I recently saw a picture of an elderly gentleman dressed up and ready to attend a church service. I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m half his age, and he’s in much better shape than I am!” That made me wonder: “What’s my body going to look like when I’m that age?” I suspected it may not look as good, so I studied his lifestyle and decided to make some changes to mine.
So here are a few tips to help you also remain fit and healthy… because whether or not we like it, we will all grow old someday.
1. Exercise – My stay-fit inspiration spent a good part of his life as an Army man, so he clearly understands the importance of exercising. He spends time exercising every day, especially walking. And yes, the Bible says bodily exercises profits little… but it does profit something. So let’s get that something no matter how small it is. It doesn’t have to be running a thousand miles a day; it may be as little as taking a stroll every evening or learning to dance. Any form of exercise is better than nothing. For example, I’ve committed to using the treadmill I bought last year. It’s gathered its fair share of dust, but I’m going to be doing fifteen minutes of fast walking every other day. That should go a long way in toning up some muscles and strengthening my aching bones.
2. Supplementing carbonated drinks for fruit-infused water – I used to see people carry these bottles of water with slices of cucumber and lime in them, and I really thought it was just a fad. In the spirit of staying fit, I decided to do some reading. I learnt that cucumber and lime helps reduce high blood pressure, smooth the skin, hydrate, detox the body and tone muscles. So out with the canned drinks, and in with cucumber and lime infused water—which basically means adding a slice of cucumber and lime to my bottle of water every day.
3. Sleep – It’s interesting that sleep is something I really love but rarely do. My mind is always on hyper drive, and most times I find it hard to settle down and fully sleep without engaging in some mental battles. I read up on sleep again and discovered that, along with providing essential rest, it helps rejuvenate one’s mind. Interestingly, it seems people who sleep less have a tendency to gain more weight. So I’ve committed to seven hours of sleep when possible and to sleep deeply whenever I lay my head down. That means turning off phones and fighting the temptation to browse on my device. Bed time is bed time.
4. Quiet time – Even the Bible says “in quietness is your strength” Isaiah 30:15. Yes, my inspiration for staying-fit is born from a love of hours spent reading, praying and meditating: habits I picked up on when I was younger and which somehow elude me now that I need them most. With the hustle and bustle of life, we need to take a breather and spend some time in quietness. This helps clear your head and release the negative energy you carry all day. Quiet time is an excellent chance to tune out the world, listen to God and unload your burdens on Him, which helps you find strength for another day. Staying fit is more than just physical. It’s about your spirit. My commitment is to find at least 30 minutes for quiet time every day. Since I barely sleep deeply, I might as well use that time for something positive.
5. Eat right – Eating a balanced meal is another thing my stay-fit inspiration does well. None of those easy-to-cook meals that just fill you up with calories—no, he delights in balanced, complete meals that contain carbs, fruits, meats and veggies. So no more shortcuts to lunch for me; I’ve committed to taking a decent breakfast to work and eating a balanced lunch.
These are five simple lifestyle changes that can help you stay healthy and fit for a long time. Change is one thing that’s certain in life, so as your body grows, condition it to accept these changes by living right. Can we hold each other accountable to follow these five steps? I sure hope we can.
Here’s to looking dapper at 70—Cheers!
Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net