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How to Live Long and Prosper



The advice for living longer hasn’t varied much over the years: Eat well, get some sleep and exercise, and cut the stress. Science backs that up. But exactly how much of each matters to an individual person is still unclear.


By 2050, over two billion people on earth will be over 60 years old. This increased longevity is one of the major achievements of modern humans, however this increase in lifespan does not necessarily equate with an increase in healthy, disease-free years for everyone.


As the saying goes, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. A good accountant can estimate your taxes due, but what about your life span? Is it possible to predict how long you have left?

The answer without question is NO.


So, what is the answer to a long and healthy life? Short of some kind of natural disaster, accident or illness, all we really have is our own personal day to day self care. Ive boiled it down to three things...I'll explain this in a little more detail of course.


  1. Healthy eating

  2. Exercise

  3. Spiritual maintenance

HEALTHY EATING


Eat your vegetables, lots of them!

Don't starve yourself

Eat mindfully, stop when you are full

Eliminate processed foods

Limit your fast food consumption to a maximum of once a week.

Limit your sodium and sugar intake, reduce or eliminate refined sugars and flours.

Cook your own food, make things you enjoy

Increase your whole grain intake

Use natural supplements to support overall health


Need a little more help with the above? Contact us, we offer a comprehensive nutritional coaching service.


EXERCISE


“How much exercise do I need? How often should I do it?” The simplest answer is that you should do something aerobic every day, some activity that gets your heart beating faster and your breathing going, some sweat appearing on your skin. That does not mean attending an exercise class or putting in an hour on a stationary bike every day. It just means doing something vigorous or finding ways to make ordinary activities more vigorous. Gardening and yard work can be aerobic, housework can be aerobic, going out to get the mail can be aerobic. It all depends on how you do it.


For maximum benefit to your cardiovascular system, aerobic activity should be continuous and sustained for more than a few minutes. My recommendation is to work toward the goal of doing thirty minutes of some type of aerobic activity at least five days a week. Frequency is important; exercising for sixty minutes once or twice a week will not give you the same results. You don’t have to begin at the recommended level, especially if you have not been exercising at all. Just keep in mind that you want to work toward that duration and frequency, then get there at your own pace. If thirty minutes seems like a lot of time, think about how much time you spend sitting and being inactive. Aerobic exercise is one of the key pieces of a program of preventive health maintenance. Thirty minutes of it five days a week is a sensible and moderate prescription.

I get bored doing any one aerobic activity and find that I am more likely to stick with my program if I make it as varied as I can. I like to run, hike, cycle, swim, dance, wrestle, jump rope, and jump on a mini-trampoline, and I try to mix all of these up. Not only does variety help fight boredom, it develops your body in better ways. Just as a highly varied diet is important to get all the nutrients you need and to avoid getting too much of substances you don’t need, a varied aerobic diet makes sure that your body is worked in all the ways it needs and reduces the chance of overworking or injuring any parts.


I am a particular fan of integrative exercise – that is, exercise that occurs in the course of doing some productive activity such as gardening, bicycling to work, doing home improvement projects and so on. Many people find it far easier to stick to activities like this than to lifting weights or running on a treadmill.


MENTAL & SPIRITUAL HEALTH


This is very often overlooked, and may do well to be at the top of the list.


Adequate blood levels of fish oil and vitamin D have been strongly tied to emotional health. They are so necessary and deficiencies are so common in the developed world that I believe everyone, depressed or not, should take them. Take up to three grams of a quality, molecularly distilled fish oil supplement daily – look for one that provides both EPA and DHA in a ratio of about three or four to one. I also recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D each day.


Conscious breath control a useful tool for achieving a relaxed, clear state of mind. One of my favorite breathing exercises is the 4-7-8 or Relaxing Breath. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Then:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.


Today, many of us are choking on “data smog,” a dense cloud of trivial, irrelevant, or otherwise low-value information made possible by the internet’s power to disseminate vast amounts of media virtually free. The result is fractured attention spans and attenuated human relationships. Monitor the time you spend with digital media (television, the web, email, text messaging and so on) in a given week, and cut that amount at least 25 percent in the following week. Use the time you free up for outings in nature, exercise, or face-to-face communication with friends. If you like the result, keep restricting virtual life “surfing” and expanding real-life, connected, human experiences.


On a final note remember to laugh, smile, show gratitude and forgiveness. Happy Halloween to you all! Less treats and more tricks...lol.

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