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  • Writer's picturePat Birnie

"Live your Life and Forget your Age”

What a great quote from Norman Vincent Peale, and truly the path I'm taking at this time. I do honestly forget my age sometimes. interesting how our attitude towards it changes over the decades.

In your first decade, when someone asks your age you stretch it out…”I’m 6 1/2”.

In your teens, sometimes you lie about being older (well I did, to get into bars when I was underage).

Then for a few years, perhaps you are happy with your age and love celebrating the big milestone birthdays – 21, 30….even 40 is biggie! Woohoo party time.

Then as you creep (or race) toward 50, you may become a little more hesitant to state your age. Personally I remember 30 as an odd transition – somehow I felt like my fit body and muscular legs were in their final moments. Yes, true story. Forty was kind of a rough one as my life was in a bit of a mess. I recall thinking “wow I’m 40 and I am definitely not where I thought I’d be; I’ve not really met any of my big life goals". Granted I did have 4 incredible children that were the light of my life, but on a more ‘me’ side I wasn’t overly proud of what I’d accomplished.

That actually was the year that I truly decided that I had to take charge of me, with a capital M. A few months after that birthday I ran my first marathon! It was hard to prepare for and complete of course, but I really did feel proud of myself as this was I goal I had set years before. So yes – check one off the big life list.

Back to aging – I am now approaching what many think of as a landmark birthday – 65! To be 100% honest, as much as a celebrate how amazing I feel and how great my life is, I still have a little hesitation when I state my age. At the same time though I am really looking forward to the next decades, however many there will be. I believe that age really is a just a number and know that my choices past and present have served me so well. My goal right now is to inspire as many people as possible to choose health -- to say "I want to feel like Pat when I'm her age; what little lifestyle tweaks do I need to make starting now?". And then of course follow through!

Here's a fast fascinating fact: Did you know that 50% of all illnesses and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle? Well, who wouldn’t take that opportunity to have a more active, vibrant and fulfilling life? First a small disclaimer – we obviously cannot state 100% that if you make certain lifestyle changes, injuries and illness will not occur. However – look at that (scientifically validated) fact that I’ve underlined above. Are you open to doing a few things that will significantly improve your vitality, mobility and general well-being through the coming years? I sincerely hope the answer is a resounding “YES!” If it is a yes....keep reading!

What is required is that we minimize oxidative damage at the cellular level as much as possible. Essentially, if we can reduce inflammation within our body by living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, our chances for a long healthy disease-free life is so much better.

So here goes - following are my top three strategies for healthful energetic aging, what I refer to as a ‘triad of good health”.

Eat mostly whole foods such as lean proteins, fresh vegetables, beans and legumes and fruit. Just by making these choices you will automatically reduce sodium, cholesterol and the oxidative stress on your body. Face it – processed food typically has a significant amount of sodium, making it impossible to control. Often the label includes a lengthy list of unpronounceable ingredients, substances that are not serving you in any way. Remember that vegetables and fruits contain naturally occurring antioxidants – those will help your cells stay healthy. I am happy to share to delicious and fairly simple recipes - just ask.

Move your body in some way every single day. There are so many choices - walk, run, stretch, yoga, lift weights, chase your kids, bounce on a rebounder… You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment for any of this. I have a good pair of running shoes, some hand weights & a mat, as well as bands for when I travel – that’s about it! Here's a great link with a few simple exercises most anyone can do. They've included videos to help you with your form.

I so love this quote on the benefits of strength training from the book “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D. “When your joints go, you hurt all the time. You walk funny. You fall down. You get old. Sounds bad, right? Well, here’s the weird thing. Lifting big, heavy weights stops most of that. Lifting heavy weights every couple of days basically stops the bone loss…stops (or offsets) the muscle loss…stops the weakening of tendons, restores the goopy pad and gets rid of the pain. Aerobic exercise does more to stop actual death – by heart attack and lots of cancers—but strength training can make your life worthwhile”. Wow – that is so powerful! That’s why you need to do both.

Take high quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements.

I know, you are eating all this wonderful food; isn’t that enough? Well, sadly in this day and age, no it isn’t. Back when my parents were growing up, and into the 50’s and 60’s you could likely obtain all your nutrition from whole food. Unfortunately with depletion of nutrients in the soil, over-farming, pesticides, and genetic modification we are producing much less nutritious food. Add to that the fact that most of our winter produce is picked unripe and shipped thousands of miles to our markets. And let’s face it. Most of us don’t eat a perfect diet. Check out this article from Scientific American explaining the depletion. We still need to enjoy all those beautiful foods but need to understand that we are likely not obtaining everything we need. Optimal cellular nutrition is what I’m looking for and have been practicing for the past 15 years. And yes it’s no secret that I have a business with USANA Health Sciences. But I would never miss a day of these amazing products and I believe, wait – I KNOW 100% that nourishing my cells daily with USANA has been a huge factor in maintaining great overall health, joint health, excellent immunity and energy. I also would never promote any product that I didn’t use or believe in. If you’d like more information you can check it out here. You can have amazing health for less than the cost of a coffee per day. Be sure to check with me for the absolute best pricing.

If just one single person makes a small change towards better health after reading this I will be absolutely thrilled! Be sure to reach out to me directly or on social media if you have any question, want additional info or just want to share what you are doing - I'd LOVE so much to hear from you!

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