I’ll admit it, I don’t like all the work required to be healthy. I don’t enjoy exercising. I don’t like restricting my diet to healthy choices — I prefer to eat what I want and eat as much as I want. However, my body is rejecting that approach, so I am finding ways to ease into a healthier lifestyle.
For most of my life, I have never been a huge water drinker, instead consuming large quantities of soda drinks. But when I read 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal, the very first tip in the book offered a simple way to increase my water intake. The book suggests that every hour you drink a little bit of water. It took me a while to get used to the idea so when I started, I used a timer to remind me. Once the timer chimed, I would drink 2-4 ounces of water. It’s was a great — and fairly painless — way to start hydrating.
Walk the Dog
For an exercise program to work, it has to be excuse-proof. I was given just that when my daughter decided to rescue a dog and somehow the responsibility of walking the dog fell on me. It has been a blessing in disguise, though, because every day — and yes, I mean every day — I walk 30 to 60 minutes. If I try to skip a day of walking, the dog will start barking — signaling she wants to get out and walk. With a walking partner like that, it is just easier to get the walk over with –and I am healthier because of it.
About four years ago, I went through a six-month period where I broke two bones. The first incident happened when I stumbled out my front door and landed full force on my right shoulder — fracturing it in three places. Then almost six months to the day, I fell down a set of stairs and fractured my left wrist. During the healing process, my doctor advised me I had osteopenia — which meant my bone density was less than normal. To offset the condition, I increased my calcium intake and added weight-lifting and weight-bearing exercises to my weekly routine.
Aging More Gracefully
The old saying, “if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself,” hits pretty close to home for me. Although only 50, I have dealt with plenty of health issues. Besides the broken bones, in the past five years I have:
- Dealt with a painful episode of gout
- Been medicated for high blood pressure
- Been diagnosed with sleep apnea
Since I know many of my woes are connected to my diet — and with my dog solving my exercise issue, my current fitness focus is on increasing my intake of raw vegetables. I am hoping by changing my diet — and living healthy 24 hours at a time — I can slow down the aging process.
Time will tell.