Spring is in the air, (hopefully) and so is our desire to get into shape. But instead of thinking seasonally when it comes to your health – think long term. I’m going to give you three bits of advice so that you can be independent for the rest of your life: Move every day. Eat well. Sleep well.
At the ripe old age of 82 I have done it all. I lost 50 pounds twenty years ago and kept it off.
Tom and I walk every day. Rain, snow, or shine.
Tom and I walk every day with our neighbor Ed, a former WWII Navy Vet. Ed is turning 93 in a few days. Yup, you read that right. 93. Ed walks every single day, except when it’s slippery. He is truly an inspiration.
Our friend Ed, 93 and going strong!
Youth is a forgiving time, but when you treat it poorly, the consequences catch up to you eventually. That’s why it’s important to get out there and walk the walk. I say that metaphorically. If you have a treadmill at home, do that every day. If you enjoy swimming, make it happen. The point is to stay active, just like Ed. If you don’t do it now, you’ll have to rely on family and friends or pay someone to help you later. It’s a sobering thought.
Don’t diet! Instead, eat healthily. Don’t believe those TV diet commercials that show people scarfing down cupcakes. For weight maintenance, have that pizza and ice cream, but no more than once a month.
What works for you may not work for others. For example, nuts are a healthy snack for many people, but for me, not so much because of my food sensitivities. The only way to figure out what foods work for your body is by trial and error. It takes a few weeks, but trust me, your digestive system will thank you. Eat in moderation, small portions, but 4-6 times a day to keep your metabolic rate steady. Drink water that amounts to half your body weight.
Don’t set weight loss goals, instead set actionable goals that you can accomplish. For example – set a goal to walk a 5 k. Work toward that goal over the course of one to three months. Start with 1 k then 2 k and so on, gradually add more to the walk and your time will improve as well. No Olympian ever won a gold medal by getting up one morning and deciding to run the 100-meter sprint. Nope. They train every day to achieve that goal. And so can you.
Until next time, keep active and eat the food that your body loves, not the food that your emotions crave.