Aging finds us all and there’s so much we’re still discovering about the human body. We do know quick fixes are the enemy of true life-long health. So if you’re looking for quick, you’re in the wrong place.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way. There is no one-size-fits-all workout plan, eating style or happiness strategy. At the end of every day, we will be older. With aging comes new seasons in our life such as marriage, babies, careers, travel, and loss just to name a few. Our bodies begin to adapt to the daily activities, stressors, and self-talk we bring to it. Will yours thrive or will it wither?
Did you know: the current level of your health is 20% genetics and 80% daily habits? That’s great news!
That means we have far more control over how we age then we’re led to believe.
If you want an insurance policy you control, these are my favorite habits to create. Start stacking the odds in your favor today. I’m sure the nursing home won’t miss someone they’ve never met.
While your long-term vitality plan is and will continue to be personal, these things I know to be truer than true… for everyone!
Water is the fountain of youth and elixir of life.
Water is magic. Let me ask you this: how do you feel after a shower when you’re coated in mud? Refreshed and cleansed, right? It works much the same way inside the body. If you have already mastered the habit of getting what your body needs, fantastic! Skip to the next section.
If you haven’t and don’t get enough water each day, focus here first. You’ll find this to be the single most efficient way to achieve any health goal.
Here are a few benefits:
Better recovery after workouts. Muscles remain more pliable and happy. Joints enjoy the added support for lubrication.
It flushes toxins. I don’t know about you but sometimes I like to indulge. Whether your crutch is wine or food, your body will appreciate the buffer.
Worried about heart health and your arteries? Water helps your heart from having to work so hard.
Skin feeling dry or appearing leathery, yep… it’ll support hydration here too. Keep this in mind: skin is one of the last things to get access to your water intake. All the other organs take precedence. Which means you can tell a lot about how your skin feels. Leathery and dry, drink up. Glowing and soft, you’re on the right track.
There isn’t much water can’t do and it’s hard to drink too much, despite the scare tactics making you think otherwise.
Aren’t sure how much you need? That too is personal as it’ll depend on your lifestyle habits. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces.
The best way to improve this habit is to figure out where you’re at today – one 24 oz bottle, one glass, or nothing at all. Wherever you’re at, work to double it. When you’ve doubled it consistently for a period of a month or more, add one more – another 12 oz or one more glass.
Taking your time to build this habit may slow the feeling of having to pee ALL THE TIME. Even if it doesn’t, keep in mind going 8-10 times a day is healthy. Pee much my friends.
Movement is miraculous.
Your body will change over time. If you are like most, your daily life has become more and more sedentary. We reach for less, our steps turn into shuffles, we find ourselves working in a smaller and smaller box.
Take a moment to think about your day.
How far do you have to move to get where you need to go? You went from your house to the car, the car to your office chair, back to your car, and then to the couch and off to bed. Rinse and repeat. OK maybe that isn’t EXACTLY your day or your story but you get the picture. We’re often sitting more and moving less.
When was the last time you reached, extending, as far as you could for an item? There are step-stools and lower shelves and someone else taller than us to help. Things are handeddirectly to us (Starbucks coffee anyone) and technology is right at our fingertips.
Movement is nutrition for your muscles and when you move less, your body gets ticked off and tight. When you feel pain it’s your bodies way of revealing its vulnerabilities, turn your pain into a game. Listen in, the earlier the better. When we’re in our 30’s and even 40’s, we have a tendency to push the pain away as something to deal with later. Later then comes well past a simple fix.
It’s become clearer that there is no one perfect way to solve our vulnerabilities. Be willing to experiment and figure out what works for you.
We’ve looked to our fellow friends, well-known celebrities, and every new flashy headline for the secret to success. We have been at war with our aging bodies and declining health before we knew it was a problem. It is time to stop the insanity.
The sooner you take self-aware action on your vulnerabilities, the longer you will have a higher quality of life. Daily action will yield steady, even if slow, progress.
Not sure what do to? Check out my two favorite resources:
The first step to being full of vitality: be candid with yourself. Honesty is the best policy after all.
Where is your health today? What’s worked or not worked in the past? What you’re willing to do now to see change?
If you don’t like mushrooms or kale, please stop trying to force it down your throat thinking it’ll be the answer. Don’t like to run or don’t have time to go to the gym? Embrace it is OK not to do it.
Figure out what you ARE willing to do and then start doing it. Five minutes of walking is better than doing nothing at all.
Consistency is a not-so-secret key. Think compounding interest in a bank account.
Most of us can do anything for a few days to even a week and then all hell breaks loose. The longer you string together day to day successes, the more likely you’ll see long-term success. AND because you’ve kept it simple by committing to only one or two actions, you’ll save yourself the overwhelm. Yay, you!
Lenoardo DaVinci says, “The path to accomplishment is not always a perfectly efficient one.”
Always be compassionate with yourself. You are the only one you have to live with every moment of every day. And you will mess up, life will get in the way, and you will see curve balls from time to time. Take a moment and love yourself through the hiccups. Then get back to stringing together more days than before.
One last thing, be your own best advocate. You know yourself better than anyone AND no one else is going to make the changes for you (sorry). I’ll be your biggest cheerleader and personal sidekick along the way. We’ll work to curb the unwelcome side effects of aging. You have the ability to establish lifelong vitality, strength, and independence.