The latest health newsletter from Harvard highlights three “trends worth tapping into.” They go on to say these three trends “fall into the ‘beneficial’ category” and are: Wearing an activity tracker; Shopping at farmer’s markets and Practicing mindfulness.
Hmmm, sounds familiar! It’s so interesting how the most recent trends in health are just a modern throwback to the simple wisdom of the Blue Zones (www.BlueZones.com) and those who live the longest around the world. It is what The Art of Living Longer is all about.
More than 13 million of us are counting our steps with activity trackers. One of the great benefits to these devices is that there is a continual stream of feedback that can be accessed through your smart phone, tablet or computer. That feedback allows you to monitor just how much you are moving on any given day. You can set your own personal goals and allow the tracker to be your aide. They can be used to foster some friendly competition too … who among you will log in the most steps on any given day? Maybe the weekly winner is treated to a great, healthy dinner. Everyone wins with better health. The goal … 10,000 steps every day.
How do you add all those steps into your routine? Think like a Bluezoner. Garden, do some light housekeeping. Walk the dog several times a day. Go walking either alone with music on your Smart phone, or go with friends. Park your car further away. Shop at the mall or simply walk the mall where it’s cooler. Just remember, use it or lose it!
Farmer’s markets have long been known as the place for fresh, local produce and products. Blue Zoners fill 80% of their plates with food from plants – vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and teas, plus local raw honey (which helps with seasonal allergies.) All of this is readily available at most farmer’s markets. We all know that the fresher the food, the more nutritious it is. Your local Farmer’s market offers a great outing. Make sure to wear your activity tracker and walk the market for extra health benefits.
The practice of mindfulness is 2500 years old, rooted in Buddhism, and not at all limited to monks. Mindfulness is, in my opinion, the single most important “trend” to embrace. Staying present, being in the moment, breathing deeply is the finest way to relax, have more fun with much less stress and to connect to the Divinity within. Being mindful somehow leads us to want to make better choices for our overall well-being.
Stress begins with a thought. When you have the skill to stop that thought and focus only on this very second in time and space, you will find your thinking mind quieting, bringing relief from the suffering that thought brought. Mindful breathing can halt an anxiety attack and relieve minor pain. It can help clear your mind and improve your focus. Mindfulness leads us to better choices of how we treat our bodies.
Be a Savvy Senior. Don’t stop moving. Eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods and stay in the present moment. You’ll be amazed at what happens. Write in and let me know what changes you experience.