I spent most of my working life in the corporate world, in stressful environments, with sporadic eating habits, drinking too much, travelling and having a poor work/life balance.
Eventually, all that took its toll. I was eating the wrong things and put on weight. Even though I thought I was eating healthy. I ended up with a serious back injury and struggled to walk more than a few yards without being in pain. Sitting for any length of time became difficult and my sporting activities were curtailed.
Looking back, I was a bit of a mess.
I heard so many times that we are supposed to get aches and pains the older we get, to expect the “spare tire” around the middle, to expect our eyesight to diminish and our health in general to deteriorate.
Or, as I once read on a birthday card for the over 40s, ‘Welcome to the metallic age. Silver in your hair and gold in your teeth.’
But now I’ve hit my 50th year, I am healthier than I ever have been and at a weight I haven’t seen since I was in my 20s (I’m six feet tall or 1.84m and weigh 182 pounds – 83kg or 13 stones as we say in the U.K.). I’m able to walk 18 holes of golf, attend spinning classes two to three times a week and swim three miles a week. I even managed a three-mile swim for charity last year.
So what changed?
Well, here are what I call the 6 Keys to Optimal Health. These are the things I found most important to radically changing my health.
- SPINE – Have your spine checked. I didn’t know how bad my back injury was until I saw the x-ray. It was touch-and-go whether I would need surgery but, fortunately, the chiropractor worked with me and got me mobile and literally changed my life.
We tend to take for granted how amazing our bodies are and, especially, our spines. We are told to have our eyes, ears and teeth checked regularly, but what about our spines? Not that we want to, but we actually can live without any of those precious gifts, but we can’t survive without a healthy spine.
- EXERCISE – We as humans are designed to move and not lead sedentary lives, sitting at desks or on the sofa. Once I was able to get moving my health improved radically.
- MIND – Don’t underestimate the power of the mind. A healthy and positive mindset leads to a better quality of life and has been shown to increase your lifespan.
- SLEEP – The amount depends on the person, but it has been shown our stress levels are related directly to the amount and quality of our sleep. Do you struggle during the day if your sleep is disturbed?
- MINIMISE TOXINS – The quality of any life is diminished if the environment if toxic. Whether it is food, water or people. Cut out artificial sweeteners, colourings, flavourings, processed foods and unhealthy oils.
- MAXIMISE NUTRITION – Combined with minimising toxins, getting more of “the good stuff” in will improve your health radically. These include more fresh vegetables and greens, adding healthy oils to your diet, more nuts and seeds, adding lean proteins such as wild salmon or mackerel and, if you choose to eat meat, organic wherever possible and grass fed.
It’s not rocket science…But it feels amazing!