Looking far out into my future, I see a man playing with his grandchildren and I can hear the laughter from decades away. Long-term vision is critical for the success we wish to see and the decisions we make now will make all the difference. There are no promises in our health, but we can certainly start by making simple and healthy decisions.
The place to start is a big heaping dose of reality. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a man not making the best choices for his future, and it was reflecting back at me in all the common ways it does for many men at my stage.The round belly, the extra meat around the neck, and all the other areas none of us wish to see on ourselves. The kicker for me is when I was being fitted for a tux I wanted to wear for a romantic night with my wife, and the tailor said boldly, “You have a big neck, Sir.” I can’t do anything about genetics, but I knew right then I needed to find a way to make some lasting changes.
I’m not one for gym memberships. I just wanted to find simple things I could do that would become habits that create a healthier lifestyle. Here are the keys to the plan I created to accomplish my vision of being that healthy grandfather.
1. Daily Exercise
Ideally, we should be getting at least 30 minutes a day of active exercise. Simple and free ways to accomplish this are walking and the basic calisthenics exercises we all learned as children. Squats, push-ups (modified or full), jumping jacks, planking, sit- ups and lunges are all excellent choices, and no fancy instruction required.Create your own routine that makes sense for you.
2. Food Attitude Adjustment
I was raised on great food with huge portions, and giant pitchers of sweet tea to wash it all down. It has proven extremely difficult for me to change my attitudes about portion control and food choice. I’m the type that believes meals are an event, and the food is a bonding agent between souls. I will always believe that, but I’m attempting to adjust my attitude so that my health is also an important part of that soulful equation. Designate the proper times and places to indulge, but as a matter of routine, develop common sense eating habits.
3. A Balanced Diet Matters
Honestly, this has been the most difficult for me. I’m a meat and potatoes man, and I’m not fond at all of the broccoli, kale, and all those things that I know are good for me as well. But balance in our diet seriously matters. Chances are if we have nagging ailments bothering us such as digestive issues and lack of energy, it’s because our diet is severely unbalanced. There is a saving grace. Ask loved one for her help and watch what happens. Just some basic exercise, a little common sense with portions and choice, and a balancing of our diet will make enormous changes in our lives now and in the future. All we need is a little determination and effort.