Last weekend, enticed by the multi-colored splendor, azure skies and crisp air, Sandi and I drove the country back roads to visit our granddaughter attending her first semester at Indiana University.
Face it; we’re all going to die. What we do between birth and death, however, factors significantly into life’s final chapters. Am I going to experience late life morbidity or wake up dead some morning? Using the stimulus, I appraised my personal efforts to steward my temple to remain healthy until I expire. Living to 100 is no longer attractive unless I can remain in lucid mental and physical health.
After patting myself on the back for overcoming cigarette addiction, my first focus was my weight; next to not smoking, the most important thing anyone can do to live longer. Fat cells produce hormones which raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and generate cytokines which cause inflammation, stiffening of the arteries, heart and other organs. Packing surplus fat raises the risk of some cancers. Currently I’m the same weight I was when I was 18, just more wrinkly. I did however weigh 300 pounds in 1988.
Do I know how to mellow out? I’ve learned the value of regularly practicing a series of deep, cleansing breaths. Life strife increases the concentration of hormones cortisol and norepinephrine which raise blood pressure and suppress the immune system. Seek daily quiet time to meditate / center on each breath. Dr. Andrew Weil picks deep breathing as a universal anti-stress practice. Exhale strongly, making a whoosh sound. Breathe in quietly through the nose for a 4 count. Hold the breath for a 7 count; then exhale with the whoosh sound for an 8 count. Repeat the cycle three more times and feel the fresh oxygen refresh your mind, body and soul.
Do I eat enough fresh produce? Extremely necessary as we age, Antioxidants found in all fruits and vegetables are used by our body intelligence to brawl with free radical agents that damage healthy cells. Fibrous anti-aging fruits and vegetables help the digestive process along. This includes all green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, collards and kale. Carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, avocado and celery are also fibrous and vigorous.
It's wondrous how the holy temple heals and restores.