One of my health and wellness heroes, Dr. Andrew Weil, recently made the cover of Time magazine (October 17, 2005). Back in 1998, after I lost 65 pounds and became a marathon runner, Dr. Weil was one of the first experts in the field who came to my attention. He made a lot of sense back then, in his book 8 Weeks To Optimum Health, and — although I’ve come to disagree with him on a few things — he still makes a lot of sense today, in his book Healthy Aging.
Here’s a quick summary of his recommendations, all of which you have read over the years in LifeTrek Provisions:
- Avoid sensational, quick-fix solutions. They are a distraction from the basics of health and wellness.
- Don’t smoke. It’s the number one thing you can do for your health.
- Watch your weight. It’s OK to put on a few pounds as we age; it’s not OK to become overweight or obese.
- Eat right. That means plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, less meat, wheat, and dairy, no hydrogenated oils, as well as less sweets and salty foods.
- Drink clean, filtered water. 6-8 glasses a day, every day. Avoid liquid calories and artificially sweetened drinks.
- Exercise. 45 minutes a day, every day, including aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance training.
- Take supplements wisely. Just remember they are supplements, not substitutes for whole foods.
- Sleep. Develop a nightly routine that works. Take naps in the afternoon.
- Touch and be touched. Our need for touch does not decrease with age.
- Manage your stress. Breathwork is a simple way to trigger the relaxation response.
- Elevate your attitude. Cultivate daily habits and relationships that promote happiness.
- Know yourself. Write an ethical will to leave a legacy of meaning and not just of money.
Those twelve recommendations will do much to promote health and wellness at any age. If they sound overwhelming, then identify one step you can take today. If you need assistance, then find someone who can listen and talk you through the process. It’s never too late to get started.
Once you do, realize that health and wellness is a lifelong pursuit. Do not be frustrated by the fact that you have to think about it every single day. Instead, celebrate the opportunity to approach life as a learning laboratory. By paying attention to these recommendations, and seeing what you can make of them in your own life, what works and what does not work, you will master the art of living gracefully and well into the fullness of age.
Coaching Inquiries: How many of Dr. Weil’s recommendations are already a part of your life? Which ones make the most sense to you? Which ones would you like to take more seriously? How could you approach health and wellness with a playful spirit, learning new strategies and techniques as time goes on? Who could assist you on the journey or become a wellness buddy in life?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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