Saturday, 10 March 2012

Health Habits: Happy 95th, Granny!

Health Habits: Happy 95th, Granny!

Want To Live Longer? Get The NEWSS
Today, my beloved grandmother turns 95 years old. She doesn't want a big celebration ("Wait until I make a hundred"), but I celebrate her every day of my life. And though I think no one's more amazed at her long life than she is, I think Granny has achieved a major milestone, along with the other great accomplishments of her life.
Ninety-five. She was born in 1917, the same year the old Soviet Union was born... and she far outlasted that regime. She's shared with me a few facts about our family history, and can easily trace family members to the time of the American revolution... and that made me curious enough to do a quick calculation and learn that Granny's been around for more than FORTY percent of the history of our nation! She's lived through World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the assassination of JFK, the first moon landing, all the Persian Gulf wars, and the Great Recession we face today. She's been around for Ragtime music, big-band, rock-'n'-roll, disco, techno, and emo. When Granny was born, the internal-combustion engine was relatively new... today, she has more apps on her smart phone than I have.
There have been amazing changes in the world since the day you were born. However long that's been, think of how much you'll live to see if you make it to ninety-five!
A new study published last summer in the American Journal of Public Health discussed four key ways to live longer: avoid tobacco, limit your alcohol, improve your diet, and exercise. According to the Journal report, those who practice all four are two-thirds less likely to die early from cancer, have about the same elevated chances of surviving an early attack from a major cardiovascular disease, and are fifty-seven percent less likely than other folks to die early from other causes.
The report did make me think about my mom - Granny's eldest - who was not so hot at these key practices and had teen polio to boot. She didn't quite make it to 53... so the notion of exercising personal discipline on key health habits certainly is something that's had my attention for some time.
The Journal report bolstered my own advocacy of the five key daily health habits I call "The NEWSS:" Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sleep, and Supplements. Start focusing on these, if you want to live longer! Begin by cutting the garbage out of your diet; the Journal advocates more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy, and more seafood; in addition, the authors suggest you cut down on salt, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugar, and refined (processed) foods. You need to exercise regularly, too; I think six workouts a week is ideal, with half of those sessions focusing on your cardio health and the other half on strength training (the Journal describes it more in terms of minutes per day - 150 minutes over at least five days, or 75 vigorous minutes each of three days a week). But don't stop there! Get your two liters of water every day, your eight hours of sleep every night, and your daily dose of vitamins from a good, pure supplement source.
Get The NEWSS, and live better longer. It's that simple. And if you want to make it to ninety-five, it won't hurt to have Granny's good looks and sense of humor, too.
Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.
Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael's web site at

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