Did you know that our future health is in our own hands now? Right now? It’s pretty obvious that we will reduce our risk of heart disease or other illnesses if we make efforts to keep our weight under control, don’t smoke and take regular exercise. However, keeping our brains active will help us to retain our mental sharpness too.
Have you ever considered how you are doing? Are you doing your utmost to maximise your physical and mental fitness now? This isn’t just to ensure that you are enjoying life to the full now but it will also affect your future health.
I’m going to share my own experiences with you and I hope it will persuade you to examine your own lifestyle too. I’m 45 by the way so I should really be focusing on my health, for now and in the future. I want to feel youngish for as long as I pssible can.
Eat Healthy Food
I do eat lots of fruit and vegetables, definitely reaching my five a day on almost every day. However, I probably do eat too many sweet things too. I have a daughter who loves to bake and apart from the fact that her baking is delicious, I have to support her in her baking don’t I? I do the washing up and I sample her baking so I can tell her how scrumptious it is. I cook every day and we rarely have takeaway food or ready meals. However, I love my cups of tea and unfortunately, I do enjoy having a slice of cake or a biscuit or two with the cuppa. Eating healthy food is no problem but I need to limit my intake of sweet things too.
I have quite a sedentary lifestyle in terms of my day job as I’m in front of the laptop for most of the day. However, I’m married to a farmer so bringing the cows in, feeding calves or running after cattle replaces the gym – or at least that’s what I tell myself! I do enjoy cycling and get out a couple of times a week during the summer months. I should have a better routine for exercise though as if I’m busy, the exercise doesn’t happen.
Keep Mentally Active
I’m pretty sure my mental arithmetic would be somewhat lacking now but I read lots of books and do the occasional crossword. I should probably do more crosswords and suduko puzzles. Apparently reading detective ‘whodunit’ novels raises people’s IQ as we are constantly trying to work it out as we’re reading – they are one of my favourite genres so I hope that contributes to my mental health.
Learning New Things
I do need to improve on this one! Maybe I should tie it in with improving my fitness and enroll in a dancing class in September. I could improve my fitness and learn new steps at the same time. I joined a craft group a while ago so I’m looking forward to learning how to develop my crocheting skills from my rather limited granny squares.
Don’t Get Stressed
Modern life seems to throw lots of stress at us – stress in work with having to meet targets, stress of being late when held up in traffic, stress of bringing up teenagers, examination stress but it’s a case of working out how to deal with these stresses so they don’t raise your blood pressure. Decluttering your home, having a routine in the mornings, taking exercise so you have time to clear your head, these can all contribute to reduce the stress in your life. I have to admit that not getting stressed is the one where I probably score most highly but that’s probably down to my personality rather than my lifestyle.
Widen Your Social Circle
Having a good social circle is hugely beneficial. As we found in our research for a recent blog post, men are less likely to have heart attacks when they have the support of good social networks. Chatting or exercising with friends, enjoying a joke, discussing issues of the day or a newly published book with colleagues, they all give us a warm feeling don’t they?
I need to improve on this too – I’m good at keeping in contact with friends on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook but that really has limited benefits. I know that I always feel great after meeting up with a friend for a chat and a laugh. I need to make more effort in this regard and knowing that such activity can have long term benefits should give me the impetus to organise meeting friends more often.
As you can see, I have some room for improvement. How about you? Do you need to improve on these factors within your current lifestyle? Remember that the benefits aren’t just for now. They will last for many years.