How to find better health. Use moderation.

A Sometimes Food by: Abby CC BY-NC 2.0

I have a frustration in the world that we live in. We hear about absolutes in so many areas. This particularly plays for me in regards to health, eating, and activity. There are “experts” telling us what to do and how to eat from every direction. With social media the way it currently is, it literally hits us from every direction. How to exercise. What to do to get the best results. Do it every day… Don’t eat grains. Follow this plan. Or that plan. Count your macros.

OK, I’m not saying that all of this things are without merit. They all some scientific data to back up what they are saying. It may not all be GOOD data, but there is data. All I’m saying is that unless you are battling a serious health problem, or desire to be an elite athlete, there is a lot of room in what you do.

Making the better food choices:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

This concept is what I am referring to when it comes to eating. From there eat what you will on occasion. Going to the fair? Birthday cake? Potluck? Vacation? Enjoy the moment.

There are occasions all of the time to pull us off track. The goal is to stick to it most of the time.

IMG_428 by 6UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences CC BY-NC 2.0

On a daily basis stick to real food. Cook it yourself. When you put the effort into making a treat it’s a good time to enjoy it. When you make it yourself at least you will be able to pronounce all of the ingredients.

If you’re not there yet, make steps to get there, you will.

OK, Now how about the activity?

Same goes true for exercise.

There is no need to run a marathon.

It’s all about increasing your activity. Park in the back of the parking lot and walk over. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Find a friend to take a walk with during part of your lunch hour. Not only will you both benefit from the exercise, you will be building a greater connection and keep each other accountable.

I have an aunt who lives this way. At 89 years old, she still cooks most of her own food, walks 3 miles a day and maintains a house on her own. She does not have a single significant health issue. She has eye surgery coming up for glaucoma, but that’s it.She is one of two siblings left. He younger sister is twenty years younger who has never been so active and has eaten regular fast food meals. She recently had a third stint placed and has chronic bronchitis.

I am not an expert. This is not a scientific study. It is a small example of how lifestyle choices can effect us long past when we think they will.