How Long Do You Want To Live?

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

seniorjogger“Do this one thing and add years to your life.” Dr. Andrew Weil. What does he mean?

Dr. Weil says, “Make regular, moderate exercise part of your healthy lifestyle routine. Physical activity is good for the body, mind and spirit; helps maintain and improve the health of your heart; reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s; promotes energy, quality rest and a healthy weight; helps manage unhealthy stress; and may alleviate mild to moderate depression.”

Ever since my heart attack in 2006, I realized I wasn’t getting the “right” kind of exercise. I thought I was active enough, but I wasn’t following a routine that gave me the aerobic factor for cardio strength-building. I researched many exercise programs until I found the best one for me – the one I could easily stick with – and then I put it on my calendar 4 times a week. Literally, if it’s scheduled on my calendar, I do it.

Years ago I was lucky enough to have a trainer come to my house and put me through the paces. Judy Kain was fit, healthy, beautiful and willing to coach me at 6:30 AM three times a week. I never felt better in my life. Since then, Judy has gone onto much bigger, better and more famous career things, so I am left to my own devices and self-discipline. Can I be trusted to do this all by myself?

Following what Judy taught me about regular routines, I now adhere to a schedule of treadmill exercise (30-40 minutes a session) four times a week. And, I walk somewhere every day. I lift (1 and 2 lb) hand weights to keep my muscles toned, my bones healthy and I also practice QiGong on the non-treadmill days. I have also taken up beginning Aikido which I never thought I would ever be able to do. The best part is that on my 65th birthday I signed up for both Medicare and the martial art on the same day.

As a result of my routine I have stamina, flexibility, strength and I feel that I am aging well. I know that exercise helps me live a better life and it will also extend my years as long as I am faithful to my practice.

joggerA To-Do list to get you started:

1. Find a good fitness DVD. Rent several and pick the one that suits you. Purchase it. Use it.

2. Download a workout app to guide you through a routine.

3. Join a gym and sign up for a class you enjoy. Try out several to see how you body responds to the exercise. Will it be Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, QiGong, Boot Camp, Stretching, Kick Boxing, Zumba?

4. Get an exercise buddy and make it a social event plus a commitment to better health and longer life for two.

5. Walk. Park further from the store, take the stairs, always choose the path of most vigor when you do your errands.

6. Babysit children under five and let them keep you young and active.

To reap all the benefits of exercise and cardio improvement most people only need 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least four days a week, including two days of strength training, and a stretching routine. You can do that! It will pay off like a winning slot machine of health benefits for your mind, your body and your spirit.

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 11 books. Kac also completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.