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.
For the first time, despite my steadfast aerobic workout routine and good health, I truly felt like the droopy old fart every 61-year-old man ultimately must acknowledge. I mean, wasn’t it last year that I cradled her in my arms as she cooed, giggled and then yanked my glasses off, while dutifully filling her diapers?
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.
Next, I scrutinized my vitamin regimen. Big Pharma would love for the vitamin industry to go away. Out of fear and greed, they’ve slandered and discredited vitamins and minerals for decades. Yes, there are some crappy vitamins out there, but with some homework and a friend at your community vitamin shop, anyone can deduce good from bad. I’ve taken Source of Life vitamins for 20 years. Research assures grocery store vitamins are the absolute worst. Most are synthesized by a chemist, not our Creator; therefore our cells cannot use them. Doctors at the University of California-Berkley report we all should take a quality daily, food-based multiple vitamin with minerals. They urge the age-challenged to take daily doses of 800 mg alpha-lipoic acid and 2,000 mg acetyl-l-carnitine, nutritional warriors which power our cells. Mitochondrion decay is a major factor in aging and is connected to Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Anyone over 50 should also pop a B-complex and D-3 every day. Solgar and Carlson brands are top shelf.
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 and center on each breath. Dr. Andrew Wiel picks deep breathing as a universal anti-stress practice. Exhale strongly, making a whoosh sound. Breathe in quietly through the nose for a four-count. Hold the breath for a seven-count; then exhale with the whoosh sound for an eight-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.
People live longer today than ever, partly due to what scientists and doctors are discovering about how the temple responds to a diet rich in anti-aging fruits and vegetables that extend our relatively short lives. Are you an adult who still doesn’t eat their anti-aging fruits and vegetables? Come on — get with it and grow up! Antioxidants in fresh produce are necessary as we age to fight free radicals agents that damage healthy cells.
Finally, do a good deed. The best way to stay healthy is to be kind and loving to others as well as yourself