I have forever ‘preached’ that most of us have a choice of staying fit for life…..
…and that I believe some problems arise from cultural habits picked up from previous generations.
For example, if you grew up in a family bent toward an all-you-can-eat attitude at mealtimes with heavy sauces and sides, chances are your mother’s mother had the same approach, which is where she got it from, and, therefore, so, too, might you, going forward. Can you think of other cultural habits that might be deleterious to you and your family’s health and fitness? Maybe a lack of regular exercise? Yes, we can inherit a bad gene, but often a poor physical condition is a result of cultural habits, mislabeled ‘heredity.’ Think obesity.
We need to identify such bad habits, and then decide which good ones to replace them with. I had my own issues in this regard… my mother was a “sugar-holic” and I became one too. I would use 4 teaspoons of sugar in a glass of iced tea, eat a candy bar or two a day, as well as sugar-filled cakes and cookies. It was my father who brought me to my senses at an early age. I was still in my teens when he made me realize how detrimental sugar was to my health, and, more important to me at the time, how it might be affecting my looks. Actually, I still have a sweet tooth, but I have reduced my sugar intake ever since.
I don’t know if it can be called a routine per se, but here’s what I do and don’t do, generally speaking.
1. I set a weight range goal, which is ±3 pounds of my ideal.
I won’t mention what my ideal weight is, since, for you, the only meaningful number is yours, and your body is most likely different from mine. If my weight starts to climb and my jeans are getting a little tight, I eat less. My philosophy on dieting is just that: eat less, and, if that doesn’t work, just eat even less. My meals are rich in fruits and vegetables, and very little red meat. I DON’T believe in formal diets, of which there are too many to count. They only work if they cause you to use up more calories than you take in every day, which is exactly what eating less accomplishes.
2. I get regular general medical checkups with blood tests.
I used to do this annually, but, since I reached 80, I see my family doctor every six months. But, I do still travel to my trusted OB GYN doctor annually, as well. I see my dentist once a year, too, for a cleaning. I don’t need to have my teeth checked more frequently because my reports are always excellent. I have always brushed religiously twice a day, and I’m a great believer in water flossing every night before retiring (I have a portable water flosser for travel). I DON’T run to the doctor with ‘every little ache or pain’; they generally take care of themselves, even without medication. But, if I sense anything changing in my body, I have it checked out. And I have gotten a Flu shot every year since age 38…that’s every single year for 44 years!.
3. I take extra good care of my skin, which is a carryover from my modeling days.
I have always stayed out of the sun, even when I was a youngster and on into my teens. I use the range of OLEDA skincare products every day to keep my skin supple and clear – I have dry skin, so I’m always working to help prevent wrinkles. I DON’T ever go to bed without complete removal of makeup, cleansing and moisturizing. PS: I’m still modeling for OLEDA INC.
If exercise was as much fun as eating, we’d all be in very good shape. I have a personal treadmill in our garage, complete with TV and earphones, that I force myself to use regularly for cardiovascular attunement. I believe brisk walking is the best exercise for everybody. Also, while I don’t do much of it, weight training is great at every age ( I should do more) I do keep a couple of 3-pound weights handy for arm bends at home that I do off and on a few times a week. I DO NOT jog – never have and never will. I believe that’s what has helped to keep my joints strong and free of pain as well as to help keep my body very flexible, still, with as little drooping as possible for my age.
Well, that’s about it. There’s no magic to what I do, just common sense and stick-to-itiveness. But, for me, it has worked. Maybe it would for you, too, although I understand how some people desire more structured regimentation.