“People who don't want to think about outlawing handguns haven't seen firsthand the kind of damage they do." -- J. A. Jance, "Payment in Kind"

Saturday, December 3, 2022

How to Live a Long Healthy Life

      Many of us say we don't care how long we live, only that we live well while we're around. But the two are intertwined. Those of us who are healthy and feel good are likely to live longer.

     So how do we stay healthy? I wish I had the answer. There probably isn't just one thing, but a package of habits and activities that, put together, help us get out of bed in the morning and keep us moving and living.

     Here are some ideas . . . and how I measure up. How do you measure up? More importantly, do you have any other suggestions? Because I'm always looking for suggestions about how to feel healthier and have a better attitude.

     1.  Get a good night sleep. Eight hours are recommended. Check . . . I'm a good sleeper.

     2.  Eat three healthy meals a day. I start eating breakfast about 7:30, and usually string it out until noon. Is that one meal or two? Then we have dinner around 6:30. Occasionally I have an afternoon snack that, um, sometimes involves potato chips.

     3.  Eat lots of fish, not too much meat. Check.

     4.  Don't eat too many carbs. Unfortunately, I live on carbs.

     5.  Exercise on a regular basis. I exercise on a non-regular basis. Should do more.

Can you touch your toes?

     6.  Drink plenty of water. I should drink more.

     7.  Don't smoke or drink too much alcohol. Haven't done that in years.

     8.  Have a positive attitude. Most of the time.

     9.  Have a good intimate relationship with another person. Yes.

    10.  Laugh a lot. No problem, I laugh at my own jokes!

    11.  Cultivate a few good friends. I don't have really good friends. I have several groups of casual friends.

    12.  Have a purpose in life. Sometimes I think I do; sometimes I wonder.

    13.  Have good genes. My mother lived to 89, my dad to 91. That's pretty good. But not as good as B. Her mother lived to 103.

    14.  Avoid negative, toxic people. But what if they're part of the family?

    15.  Get your regular medical check-ups. Yes, I do that . . . and, with all the vaccinations, have the sore arm to prove it.

     Now it's your turn. Any confessions? Any suggestions? Thanks!


DUTA said...

Adequate nutrition and sleep , are crucial to health.
As a believer in God, I pray to God in the evening to wake up in the morning, and thank God every morning, for waking me up to a new day.

I think that in the third stage of life (after retirement), one has to keep more to oneself, learn about the needs of one's body and soul, and act accordingly. Many retirees do the opposite. They depart from themselves, looking for all kinds of excitement. They might reach an advanced age, but chances are they'll depend on carers, accessories, and family.

Arkansas Patti said...

I think you and B have a good shot with those genes and moderate habits. Hey, you have to have a little fun.
I have health issues that are my own doing but am putting along fairly well and have all ready outlived my parents.
Huge believer in laughter, not giving in to anger and grudges are way too heavy to carry.

Janette said...

Combine - laugh a lot with negative toxic people. It works. I lighten topics instead of walking away.

Olga said...

If I took after my father, I'd be dead by now. I took after my mother, I have twenty years to go. I think I am pretty health conscious but I do love Oscar Wilde: Moderation in all things, including moderation. Personally, I find drinking plenty of water a very under rated health tip. It's my answer to headaches, muscle cramps, brain fog and the common cold.

Tom said...

Rian, I love that John Wesley quote. Olga, I'm convinced. I'm going to get myself a glass of water right now.

ApacheDug said...

This is all good, common sense stuff but like the old saying goes, easier said than done. I would LOVE to sleep 8 hours a day. What I usually wind up doing is sleeping 6.5 hours (waking up 3-4 times a night to use the bathroom). I usually wind up taking a nap the next day for 20 minutes, usually around 2pm. (I asked my doctor recently if naps were healthy or not, he said "well, an afternoon siesta is practiced by millions of people everyday" so I feel better about it.

Tom forgive me for being nosy but are you on any medications? (By meds I mean prescriptions.)

Anvilcloud said...

i fall short on many but have no control over the first. However, I feel very good about getting almost 8 hours last night. It happens once or twice a year, Too often, I am well below that.

gigi-hawaii said...

I sleep 5 hours per night, sometimes only 4. When I am tired during the day, I take a nap. My mother slept 4 hrs per night and lived to 99. My friend also slept 4 hrs per night and lived to 101. So, asleep less and live longer. Doug, you should have your enlarged prostate checked. That's what leads to frequent urination. Hubby takes Hytrin for his.

ApacheDug said...

Thanks Gigi I actually did. To be perfectly blunt, my nighttime wakeups is from my blood pressure medication. One of amlodipines three major side effects is nocturnal urination.

Tom said...

I wish I could function on 4 or 5 hours of sleep, but if I don't get at least 7.5 I'm a mess. Otherwise, I'm of the opinion that if you go to the doctor they'll just find something wrong with you . . . I took nothing my whole life, but went for a checkup in 2021 (after skipping during Covid) and now suddenly I'm on Alfuzosin Hydrochloride for prostate and Metoprolol for heart (premature ventricular contractions). Fortunately, no side effects. Could it be that I'm getting old?!?

Ed said...

Having seen a fair amount of my long lived great grandparents and grandparents in their final years, I'm okay with shaving a few off at the end. The crux is finding the balance between shaving off a few years and shaving off a decade or more. And then there is my mom who died at 63 and was in phenomenal shape. A reminder that even if we do all the best for ourselves, even that might not be enough to get us as far as we want to go.

Trudi said...

Look both ways when you cross the street (on foot or vehicle). Then double check! The number of deadly crashes is rising.

RetirementCoffeeShop said...

Great list! The carbs get me every time! I need to work on drinking more water, exercise and watching the carb intake.

Tabor said...

I am pretty much where you are. I do exercise but not as often as I should. My alcohol consumption is regular but not more than two drinks a day. We cannot pick our gene, but mine are pretty good.

Kay said...

Although mom is 93, the rest of the family is not, did not fare as well. She is on the treadmill every morning while I am not good about doing my exercise since COVID started. I need to do better. And sleep...sleep... I wish I could get 7.5 hours of sleep like you. Art gets 8 hours almost every night. He tells me it's because he has a clear conscience. Riiight...

Kathy @ SMART Living 365 said...

Hey Tom! I haven't been getting notices of your blog posts...what's changed? Anyway, thought I'd pop over and check out what's happening in your world these days. And yes, good health and long life are always important! It sounds to me you do much of what is important to stay around for a long time--and from what I can tell--there is no simple answer anyway. I am continually reminded that even those that do everything perfectly (according to the experts) still have issues pop up that were completely unexpected. So we do our best and hope for the best, right? Probably THE MOST important thing I do is regular exercise (I'm a walker) because of my blood pressure. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't even be alive today if I didn't. Plus I like doing it so it's a good thing. As with most of the suggestions, if we don't like doing them it probably doesn't matter whether we should do them or not. Overall just happy I made it through another year feeling well and happy. Hopefully next year will be the same for both of us! Merry Christmas to you and B! ~Kathy

Wisewebwoman said...

i wrote today about being adaptable. I think that has so much to do with outlook. As partners can die - sadly, and financial fortunes can change (hello plunging stock markets) and food become expensive along with heat, etc. And the pandemic can wipe even more people off the planet.


Terra said...

This is a good list and it is best to follow these suggestions starting as young as possible. I credit my faith in God and being involved in church with helping me have a happy attitude, which is a foundation for good health. Thanks for these reminders.