Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Having a Greater Appreciation For Your Health

Late August into September represents the beginning of a new school year for children of all ages. As I’ve grown from childhood to now becoming a “potential” senior (my age might say one thing but the way I actually feel tells me that I’m not quite there yet) I’ve come to my own conclusions on the facts of life (especially my own). Looking back, I am thankful for the choices I made to be active and to participate in various sports prompting me to move and be active as oppose to being sedentary. Those choices to be active long ago continue to influence me to this very day. If I could change one thing about my early journey to share with others especially young people I would say I wish the educational process of learning about my own body and how everything is connected to function appropriately had occurred in my more formative years.  To learn about the role of my heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, muscles throughout my body and especially my brain earlier in life would have given me a certain perspective to a greater appreciation for my body.

When I go to the gym I always devote 15 to 20 minutes stretching before doing any exercise or doing any type of cardio program. During those 15 - 20 minutes I twist and bend my torso from an upright position to sitting on the floor pulling my upper body to my ankle, during my stretch time I become re-acquainted with the skin and cells in my legs, ankles and feet. That time devoted to stretching gives me an opportunity to meditate but also focus on areas of my body that I very seldom focus my attention on until there is some kind of pain that demands me to focus my attention in those areas. I often wonder in amazement of how our bodies have evolved and how every organ in our body works in connection with other organs to make us as human beings function. Its interesting that during those moments stretching and viewing those skin cells I never focus on ordinarily it becomes clear to me those cells and the billions or trillions of other cells make up the person I am.

Having played with the New York Football Giants and been Team Captain for 10 years many of my former Teammates call me their "Captain for Life” when we played many years ago. After more than 25 years those Teammates still consider me their “Captain for Life” today. In reality we are all our own Captains for matters pertaining to our lives.  More importantly I consider myself to be the Chief Executive Officer of my own life. In essence, I am responsible for every thing that involves me, from managing those skin cells I never focus on to what I ingest to regulate my own weight management. No matter who you are, you are a Captain for Life and the Chief Executive Officer of your own life. You are responsible for you and your life! No one, not even the parents who gave you life and brought you into the world can care for you better than you. As such, you must learn as early as possible how your body works and what it needs to maintain its optimum best to allow you to live your life to the fullest.

I’m not a doctor but I am an “expert" on my own life. I would like to share several basic things I’ve done or haven’t done to get where I am on my life’s journey.

  • Be active! Don’t be afraid to move and work up a sweat.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and to regenerate cell growth throughout your body.
  • Watch your diet. Eat foods low in sodium, sugar and fat.
  • Make quality time available to rest. 
  • Make a choice to not smoke cigarettes.
  • If you know that something (drug or activity) could be unhealthy stay away from it.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel something is off with your system, consult your physician.
  • Learn your family’s medical history. 
  • Be truthful in discussing your health with your doctor.
  • Remember you are your own “Captain for Life”/CEO.  Take charge of your body and manage your own well being.