Run for your life! Or walk, that's okay too. What matters is that you move your body and increase your heart rate for about 30 minutes per day.
This post was prompted by several tragic incidents:
1. The death of a former colleage. She died in her sleep.
2. The death of another acquaintance. He died in his sleep.
3. Stroke and diabetes of my cousin's husband. He is also suffering from high blood pressure. He is only 35 years old.
4. Hospitalization of my aunt for high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
Because of these incidents, for the past several weeks, I had been lecturing all my friends and family in the Philippines about how to be more healthy. No one seems to be listening to my nagging. Now, I am so frustrated that I will extend this nagging to all of you who read my blog (so few you are but maybe one of you will be awakened and decide to reform).
When I came home to the Philippines for a vacation, I can't help but notice that majority of the people are on the overweight side of the force. I never noticed this when I was living there but coming from Switzerland it is so obvious. The reason for this I think is the Filipino's aversion to walking and a diet full of delicious pork.
It is sad that 35 year old Filipinos have to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes, disease of the ones who eat badly and don't move, when it is so easy to be healthy. My neighbor here in Zurich is 85 years old and still manages to play tennis everyday. Another neighbor is 75 and is strong enough to swim and jog everyday.
I have read that people who increase their heart rate 15-30 minutes per day by exercising have 16 more years of life before disability sets in compared to those who don't exercise. This is really easy to do. My sister always tells me that she doesn't have time and that she is too busy to exercise. But the thing is, one doesn't need to go to the gym or to take an afternoon off. You can start by incorporating exercise into your everyday life:
1. Walk instead of taking the pedicab.
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator.
3. Walk to work.
4. Walk going home from work
Then when you are ready, you can jog or brisk walk for 45 minutes 3 times a week.
It is also imporant to eat properly. So make sure you include the following in your diet:
1. Avocado - this fruit is full of good cholesterol that reduces blood cholesterol. Since avocadoes are very fat, this also helps in reducing your hunger until lunch.
2. Whole grain bread - Carbohydrates and fiber for breakfast.
3. Tuna - Full of omega 3, this will also keep your heart healthy. Eat for dinner with salad. For dinner you don't need so much carbohydrates, what you need is protein.
4. Stay away from fastfood!
5. Eats lots of fruit and vegetables.
6. Drink lots of water.
I lost 5 kilos recently just by walking to work (30 minutes), eating properly (kinda, at least during weekdays, weekends are harder but it worked) and jogging 45 minutes 3 times a week. I have never felt healthier and I am sure with my lifestyle that at 90 I will still be dancing!