(Image courtesy of Marisa Howenstine)
Most of us are beginning to realize that a good “health span” is more desirable than a long “life span.” (By that, I mean as we age having a period in which we are still healthy, active, and vibrantly participating in life.) Particularly as we age, having this vital health span becomes increasingly important to us. Depending upon your circumstances, it may include increasing your ”good” and decreasing our “bad.” Here are a thirteen items you will want to assess as you move forward to that healthy life span.
- 1. Define your life’s meaning and purpose. Typically, that will involve serving others in some manner. Play. Live towards it.
- 2. Develop a community of loving support. Forgive yourself and others for anything that may be annoying you. Avoid a steady diet of bad news.
- 3. Learn a new skill or develop a new activity. Do things that will keep your mind sharp like puzzles, writing, learning a new language, using your non-dominant hand, travel, etc.
- 4. Exercise with both cardio and strength activities. Make walking a habit.
- 5. Hydrate regularly with clean water.
- 6. Get out in sunshine daily, but avoid peak sun exposure. Supplement natural light with photo therapy if possible. Walk barefoot on the earth when possible getting out in nature. Try taking cold showers or at least finishing with them.
- 7. Create habits that assure restful sleep.
- 8. Avoid processed foods. Eat real, whole clean foods focused on lots of fruits and vegetables. Minimize your meat and dairy consumption.
- 9. Practice good oral/dental health to include flossing.
- 10. Visit your primary physician and dermatologist for regular physical checkups and your dentist twice a year for cleanings.
- 11. Avoid smoking and drink in moderation.
- 12.Adopt a daily breathing and/or meditation practice.
- 13. Supplement with Phytonutrients and micronutrients (e.g., vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins).
There are never any guarantees for attaining a long, healthy life span, but if you follow the above suggestions, you will put the odds in your favor.