Okay folks I am back and so are you after a nice long weekend. Isn't it always great to have a little break from time to time, especially in the winter months? As age catches up with a few of us, it's interesting how we start to complain about all kinds of aches and pains. Seemingly, winter just makes it worse. The question is: Is it just in our minds, are we the ultimate hypochondriacs, or are our bodies really feeling the effects of additional Sundays?.
We all know that as kids, we were constantly forced to dress up warmly and we never seemed to feel cold.
But now? Hmm, tell me about it! We fight overweight and obesity, heart problems, rheumatism, sugar diabetes and plain old age. As a young active child our bodies mimic a little furnace that is constantly burning food and converting it to heat. Simply put, our metabolisms were so much more efficient. We could eat a whole cow, a sack of millet and tonnes of morogo, plus loads of fruits, then burn it off like there is no tomorrow and not even put on an ounce of fat.
That was great stuff and the good olden days. It makes me nostalgic just reflecting on it. Now, as the baby boom and generation X, we all have to deal with the effects of a sluggish metabolism that results in all the side effects we hate to suffer. The fact of the matter is that a diet rich in refined foods like polished white maize, rice, bread, and sugar and lack of exercise can make you old before your time.
Over the years I have come to learn that there is nothing as horrible and humiliating as someone mistaking you for an older person than you actually are - especially for women - oh boy don't they take it personally! Honestly, though, if one has abused their bodies over the years by eating junk food and not exercising, gravity is bound to act quicker than you can spell the word. But with a healthy diet, lifestyle, worthwhile goals and a positive mental attitude, it is very possible to enjoy life into your silver hair days and beyond nine decades.
The real secret and fountain of youth therefore in my view (as well as many other scientists and artists) has never really been expensive potions, creams, and other extremely expensive things that the beauty industry continues to lure us with. The real McCoy is a balanced diet rich in wholesome grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, a dollop of unsaturated fats and oils, more servings of fish, and limited refined foods.
Add to this at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, and just like with food, variety is key so that you work out different muscles and joints, for improved strength, endurance and flexibility. Remember that you need at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity to prevent weight gain.
In terms of food and diet, I shall make emphasis on the following: consume most of your fat from the fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Limiting solid fats such as butter, margarine, shortening (e.g. holsum,), and lard will not only save you the excess calories, but will also protect and save your poor heart.
Checking nutrition labels is one of the favours and habits you can reward yourself with. Check the labels to keep saturated fats, trans fats, refined sugars, and sodium (salt) low in the diet. Keep this mind; if you pick up any food, you check the label and the first three ingredients listed are sugar, fats/oils, and salt simply stay away from that food or brand. What this means is that by eating that item, you literally are gulping down oil, and swallowing bags of sugar and salt.
Do I need to remind you of the effects and consequences of these on your body and longevity?
As one wise man, pioneer health reformer and educator, E.G. White, once put it "(Most people) suffer because of their own wrong course of action. They disregard the principles of health by their habits of eating, drinking, dressing, and working". How true...
On the other hand though, what I have to say is that it is true that many things get better with age. But one has to remember to put in the initial work vis--vis optimum nutrition. I salute the middle and old age, minus the crises, of course. Here's to staying forever young. Adios!