Four years ago my father had a mini stroke and spent a week in the hospital. Unfortunately, my father had not exercised in years and because of his lack of strength and stamina, his health quickly declined.
When it was time for him to go home, he could not, instead he had to go into a rehabilitation center. He recovered and eventually returned home. However, it was painful to watch a proud man lose his independence within a few weeks.
I too am a fiercely independent person and am extremely active. The thought of being in my father’s position, unable to return to my life and the things I love, was extremely frightening for me.
My whole life I exercised because I played a sport and wanted to be the best, or because I wanted to look and feel good in the now. However, my father’s experience gave me an entirely new outlook on my own life. Today I choose how I eat and the commitment to my fitness, not for today, but for the woman I will be in the future. I want to be able to travel, spend time with my family, and enjoy the world and experiences around me. I never want to watch my life from the sidelines.
I think if more of us chose to be healthy for our future selves instead of a vacation we might be going on, a pair of jeans we want to fit in, or trying a fad diet to lose weight, we would find success in eating healthy, being healthy, and would be happier for it.
Choosing foods that will help nourish our bodies not only make us feel better but help our bodies fight infection and damage to our cells, which allows us to live longer. So instead of dieting, choose foods that you know will make you the person you will be in 15-20-25 years, the strongest and healthiest.
Choose workouts and exercises that you will be able to maintain for the long haul, so when you are 65 and you want to go on a hike with your family, you can.
Along with regular exercise and eating healthy, I also made a commitment to myself to read every day even if it is for only 15 minutes. The brain needs exercise as much as the body.
A study released in Neurology found that reading and similar activities reduced the rate of cognitive decline in dementia patients and could help prevent Alzheimer’s.
So live your life now for your future self, your current self and everyone who loves you.
- Get Old is an initiative developed by Pfizer to challenge people of all ages to rethink what it means to Getting Old and take a more active role in their health and quality of life at every age. Whether it’s through watching what you eat, physical exercise, spending time with family and friends or participating in an activity you’re passionate about — each of us has the power to decide for ourselves how we want to Get Old. It’s not just about living longer, but living better.
- What are you doing to Getting Old well? Tells us at GetOld.com and join the conversation on Twitter.com/GetOld and Facebook.com/GetOld.
I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Pfizer and Get Old. I received compensation for this post. All opinions stated are my own.