I recently turned 50 and decided to have a complete physical examination with my doctor including blood work. I was pleased to find all indicators on the blood work well within the normal ranges and no other concerns were found in the examination. I have no pain in my body either. I think I surprised the doctor because I also take no prescription medication and the only over the counter medicine I take is an occasional ibuprofen for a rare headache. I also don't take vitamins and only one nutritional, wholefood supplement.
In talking with others my age, I found my situation rare. Instead of just patting myself on the back for a half century well-lived, I decided to share my recipe for health, in case someone finds inspiration to add an ingredient or two into their own lives to feel better now.
More from YourTango: First Date Etiquette: What To Say When You Don't Want A 2nd Date
I am not a doctor or medical professional, so I cannot guarantee good health or make any promises. I am simply sharing what works for me in hopes it can work for you as well.
Before I list my health practices, there are some common themes that you will notice. Practice the themes of prevention, moderation, and a positive mental attitude, and most everything in your life improves!
Here is a list of 20 healthy choices you may want to consider adding to your life if you have not already done so:
- Drink water. Drink water instead of soda. Carry a water bottle around with you and drink constantly throughout the day.
- Eat 3 meals a day. Start with a healthy breakfast as a foundation and strive for two more quality meals later. Avoid eating several hours before bedtime.
- Give your body breaks from certain types of food and drinks. Have vegetarian days, gluten free days, dairy free days, alcohol free days and other difficult to digest substances to allow your internal organs a day off from hard to process foods. Pick one focus at a time and assess how you feel when you do not consume that particular food or drink.
- Avoid artificial ingredients. Stay away from aspartame, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and other artificial additives. Focus on food and drink closest to nature and whenever possible choose organic.
- Remember to think of sweets as a special treat rather than a daily fix. Decrease sugar consumption, whether it is candy or sweetened lattes and other beverages, and save it for a special occasion.
- Walk. Make walking a priority each day. Even if you do not have time for formal exercise, fit in a walk every day.
- Exercise at least 5 days a week. Have variety. Swim, lift weights, play a sport and use different muscles and include cardiovascular exercise.
- Stretch. Keep limber by stretching or taking classes such as yoga or ballet at least once a week.
- Rebound. Rebound exercise (mini-trampoline) improves lymph movement, which in turn increases your immune system.
- Get sunshine. Find a way to get some sunshine each day if possible. There will be cloudy days, but when the sun shines, get out in it for awhile.
- Detox weekly. Try 10 minutes in a sauna or steam room. Sweat out toxins weekly.
- Take a wholefood supplement. I love Juice Plus, which adds more vegetables and fruits to my daily diet.
- Say no to drugs and smoking. Enough said.
- Schedule consistent self-care. Find some whole body, eastern medicine type of practice such as acupuncture and attend faithfully once a month. Rebalance yourself in some way regularly.
- Try all alternatives before taking pills or having surgery. Explore natural remedies before taking pharmaceuticals or scheduling surgery, which always has side effects and risks.
- Get enough rest. Don't short your sleep. You need adequate sleep for clear thinking and optimal functioning of your body.
- Breathe. When stressed, take at least 3 deep in and out breaths before reacting.
- Practice forgiveness. Anger and resentment often cause internal symptoms and unnecessary suffering.
- Focus on gratitude. Be grateful for what you have and where you are now. Count your blessings.
- Laugh and love. Find humor in situations and laugh often. Open your heart to love. Love others and love yourself.
If any of these suggestions are missing from your health routine, consider adding one or two gradually to enhance your feeling of vitality. You never know which new addition will change your situation for the better. Age more gracefully, so you can enjoy an active life style with good energy each year starting now!
More from YourTango: Kick Busyness And Exhaustion Out The Door!
More advice from a life coach on YourTango: