Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Staying young

Maintaining health and vitality as the years go by involves:

Choosing food wisely – Eat three meals a day, plus snacks if you need them. Make sure to include a varied selection of foods from each food group. Choose 6-8 portions of grains, 5-8 portions of fruit and veg (preferably fresh), 2-3 portions of protein (fish or chicken; cut down on red meats), 2-3 portions of dairy and a little mono- and/or poly-unsaturated fats.

Getting some exercise – If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m not that ‘in’ to exercise! In contrast, my husband goes to a gym about 4 times a week on average, and it shows. People never believe his age. Not only does he look good, the exercise keeps him supple and healthy, with a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. Exercise releases endorphins (the ‘happiness’ hormone) into the blood stream, which is good for stress relief too.

Getting enough sleep – Everyone needs between seven and eight hours sleep in every twenty four. If you have trouble sleeping, set up a bedtime ritual to inform your brain that it’s bedtime. Try deep breathing, or tensing and releasing muscle groups. Keep electronics out of the bedroom as much as possible and, definitely, leave your cell phone well away from the bed.

Keeping an active and open mind – Do crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Read magazines, journals and books. Consciously and attentively listen to the radio and try to summarize what you have heard. Listen to what is said to you and learn from what you hear. In fact, try to learn something new every day.

Sharing – Isn’t this what we encourage our children to do? Share your time, energy, knowledge, experience and expertise with those around you.

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