1) Physical Activity: Do you MOVE? 30 to 45 minutes a day of BRISK exercise i.e. does it raise your heart beat? Push your lungs? Anything is better than nothing but there is lots to be said for stretching your ability. In addition to getting in some heart pumping motion in your life, it’s also important to avoid prolonged periods of sedentary behavior as well, bouts of inactivity. Have a desk job? Make a point to get up and walk around at least once an hour. Weekends? Stay off the couch! No, running to the fridge doesn’t count!
2) Sensible Eating Habits: Do you eat nutritiously? Yes, fresh fruits and veggies! Try it! You will like it! Back when I was a consumer of dead animals, I couldn’t imagine loving salads. Now I look forward to the delights of nature’s crisp and juicy bounty. Do you avoid fast food? Fried Food? Avoid calorie dense food: lots of calories in small volume i.e. fatten you up but don’t fill you up. Do you have a “Healthy Relationship” with food? Pay attention to WHY you eat? Do you eat because you are hungry? Truly? Or because the clock tells you to? It’s noon, so time to eat, hungry or not. Ditto dinner time? Or for social reasons? Or because you are bored? Or restless? Or anxious? Do you practice portion control?
I graduated from High School at 150 lbs. and since then I must confess I’ve shot up to 152. However, while I’ve never dieted a day in my life, I have stood on a weight scale virtually every day for the last 30 years and religiously paid attention to the feedback, frequently recording the result. My self-concept is of a thin, fit person with directed, focused personality and I want my weight to reflect that self-image. Since I love and respect myself, I refuse to poison myself with fatty foods. I practice portion control (at a buffet, I always take a small plate from the desert area and use it; works marvelously well at reducing what ends up on my plate). Of late, I’ve been practicing eating with my non-dominant hand because 1) it slows me down and gives me time to better savor the experience, 2) it’s good to train your brain in new things, keeps it youthful, and 3) I want to become better at playing left-handed racquetball! “Every disciplined effort yields multiple rewards.” – Jim Rohn
3) Don’t Sabotage, Avoid Dumb: No Drugs, No Cigarettes, Alcohol in extreme moderation if at all. Enough said.
4) Relationships: A network of positive, supportive relationships has a phenomenal effective on health and life expectancy.
5) Purpose and Positive Outlook: To get the most out of life, both in length and depth, life must have purpose and meaning. However, the meaning of life is a question that life asks of us, not one that we get to ask of life (Victor Frankel in “Man’s Search for Meaning”). Every day, I get up and I want to make the world a bit better place and go to bed a bit better person, be the best person I can be. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine. I want to be a good steward, I want to take care of those I’m responsible for, I want to support the Social Contract.
6) Sleep: Turns out that the PROPER amount of sleep is very important; not too little, not too much. Moderation in all things including moderation. Rest, renewal, rejuvenation, recreation: all vital. Even priests must play and saints must sleep.
Live Long and Prosper.
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier