Why health is the best gift you can give yourself

One of the most amazing people I know is 79 years of age. There are many reasons why she is remarkable, but her glowing health is perhaps the most obvious.

Everywhere she goes, she receives compliments on how good she looks, how active she is and how she never seems to age like others. As we all know, genetics and environment do play a part in the state of our health, but there are also lifestyle factors that an individual can control.

I’ve been fortunate to have known this woman for quite a while, so I have observed her lifestyle factors and suspect they have been important ingredients in her continued good health. Let me share some of those with you. Hopefully, her story may inspire you to make some positive changes to your lifestyle.

She is always on the move

It is well documented that a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to poor brain functioning, and this is a big issue as you age. The Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity each and every day to improve memory, reasoning and reaction times.

My friend can tell you the detail of a dinner party that took place 40 years ago, including what was served and the day of the week it was held. Her memory is incredible. Then again, so is her activity level – she constantly moves. Cleaning, gardening, shopping, playing bowls, rearranging furniture… she is rarely still, and she does it all with enthusiasm.

Oh, yes, and she still enjoys a good holiday – and all the better if there’s plenty of walking and sight-seeing involved!

She stays mentally alert

When she does take a quick break in the day, it is to eat or to read. A voracious reader, she frequents the library and second-hand bookstores to get the latest novels. She can get quite frustrated if she hasn’t read the daily newspaper. The internet has been a revelation for her – news updates, whenever she needs them; online card games; emails with friends.

In other words, her mind stays very active.

Her appearance is important

Is it important to care about how you look, regardless of your age? My friend certainly thinks so, and her style draws many complimentary remarks. She is always well groomed, her clothes stylish and fashionable, her hair beautiful.

She drinks water constantly; eats loads of fruit and vegetables; has her nails done regularly; goes for facials; keeps regular appointments with her doctor to monitor her wellbeing; religiously applies sunscreen; and doesn’t think twice about pulling on her swimmers to go to the beach. None of this is a chore – she loves to do it all and, in turn, these choices reward her by keeping her glowing with health.

She is always ready to socialise

No matter if the weather is bad or late notice is given or plans suddenly pop up, this lovely woman is always ready to socialise. Happy to go to any party, dinner or children’s sporting event, she loves to connect with people. And keeping your social life going definitely improves your mental fitness!

All these factors (and I’m sure there are others that contribute as well) have combined to deliver a healthy life for this lady – and an independent one, too. She continues to live alone and drive herself everywhere.

Maybe her lifestyle choices are similar to those you already make. Or maybe there are some ideas here for you to adapt. All I know is that I have witnessed that it is possible to weave, in a very simple way, health-boosting options into your daily life as you age.

And doing that brings so many benefits.