Remaining Active in Life

Bill Abbate

With so much information available about health today, it is easy to get lost in what is best and what is not. Call me old, but I prefer simple ways to look at the subject of staying healthy. What works best for most of us is something easy to remember and easy to do. The thousand details about why a system, method, or routine is better only complicates what should be straightforward. Ultimately, common sense reigns supreme!

If you are wondering if I know much about health, I was a serious athlete for many years. I constantly read about health, exercise, and nutrition. I worked out at least six days a week for decades. My routine included weightlifting, running, biking, swimming, and participating in many races every year.

Unfortunately, a series of widow maker heart attacks changed my life overnight, taking me from what most would consider extremely healthy to nearly dying. While I now enjoy much of my former health, the heart damage limits my ability to exercise vigorously. As you can imagine, health is more important to me now than ever!

Always on the lookout for the best perspectives on health, I ran across a quote by a gentleman so simple, yet profound, I had to share it.

"To insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life." William Louden

Let's look at the merit of each of his suggestions.

Eat lightly

With worldwide obesity tripling since 1975, most of us could get by stuffing a little less food in our mouths. In countries such as ours, there is not only an abundance of food, but much of it is highly processed and not exactly good for us.

The best way to immediately impact our health is through portion control. Fewer calories in, less fat added, and more weight lost. When used correctly, this simple practice can shed weight permanently. All it requires is self-control! Putting less on our plate, eating more slowly, and cutting out the snacks between meals can lead to eating lightly. Losing excess weight helps with many health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and other such issues.

Breathe deeply

In today's fast-paced, always something else to do, non-stop society, how often do you stop to breathe? Of course, you are breathing, or you would not be alive. But this type of breathing is different. It can only happen when you slow down and breathe deeply. Try it now. Slow down for a moment, calm yourself, relax, lighten your forehead and eyes by letting go of the tension you carry around them. You feel it don't you? Now relax your cheeks and jaw, allowing the tension to dissolve. Breathe slowly and deeply. Pay attention to your breath as you inhale deeply. Notice your breath as you slowly exhale. Breathe in calmness. Breathe out anxiety. Repeat as many times as needed to achieve peace.

Why not stop a few times each day to do this quick, simple exercise and begin to enjoy the benefits of capturing a few moments of calm in your life! It will not only improve your health, but it will also add more peace to your life.

Live moderately

With all the conveniences available to us today, our lives are better than any king or queen, emperor, or head of state throughout most of history. We have a wider variety of food in abundance, more entertainment, far better living conditions with clean running water, proper sanitation, more comfortable climate-controlled homes, and so much more. Yet we often want more.

There is little need for excess. Remember, the more you own, the more you are owned. Everything you own has a cost beyond its price. If it requires the least bit of attention, that is time you would have available had you not purchased it. Why not reclaim some of your life and your sanity by living more moderately? Doing so can reduce stress and improve your physical and mental health!

Cultivate cheerfulness

There is nothing as healthy as that of an attitude of gratitude! Why not cultivate happiness, cheerfulness, and joy in your life while adding some laughter in for good measure.

Laughter is a great way to increase cheerfulness and adds so many benefits to your health it is astounding. Read about some of the benefits in this article from the Mayo Clinic.

Maintain an interest in life

Life is as interesting as we are! Life is full of wonder. The way our body functions, how our mind works, civilization, animals, music, technology, history, nature, our solar system, galaxy, and the universe! There is so much to explore and learn it is literally inexhaustible. We will spend the rest of our lives doing something, so why not make it more enjoyable by living a life full of curiosity?

It is said there is so much to learn it could carry us through eternity. For those who are Christians, many of us believe we will continue learning forever. Don't you find that exciting? That gives us something to live for now and later!

Remaining interested in life keeps our minds sharp, helping us live longer. Have you noticed some of the greatest minds have done little more than think and write, ignoring the rest of their health, yet still lived long lives? Check this article out in Greater Good Magazine to learn more about a few of the wonderful health benefits of curiosity.

Final thoughts

Why not practice Louden's simple, common-sense principles rather than chase the endlessly complex nutritional methods, systems, and exercise routines available. They make a world of sense and are simple and easy to remember.

The only thing I would add to Louden's five practices for good health is remaining active in your life. One of the most important things you can do for your body and mind is to remain active and engaged. You can read more about this subject in the short article: How Remaining Active Can Benefit You in Your Life. An important part of keeping active includes exercise. Exercise does not have to be a chore as it is so often promoted and can be simple to do and pleasurable when done correctly. Check out this short article to learn more: Two Important Conclusions About the Joy of Being Physically Fit

If you have any additional simple ways a person can remain healthy, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

May you live a long, healthy, happy, fulfilled life!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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