An article by Mr M

During our lifetime most of us invest in a house or car or just invest our savings in some or other institution. We take special care of our investments – repairing, extending or replacing parts. We possibly call a builder, plumber or mechanic but at the end of the day we take ultimate responsibility for what has been done.
However, the most pertinent question is – What do we do with our most prized possession – OUR BODIES? We ignore, “patch up” or delegate responsibility to someone else, such as a medical professional. Your body has to last a lot longer than your car for instance and you cannot buy a guarantee for it either. Having said this, there are many advantages attained by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

The effect of the environment:
Our atmosphere is polluted; the ozone layer is depleted and aside from staying indoors indefinitely the resulting effect on our bodies is out of our control EXCEPT for wearing effective sun blocking agents whenever outdoors.

The saying goes “we are what we eat”. I am not a dietician and therefore not qualified to pass an opinion on specifics except (where due to personal experience), particular foods should be avoided. Fresh vegetables and not an excess of starch should form the majority of one’s daily intake. Sweets, chocolates and cake eaten occasionally would do no harm but eaten in excess, no good either. It is important to cultivate good eating habits from a very young age, avoiding excesses, especially of sweet tasting products. Drinking water is much healthier than either cool drinks or fruit drinks, most of which contain added sugar. The increase in diabetes sufferers can be largely attributed to the increased intake of sugar by the population. Be aware of the labels on food products – read what they contain. This includes sauces, salad dressings and other unnecessary food additives. In short, everything in moderation is OK.

Our lifestyles have changed considerably over the years; we use our vehicles unnecessarily at times and then complain about the cost of petrol! Any excuse not to walk is made, even if the destination is around the corner. Television has had the effect of limiting physical exercise and increasing our “junk food” intake. We join gyms with all the good intentions however, most lack the discipline to go there and actually work out on a regular basis. Sport is now something we watch on television instead of actually participating in. A brisk walk for 20 minutes, 3 times a week would do nobody any harm. One does not have to be an “iron man” to be healthy.

A balanced lifestyle includes enough sleep, without which we cannot function optimally. The stress of modern day living often prevents good quality sleep. In many cases it is possible to cultivate a good sleeping pattern without the use of sleeping tablets. In addition to this, too many people require stimulants to counter drowsiness caused by a lack of sleep, which in turn prevents sleep that evening – A vicious and dangerous cycle.

Exercising the brain:
Machines often seize up due to lack of use. Just like machines require use in order not to seize, our brains require stimulation to remain “sharp” and continue operating properly. Watching television is great but a very passive form of relaxation. Reading a book or even an article gives the brain ACTIVE stimulation and is ultimately much more beneficial.

In conclusion, I can say with some confidence that I am constantly trying to “practise what I preach”. I attend gym regularly and having been an overweight individual when I was younger, I watch closely what I eat. I am forever striving for balance in my lifestyle and through these efforts and discipline I feel I have most certainly reaped the benefits. At the age of 83 I am active, healthy, working on a full time basis and I don’t take any medication.

Mr M (Hylton Mallach)