“Good Health” as One of Your Life Goals

“The sense of wellbeing! It’s often with us / when we are young, but then it’s not noticed; / and by the time one has grown to consciousness / It comes less often.” – T.S. Eliot

When you figured out your life goals, you pondered (or should have) the importance of good health. Staying healthy is not something younger people usually think about. But as time wears you down, it becomes clear what a critical component of success good health is.If you’ve ever been seriously ill, you know what I mean. There is not enough fame, fortune, or power in the world to compensate for the loss of your health. Not nearly enough.Being in good health should be one of your main life goals. That’s why we made it part of our 10 New Year’s resolutions.

 Six Things You Must Do To Stay Healthy

I’’ve been involved in the start-up of a health clinic in Florida that will specialize in rejuvenation. (If this turns out to be a good business, I’ll tell you about it.) The doctor who is heading up the clinic has spent most of the last 10 years studying aging and helping middle-aged and older people get younger.

When we went into business together, I asked him to put me on a rejuvenation program and he did. I’ve lost weight, gained muscle, increased my flexibility, and I feel stronger and more positive than I ever did before. I attribute it to Dr. Sears’ 6-point approach to good health:

1. Diet

2. Aerobic exercise

3. Strength training

4. Flexibility

5. Mental attitude

6. Hormonal balance

As a busy, achievement-oriented person, you may be thinking that you don’t have enough time in your day to take care of all those things. But I would disagree. If you plan them into your regular work schedule, you’ll be surprised at how much you can do for your health on even the busiest days.

The first thing you need to do is recognize that physical fitness is almost always an “Important but not Urgent” task, and unless you make it a specific daily priority, you will neglect it. So that’s the first thing I’d like you to do. Put all six of these items on your to-do list every day as highlighted, priority items.

Here’s how I get them into my daily routine.

1. Diet: I eat four small, no-starch meals during the day and one balanced meal (with a little starch) in the evening. I try to never eat after dinner. All meals but dinner are eaten alone over work, but never over stressful work.

2. Aerobic exercise: I mix it up a bit, but my aerobic activity can include sprints, bike sprints, jiu jitsu (intense training), or boxing. I do either one or two 10-minute routines every day. Since these are sweaty workouts, I do them after work.

3. Strength training: I have a little gym right outside my office. I work out intensely for five minutes three times during the morning, after each chore I accomplish. I view these exercises as bonuses. (If you can’t set up your own gym, a few pair of barbells in your office will do.)

4. Flexibility: I do a quick, five-minute stretch every morning and another 10-minute stretch sometime during the day.

5. Mental attitude: This doesn’t cost you any serious time, just a few seconds every day to remind yourself to slow down and enjoy life.

6. Hormonal balance: This is important for older people. As you age, your hormones get out of whack. Getting them back to where they should be can make a giant difference in your overall health. (We’ll come back to this subject another time.)

My goal is to be in the best shape of my life this year (my 50th) and to exceed that in 10 years. (Jack La Lanne swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco, shackled and handcuffed and pulling a rowboat with 5,000 pounds of sand in it on his 60th birthday.)

I take care of my health because it makes me feel better and because it helps me work harder. Those two reasons are good enough for me. But plenty of studies show that a good diet and regular exercise make us less vulnerable to a wide range of serious and annoying health problems, including heart disease, cancer (colon, rectal, and prostate), poor circulation, obesity, diabetes, and more.

You don’t have to work out 45 minutes a day to start off. Try 15 minutes and build from there. But start today.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]