Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Earnestly Failing At a Healthy Life

A study has just come out.

(Don't they always? When do they go in?)

This one says if you quit smoking and you are a couch potato, you might as well smoke. Same difference. In other words, move, pilgrim.

I suspect for a variety of reasons, the life expectancy will go down in the next few decades.

My dad was allergic to beef and eggs, but he had a heart attack anyway. He was 57. Although a banker, he came home, gardened, ran the rototiller, built fences, took me hiking every week for a while, chopped wood--did a lot of physical activity. This was almost half a century ago. He thought, to take care of himself, he needed to slow down on the exercise as he grew older. He had a stressful job. After his early 50s, he slowed down.

Coronary thrombosis. They didn't know about triglycerides then, or a lot of things.
His dad had the same thing. Died at 47. So my dad's diet and exercise probably gave him another decade. In his day, they had started learning about cholesterol. Noone had heard of triglycerides.I have to say he lived pretty healthy.

Ahh, but then genetics come in. My grandmother ate a bite of boiled egg with a bite of butter - real butter- for breakfast into her 80s. She was his mother. My other grandparents lived into their 80s, my uncle until 91. I have hopes genetically.

Since knee surgery, I had been doing well on the exercise until a few weeks ago. I can't believe how fast I have lost muscle tone and agility. It's not fair, but it's true. I see people who seem to do quite well with not much exercise. I am not one of them.

On the other hand, a friend who is younger, and quit smoking several years ago and doesn't have arthritis, also doesn't exercise much. She told me recently her osteoporosis is getting worse. I am doing weight bearing exercise at the gym and now stationary cycle and treadmill.My osteoporosis now is listed as extreme osteopenia. New test in October. At least we are going in the right direction.

I don't have any idea if there is any correlation. It would be smug to think so. I am getting enough years under my belt that I no longer am too anxious about how many are left. I don't particularly care if I am right. I just want the years to be productive.

My friend is naturally active, does a lot of repair work and carpentry on her home, mows and gardens and cleans. Probably more than me, come to think of it.

I can worry: beef (triglycerides) or chicken (steroids, homrones)? organic or inorganic? Vegetarian? again, organic or inorganic? Do I use any processed foods? vitamins, minerals? canned foods (DSB) or fresh (where do they come from)?

Today I didn't want to cook, and I was heading for a Sonic hamburger when I swerved into Subway for a salad. I got iceberg lettuce with a hefty helping of spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, avocado, tuna, ranch dressing and shredded cheese. I took it home and ate the whole thing with probably 8 wholewheat saltines. Oh, it was pretty nutritious, but the calories were probably twice the burger I had intended (no fries).

I need to start walking the dogs in the morning. I need to weed and prune in the mornings. Actually I am making great headway on rearranging some stuff and mopping up Corgi hair clouds. Eh.

At least I'm back in the gym.

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