and one-night-stands should not be off the table. Sex does not just make you feel good. It improves self-image and can revitalise you when you feel like there is no longer any point.
Sex is a tricky subject for most people due to associations learned in their youth and the connection to external validation. Many people find it difficult to just let go when being intimate with a partner. There is no better opportunity to release your inhibitions than when these issues are put into such stark perspective.
Sexuality is an important component in a healthy lifestyle in general. When confronting a terminal illness, it can be truly transformative in the last months or years of your life.
Healthy living might not seem so important in the context of a terminal illness. However, there are tremendous benefits to healthy living even in the last stage of a person’s life.