Who looks after your health and well being? Do you? Are you taking care of yourself? With all the pulls on time and energy, sometimes we short change ourselves, but there are smart and easy things we can do to improve our health, feel better, and live longer. Yes, smart and easy.
1. Check your body once a month. Life includes normal aches and pains, but if there’s something going on that just isn’t right, talk with your medical provider. Don’t be embarrassed. He or she has heard everything and if the doctor in any way dismisses your concerns, it’s time to get a second opinion. You know your body, right?
Have you knees “told” you that the days of jogging are coming to an end? Has your back “said” that you need to do more stretching? Or is it finally time to shed the baby fat after a pregnancy? Pay attention to the “whispers” from the brain, bones, muscles and internal organs. Format a plan that will work. If it’s an issue with addiction, seek out a 12-Step Program or something through your health-care program. Become proactive. Your life depends on how you care for your body.
2. Fight back at flab and fat. If staying vital, strong and flexible is a goal, then exercise IS the answer. But only do the activities that make you happy. I love to swim, but doing lap after lap in the pool would bore me silly. However, the second I slip on ice skates my heart begins to sing and I can skate for hours. So remember an hour of serious gardening such as digging and raking and hauling compost will provide the workout of an hour of jogging. Scrubbing the house, waxing the car, vigorous dancing are wonderful for our bodies and after reaching a certain age, they’re much more fun than some of the other sports we did in our youth.
3. Learn about you and your body. If you have conditions or concerns about yourself or a loved one, learn everything you can. As you’re browsing the Internet, however, only review reputable sites, that is, forget the message boards and blogs for authoritative info and don’t just treat yourself, but share the info with your doctor or medical team. Support groups are a fine way to gather information too and if you’re experiencing a significant change, such as menopause, retirement or loss of a loved one, then information will help you make good decisions for the future.
4. Buckle up but also nix the smart phone or other e-devices when you’re driving. Yes, of course that’s the law, but I’ve seen way too many people distracted by the newest technology. Fully engage yourself in driving and the same when out on the street exercising. I recently was walking the trail from the Oaks at Ojai to Ventura. I saw a friend about 50 yards ahead of me and gasped when she didn’t get out of the way when a car obviously didn’t see her. I called out to her but she didn’t even turn. When I rushed to catch up, I saw the ear buds. She’d been so engrossed in music that something terrible could have happened.
5. Check your weight and your height. You might never fit into the jeans you wore five years ago but if you want to live long and prosper it’s smart to achieve a comfortable weight. What’s comfortable? Answer this: Do your clothes feel like the dryer shrunk them? Do they pinch or pull? More than 65 percent of adults are over their comfortable weight. Blame it on super-sized food portions in restaurants or too much TV. The concern is that there is a direct link between being overweight and diseases such as diabetes; heart disease and some even say various types of cancer.
Talk with your physician about osteoporosis if you feel you’re losing height. Osteoporosis is deadly. Bone loss is especially prevalent in post-menopausal women. There’s a simple bone density test, where you need not get undressed, to determine if you may need supplements or medication. Stay on top of this.
6. Smoking has never been cool or smart. Don’t do it. Just because some people are in denial about the negative effects of smoking, doesn’t mean you have to be a part of it. Move out of smoke’s deadly reach or ask the loved one to smoke outdoors and away from you and the children.
7. Stay active, eat fresh and enjoy the simple things in life like family and friends.
With these seven easy, and life-saving tips you’ll be well on your way to the best year ever as you stay fit for life.