Lynchpins

Good physical health is the lynchpin of my day-to-day life. If I am exercising regularly and eating well I feel better about myself, am more alert, able to think more clearly and, in general, am more cheerful and optimistic.

I am not sure if I have succumbed to a dependency on physical exercise in order to function properly or if I am enjoying the natural benefits of good health. Either way it doesn’t matter.

As a person on the threshold of old age (some would say I am already over the threshold), my role model is a fit, sprightly, youthful woman I once saw on TV. Playing lawn bowls at the time she appeared to be as agile and bouncy as a teenager. She was also articulate, good-humoured and quite cheeky. She was 96 years old. If I am still alive at 96 I want to be just like her.

What does good health mean to me specifically? It is a fairly long list. It means only a remote chance of contracting illnesses that can have a crippling effect on older people, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, mental impairment, osteoporosis and emphysema to name some. It means having a good immune system. It means good cardio-vascular fitness, skin tone, muscle tone and bone density. It means having a spring in my step, being mentally alert, optimistic, always learning, always trying to improve, being tolerant, being good-humoured. It means being independent and self-reliant. It also means looking good. I firmly believe that good health makes a person look good no matter how old they are. A fit, healthy person does not need cosmetic enhancements to improve their appearance. They cannot improve on the good looks and vibrancy imparted by a fit, healthy body.

Good health, good thoughts, compassion, tolerance, contentment, learning: these are the things that hopefully will govern the rest of my life.

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