Tried and True
Maggie Tiojakin, WEEKENDER | Thu, 10/27/2011 12:28 PM |
Being healthy requires slow and steady progress and a long-term plan – not a quick fix.
You’ve heard the stories, perhaps even survived the procedures – and now you can’t wait to tell the tale of how the quest for beauty knows no pain, and that all is fair in love and war and the pursuit of youth and health. After all, looking good has never felt so good. A little nip here, a tuck there, not to mention the tempting variety of weight-loss methods including – but not limited to – stomach-stapling, taking laxatives or (gasp!) developing an addiction to meth.
Yes, we do go to extremes when it comes to how we look, because, even though these quick fixes generally fail, there is always the hope that they might just work. But have we considered the true cost should these weight-loss and beauty schemes turn out to be scams, both physically and financially? Have we not also heard of the horror stories and the not-so-happy endings?
And why is it so hard for us to put into practice the simple truth – that the best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more?
Forget the overnight beauty tips and weight-loss tricks. Instead, try these time-tested methods that are sure to help you win the battle of the bulge … and then some.
Whoever told you that you could sit on the couch all day, gorge on your favorite snacks and lose weight at the same time just by drinking some mysterious magic potion that costs about the same as your Tiger Wood-signed golf club is, face it, a con artist. All your body is developing is a medical almanac full of diseases when it doesn’t get enough exercise.
The first thing a good doctor will tell you when you ask about living a healthier life is to start moving. The more your muscles get the exercise they need, the more they keep your skin tight and tucked and your heart racing like a 17-year-old. So, ditch the cool ride and start walking. Pronto!
Breakfast of Champions
Nutritionists swear that the most important meal of the day is the first one. What you eat for breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your meals. It is crucial that you eat a hearty meal (preferably rich in fiber and protein) that won’t leave you longing for the bag of chips someone left in the office pantry at 10:30 a.m. A satisfying breakfast works wonders in controlling cravings even on the most stressful days. So the next time you’re thinking of skipping breakfast – don’t.
No Smoking, Please
This is a known fact: The substances that lurk in a cigarette are more than enough to set off the trigger-happy cancer cells in your body. This is also a known fact: Smoking leaves your skin parched and wrinkled. And there’s no easy way to say this, but people who smoke have a hugely reduced chance of reaching old age. So whether you’re looking to stay young, beautiful or healthy, cigarettes are just all around bad for you. Put it out now. Really.
The Power of Sex
During the past two decades, scientists have found that sex releases good hormones and other chemical substances in the human body, boosting the immune system. What’s more, regular sex helps keeps your focus sharp. Kissing and touching are both important for mental (and therefore physical) health. So invest in some sexy lingerie and soothing midnight tunes – and follow Marvin Gaye’s advice for some sexual healing.
This is something we’ve all known for quite some time now: Water is good for the body. There are health therapies that focus specifically on the benefits of drinking a certain amount of water every day. Some say eight glasses of water a day keeps the doctors away – and for most people it really works. Keeping your body well hydrated means you’ll be spared some of the most persistent symptoms associated with dehydration, such as headaches, skin rashes, sleepiness, drowsiness and fatigue. So drink and be merry. Or, you know, just drink.
OLD & OLDER
The oldest person ever to walk the earth was not Benjamin Button, but rather Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) from Arles, France. Rumor has it she met Vincent Van Gogh when she was in her early teens – an astonishing tidbit that made good copy when she first garnered recognition as a supercentenarian (someone who lives past 100 years). Over the years, the title of “oldest living person” has garnered the kind of attention that is a combination of awe and dread. Being awarded the title may generate the same emotions as winning the lottery, but when the fanfare stops, one is left with the mortal question of “What now?”
Born April 19, 1897, Jiroemon Kimura from Kyoto, Japan, is listed as the oldest living man in the world. The Guinness Book of Records lists him as being of good mental and physical health. He has outlived two of his children and one grandchild. He starts his day by reading the newspaper and ends it with a conversation about the state of the world. When asked about how he came to age so well, Kimura stated that the key to living a long and healthy life is to consume small portions of food at regular intervals.
That Feminine Mystique
Social experts poke fun at it, yet the truth remains: Women tend to outlive men. There are a number of theories as to why, including that women are better than men at surviving life’s twists and turns, or that women develop cardiovascular diseases much later than men. However, the most interesting theory would have to be that men are biologically more disposable. Prof. Tom Kirkwood of Newcastle University in Britain unveiled this controversial theory last year, arguing “the female body is better at carrying out routine maintenance and keeping the body cells alive”.
We are often fascinated by history, as reflected in the documentation of oldest living persons around the world, as much as we are fascinated by the concept of living forever, or the eternal quest for everlasting youth. In literature, the subject has been explored many times. The idea is simple, yet layered with human complexities that only age and wisdom can tell. Still, do we really want to live to 120 years, or even longer if medical technology permits? Some supercentenarians admit to dreaming of their deathbeds, longing to end the overly lengthy journey of life that was supposed to spare them the difficulties of having to conform to “the future”. So when we seek a long and healthy life, the question we need to consider is: How long is long enough?