Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Big Nine for a Long Healthy Life

Today is my birthday.  Another year in the books.  Pretty great year.  As we age, there are numerous things that people and experts will say that we should do to age well.  One list comes from the book about the 95 year old master sprinter Olga, "What Makes Olga Run."  I want to sprint when I'm 95, that sounds awesome.  So here is her list.  Most of them have to to do with attitude.  Attitude is under our control.

1.  Keep Moving.  Move Continually.  Don't stop.  Don't take breaks from activity.  (I'll start again next month is a phrase I hear often)  Find a different activity if you have to.  This wards off the big 5 killers of most people.  It helps a lot with brain health.

2.  Create Routine (But sometimes break them).  Committing to the normal mundane parts of our life frees up energy for other aspects.  The body loves regularity.  But it also needs a small amount of stress to adapt to.

3.  Be Opportunistic.  No your strengths and attack them.  Some meets you will feel good, go for the PR.  Find the 20% that gives the 80% reward.  Spend your energy wisely.

4.  Be a Mensch.  Do good, be kind.  Science back this up.

5.  Believe in Something.  It actually doesn't matter what it is.  Belief is a trait that people with it tend to thrive.  "Have a chip down on the table, instead of in your pocket."

6.  Lighten Up.  Stress management is key.  Exercise helps.  Also, something called the Big Picture shift.  This is simply viewing life from space, things seem small.  The clock is running.  Don't grumble, have gratitude.

7.  Cultivate a Sense of Progress.  Find a way to improve at something!  Cultivate small wins.  This creates satisfaction and human motivation.  Move your expectations as you age, just like masters age athletes.

8.  Don't do it if you Don't Love it.  Find things you love to do, if you hate jogging, DON'T JOG.  Find something that is fun that you can love.  Should doesn't work, Want Works.

9.  Begin Now.  There is never a point that it is to late to start.  The body is an amazing thing.  It will start to respond.  It will surprise you how well it will start to rev back up if you go slowly.

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