Natural Healing Omaha Blog

The Payoff for Practicing What We Preach

The Payoff for Practicing What We Preach

Tony and I meet in a small room once a year for a couple hours, and what we do is enough to satisfy both of us for another year. I feel so good after we’ve spent time together. We don’t waste time on small talk. We get right down to business.

Tony is my health insurance agent.

We get along great, because we agree completely on one very important thing – the best way to lower health costs is to take care of yourself.

Taking His Own Advice
Tony’s an ambitious guy, and he makes it a priority to keep my health insurance cheap. He’s gotta make a living, just like me, so he makes it his job to keep me happy. I’m not his typical client, as you can imagine.

And he’s not your typical insurance agent. We had our annual insurance review recently, and I noticed that Tony, who is 70 years old, looks as good or better than he did last year. From the smile on his face to his enthusiasm for work, he’s one of those rare people you know you’re gonna like right when you meet ’em.

“Did you lose weight?” I asked him.

Feet on yoga mat is money in the bank
“About 12 pounds,” he answered in his typical no nonsense, matter-of-fact tone. Then he excitedly shared that he recently took up practicing yoga at home 4 days a week. “I want to improve my flexibility and strength so I can keep golfing 3 days a week.”

Can you believe this guy?

My 70-year old insurance agent is practicing downward dog to his “Yoga for Wimps” CD 2 hours a week, between a 15–minute recumbent bicycle warm-up and 15 more minutes of stretching and hamstring work.

The Power of Inertia
For the same reason that I want my healthcare providers to be the picture of health, I appreciate that my health insurance agent practices what he preaches. And does he ever.

What keeps a guy like that working – and working out – at his age? It’s like that law of physics – an object in motion tends to stay in motion. His philosophy is “use it or lose it”.

People fascinate me, especially the ones who live in ways contrary to popular habits. On my morning walk one day, I greeted this guy who had paused his daily jog momentarily to pick up trash from the street. During our brief conversation, I discovered he’s long past retirement but still teaches at a local university Math department.

What compels him to jog in his 70’s? “You gotta keep moving to feel young and healthy.” Today, after our usual quick exchange of hellos, he proudly announced that he’d beaten his one and only health problem (insomnia) by quitting soft drinks. This guy totally gets it – he’s exercising his power to choose health.

Uphill Battle Worth Fighting
I’m 52 next year, and staying in shape and good health takes a bigger commitment than it did 20 years ago. This is truer every year.

Up through my 40’s, I could take a 45-minute walk 5 days a week and that kept me at a consistent weight, without too many reasons to see a doctor, other than yearly checkups.

These days, I need twice as much exercise, plenty of daily herbs, and I have to be on guard about everything I put in my mouth. Weight goes on SO easily and comes off only with serious struggle. And it’s not just me. Women around my age tell me this every day.

The last time I had a check-up (full disclosure: this was in early 2014 for an insurance physical), my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol were all inside a ‘healthy’ range. Problems like these run in my family, so news like that is always a sweet affirmation.

I watched my dad exercise every day until he died jogging at age 60 – 15 years longer than his father and brothers lived. He set a good example, and I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t quit exercising, no matter how lousy I felt.

Walking, yoga, Qi Gong and hiking make me feel energetic. When I feel good, I’m likely to eat well and feel optimistic. I try not to resent the time it takes. Of course, sometimes I’d rather be spending it on my butt watching TV or eating vanilla sugar wafers. Man, I love sugar wafers. But they don’t love me.

Some days it’s a struggle and some days I look forward to the time outside or on the mat, sweating and swearing at my yoga teacher under my breath – “Oh pleeeease, not another plank”.

The Lesser of Two Evils
Staying healthy as we age takes a bigger chunk of our time and attention. And some days that kind of sucks.

But it doesn’t suck as much as being sick all the time.

If you need help getting well enough to start working out, let’s talk. Adaptogen herbs can restore the strength and energy you’ve lost to chronic illness or poor lifestyle habits. You can read more about adaptogen herbs in this earlier blog.

The next time I see Tony will be around Christmas next year. And that’s soon enough. He’s already given me the gift that keeps on giving – a cheaper monthly premium than last year and a good reminder to keep moving.

I’m planning for plenty of healthy years ahead of me.

 

Related Post: An Ounce of prevention and a Pinch of Attention

 

Comments (5)

  1. My dad is retired military and if he’s taught me one thing (way more than that :)) it’s the power of routine. I think what I’m hearing you say is, if you don’t have movement in your routine, just stick it in and make it that way?

    I’m your age, 52, and I feel more like a goddess the older I get. Keeping in good shape just lets me enjoy that more. More incentive to build movement into my routine. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Miche, yes that’s a great take-away message from this blog – just get the movement into your life and good health seems to fall into place. Look for inspiration for healthy, happy living wherever you go.

  2. Mo this post really inspired me to take some me accountability for my external health. After years of internal work I hadn’t really brought the external in alignment. This post really got some thought process going and finally a flowing into acceptance. Thank you so much as it was just what I needed! You are a gem! Love you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *