There are many practices and habits that keep you healthy and lead to longevity. Here are the top 9 I focus on when counseling my patients and family to a future of jail-free good healthy living.
Don’t smoke. You know it’s bad for you, so if you want to be healthy, the smokes have to go. It is rare for me to see a non-smoker with a truckload of medical complaints. Yes, I know it’s hard, really hard to quit. But if you really want to do it, you will find a way.
Exercise. Move. Excuses? I’ve heard them all: I am on my feet all day, I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I don’t have a gym membership, I don’t like to go out when it’s cold, or hot, or raining. I have arthritis. My allergies will act up. I don’t like exercise. Walk around the dining room table 50 times if you have to. Walking my dog Frodo (thats him with the giant cigar) is my favorite form of activity. Strive for 150 minutes of walking a week. More is even better. I also like to put my exercise bike in front of the computer and watch something on Netflix.
Get your lipids (cholesterol), blood pressure, and glucose (sugar) checked. If anything is out of whack, see your provider to develop a plan to get things under control.
Deal with obesity. Overweight, yeah, welcome to the club. That’s another thing that’s a rarity – falling in the ideal weight range or BMI 24.9 or below. But obese is not healthy. It’s a road to diabetes, hypertension, joint problems, and cardiovascular disease. Don’t hide behind the news that obesity is a disease and you can’t help it. You want to be healthy or you wouldn’t be reading my post. See your provider, and get the help you need to get the hell out of obesity. My BMI is 26.4. Eat good food in modest portions. Fuel your body properly, and it will be good to you.
No opiates or other drugs. This will keep you out of jail. I work in addiction medicine. I hate opiates, I hate that you had pain from a broken bone, back injury or surgical procedure and now you are addicted to oxys. None ever for me, and yes I live with chronic pain. There are other ways to deal with it.
Brush and floss. Teeth don’t take care of themselves; you have to do the work. Bad teeth and bloody, gunky gums are a haven of deadly bacteria. I understand you don’t like going to the dentist, neither do I.
My childhood dentist nicknamed me Worry Tooth. I still am Worry Tooth, but I don’t let my fears stop me from taking care of my teeth and going to the dentist every 6 months. Take it one tooth at a time.
Manage your stress. If you are rushed, angry, nervous, rude, selfish, moody, not sleeping enough, unhappy – there is a problem and you need to tend to it. This may also keep you out of jail. Physical health is only 1 part. Get mentally and spiritually healthy as well. Don’t forget to listen to music and dance. Go to concerts too. Oh, and get a dog.
Be nice. It’s not that hard. It makes you and the receiver feel good. And isn’t that what life should be about? Do what you can, where you are, with what you have to make your corner of the world a better place. You may never know how your act of kindness changed someone’s life. Some of you changed mine. We’re only here for a short time. Don’t waste it.