By Kathleen D. Tresemer
As you know, I get lots of e-mails from readers sending me stuff for folks in their Second Half. Gal-pal Kate sent me The Handbook, with four areas of focus: health, personality, society and life.
I don’t know its origin, but the guidance here is simple, logical and easy. I’ll try to make it more palatable. Don’t worry…I’ll break it into four parts, so you won’t be overwhelmed! Here’s part one.
The Handbook on Health
1. Drink plenty of water. The body’s principal chemical component, water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water as it flushes out toxins and carries nutrients to cells. (from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283)
If Mayo says it, it must be true, right? Drinking lots of water gives me a chance to hide out in the bathroom on a regular basis, especially when I need a little break from the chaos. In my world, taking a time-out for mental health while performing a healthy act like peeing is the ultimate in multi-tasking excellence!
2. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar. It only makes sense to eat our biggest meal in the morning at breakfast, when our bodies need all the energy for the rest of the day, and end with a lighter supper. (from http://www.howtodothings.com/health-fitness/how-to-lose-ten-pounds-fast)
I can’t agree here. My visualization technique involves creating a positive mental picture of myself, so I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner like a queen—or, at least, a princess. “See yourself as a beggar, become a beggar” is what I always say! Anyone for a nice snack?
3. Eat more food from plants and less food manufactured in plants. “Processed foods are to blame for the sharp rise in obesity levels and chronic disease around the globe, according to the World Health Organization.” (from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2814253.stm)
I like the play on words here: plants vs. plants. According to 69-year-old nutritionist David Mulvain, less processed food is not just better, but necessary for optimum health and to ward off aging. Be prepared for your friends to react, however. When they want to stop for a burger or ice cream, everyone LOVES it when you say, “Could we go somewhere that has real food?” (Mulvain: (815) 248-4394 or Mulvain@stateline-isp.com)
4. Embrace the Three Es—Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy. Chiropractor Dr. J (of Loves Park Chiropractic) says Dr. Palmer, Father of Chiropractic, promoted meditative practice as part of a general wellness program—even built a meditation garden on his college campus. So, practice yoga and meditate for Energy and Enthusiasm, and volunteer for Empathy. Learn about volunteering at the Rock Valley College (RVC) Center for Learning in Retirement (CLR) Volunteer Fair & Open House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday April 28, at 3350 N. Bell School Road—it’s free! (CLR Web site: www.rockvalleycollege.edu/clr)
5. Pray. Research supports the positive effect of prayer. Mitchell W. Krucoff, M.D., from Duke University Medical Center and the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center in Durham, N.C., studied 150 patients with serious heart problems who were scheduled for angioplasty. According to Krucoff, the results showed patients who were prayed for during their procedure had far fewer complications. His results were published in the American Heart Journal. (from http://www.chiropracticresearch.org/NEWS_power_of_prayer_in_medicine.htm)
In our Second Half, we all pray. We pray the kids will move out of the house. We pray the kids will come visit this weekend to help put in the new patio because our back is acting up. We pray that belly we’ve developed is just fat and not some horrible disease. We pray to live through our exercise class to get rid of said belly fat.
6. Play more games. Dr. O.C. Simonton, oncologist and author of Getting Well Again, tells us: “Our bodies are helped to heal by engaging in those activities that bring us joy and deep fulfillment. Play is mandatory, it is not elective.” (from http://www.thepowerofplay.com/The_Power_of_Play_%26_Cancer.html)
Well, no one has to convince me! On the other hand, I don’t indulge in as many physically challenging or competitive games as I did years ago. In my Second Half, I play “hide and seek” quite a bit. I forget where I put things: they hide while I seek.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009. “The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency—the belief that the here and now is all there is.”—Allan Bloom
Besides, reading is like a mini-vacation from life. And, with books as friends, you are never alone!
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”—Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.
9. Sleep for seven hours. “When you sleep, this is a time that the body is resting, repairing, and regenerating itself from the stress of life. Proper and adequate sleep can help you regenerate and revitalize yourself each day. This can be considered anti-aging.” (from http://www.restoreunity.org/anti_aging.htm)
I must caution you, however: combining this step with the first one is counter-productive!
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile. “Wear a smile and have friends, wear a scowl and have wrinkles.”—George Eliot a.k.a. Mary Anne Evans, Victorian author of Silas Marner.
Keep smiling, everybody!
Coming next time: The Handbook, part two—Personality.
In her second half of life, Kathleen D. Tresemer is both a journalist and an award-winning fiction writer. She lives with her husband on a small ranch in rural Shirland, Ill. Kathleen can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the April 21-27, 2010 issue