We don’t think about this idea while we’re young, in fact, most people don’t think too much about their health and aging until they have a health crisis of some sort. But even then, once the health crisis seems to have abated, people lose any focus on their health. If you look at the horrific statistic that only 10% of people who have undergone open heart surgery make long term improvements in their lifestyle you will understand what I mean!
Positive aging is a life time commitment if you want to feel good throughout your life. It doesn’t take any more time, energy or money to do this – it just takes the right attitude because making the right lifestyle choices will then naturally fall into place. It helps though to have some guidelines to follow which I will briefly outline in this small series of blogs because there is a lot of misinformation out there from sources who have something to gain out of distorting it…
- Stick to REAL food as much as possible. This mainly comes down to organization. If you know what you’re going to eat for every meal during a week in advance it is a lot easier to keep away from highly processed, prepackaged food. There are a couple of misconceptions about eating healthier options. One is that it is more expensive to eat this way when in fact it is more expensive to eat pre-prepared foods than raw food. The second misconception is that it takes more time to prepare raw food, but people don’t account for going to the supermarket every day or waiting for takeaways. Maybe a third misconception is that people say that they don’t have the energy to prepare raw food – but if they were eating right, they would feel,better and therefore have more energy? Some people weigh their food to ensure that they get the correct proportions, which may suit a percentage of people – but you just need to have clear although approximate measures of proportion sizes, such as the size of your clenched fist being a measure of serving – or a small plate being the size of a meal. If you use the Internet for gaining this information, get it from reputable sources.
- Other Lifestyle Choices. There are the basic choices such as – not smoking; not drinking alcohol to excess; being careful of your coffee consumption; finding effective ways of dealing with stress and taking a close look at your work/life balance – which are all important, although there are more than this. Being a Sports Scientist I have advocated for sports people to pay attention to their complete ‘package of performance’ – that every aspect of their lifestyle in addition to their physical and psychological programs has a cumulative affect on their performance on the sports field. This same concept is true for a person’s health and the affect on the aging process. All these factors fit like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to produce a result. The more factors you cover, the more positive the result!
There are a few other ideas I want to cover in this topic of Positive Aging – all part of the jigsaw puzzle to produce the result you desire?