Life is full of risks.

We experience varying levels of risks in our everyday lives, but that doesn’t stop us from doing the things we love, or going about our daily routine. That’s because most of us take steps to manage or minimize these risks. For example, you probably wouldn’t ride in a car that didn’t have any seat belts. Or go for a bike ride without a helmet.

So why do so many Canadians take risks with their future health care?

Recent polls show that an alarming number of Canadians have not made any kind of plan, or talked to a loved one, friend or doctor about their wishes for future health care. Even fewer have actually designated who they would want to make decisions for them if they couldn’t.

So why, in a country with one of the healthiest lifestyles in the developed world, do Canadians continue to take such an unnecessary risk? Part of the problem might be that since we’re so healthy, on average, it can be difficult to imagine ourselves being in a state where our health is compromised, and we feel uncomfortable having to think about (and especially to plan) for being sick or dying.

No one likes to think about getting into a car accident, or being injured from a biking mishap. But that doesn’t stop us from wearing seat belts and bike helmets. Planning for the unwanted and unexpected is a crucial part of any healthy lifestyle. And just like any safety precaution, thinking about your future care and expressing your wishes can help you enjoy the things you love even more, with peace of mind and the assurance that there are people close to you who know your wishes, and will stand up for what you want if you cannot.

April 16 is National Advance Care Planning Day in Canada, and there’s no better time to do advance care planning and to share your wishes with friends and loved ones.

P.S. Once you’ve made your plan, let us know! Use the hashtag #ACPday2015 on your social network to let others know that you’re not taking any chances with your health care.