I’ll bet you’re expecting me to talk about writing. Though there’s nothing I like better than talking about writing, today I’m talking about the amount of health information that we are being inundated with from every which way. I’m talking about the endless stream of articles, websites and magazines that pull us in a thousand different directions in search of perfect health. What to eat, what not to eat, what to drink, what not to drink, take these vitamins not these vitamins, to yoga or not to yoga….the list goes on and on.
With the big 5-0 closing in on me, I’ve found myself concerned about my health and how to keep it. Though I could easily hit my local library and look for the newest releases on health, I’ll confess that I’ve been surfing the net. And frankly it’s making me, and everyone who lives with me, crazy.
For instance, on a popular talk show the personal trainer advised the audience to walk 10,000 steps a day. 10,000? Was that a lot? How would one know. Fast forward to a few days of sheer hell as I clamped on a pedometer only to find that even on my most active days I only hovered at about 8,000 steps. I even wore it during my power walk.
I walk a good brisk pace. After all, the point of power walking is to raise one’s heart rate and get a good cardio workout, something I’m especially conscious of. I couldn’t wait to yank that sucker off. Needless to say my heart sank when I read the numbers 1723. What? I walked a mile, literally. I became so obsessed I jumped in my car to verify whether the route I walk was indeed a mile. To find out it was just one tenth shy of a full mile. Grrrr.
Stay away from meat; substitute chicken and turkey. Then I read an article saying that chicken is too high in Omega 6 when we should be in hot pursuit of Omega 3. Pasta is a great way to go meatless but it’s bad if you’re trying not to consume too many carbs. For those of us concerned about bone density getting twenty minutes of sun a day is the best way to get your Vitamin D – but if you’re predisposed to skin cancer not so much. So there’s always sunblock, right? And yet another link led me to an article about how too much sunblock can actually CAUSE some cancers. Did you know that Australia, home to Milton Blake inventor of sunscreen, has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world? Stay away from sugar, says one popular health website, while another well-known website says your brain must have enough glucose to function properly and survive. This after coming ever so close to completely giving up sugar LOL.
Why the obsession with my health? I think it started with the whole 10,000 steps a day concept. Sedentary. I had never thought of myself as a sedentary person. I had always considered myself an active, busy mom and writer. But as the kids get older and do their own thing, I’m finding that I spend more time sitting than before. When your hobby (reading) and your occupation (writing) make you realize that one of the tools of your trade is your bottom, you start to think. In my case, a little too much.
So after much frustration, aggravation and a whole lot of steps, I’ve narrowed it down to a plan. I start my day with my power walk, end my day with my power walk and in between….well, I’m more willing to give up sugar than sitting at my keyboard or curling up with a good book. And I’ll tell you what I’m really going to give up – reading anything else about what to do or not do about my health.
How about yourself? What ‘steps’ do you take to stay healthy? And for my writer friends, how do you make sure you get enough ‘activity’ in your daily life?
And with that I’m up and running – time to get my errands done!