By now, Easin’ Along readers are aware that we have used the beginning of a new year to focus on a commitment to improving our overall health and well being. I’m well into the fourth week of the Nutrisystem diet and delighted to report a loss of seventeen pounds. After a challenging start, I feel great. The exercise routine is ongoing as well and is made easier now that I’m not lugging around the extra weight I was carrying at the end of last year.
The effort to add a few hours of sleep per night is still a work in progress although I’ve had some wonderful suggestions and words of encouragement from our readers. The comments both here and by email, to last week’s article on sleep suggest that this issue is one that affects many. I plan to adopt a few of the suggestions and hope readers will continue to comment on this subject so that I may share your thoughts with others. One reader sent me an article on sleep segmentation that was especially informative and I have placed a link to it here (link).
Writing this series of articles has allowed me to focus on the fact that Helen (adorable wife) and I are truly blessed to have good health. We also know that at our age, things could change in an instant. While helping to organize my 50th high school class reunion I made the sobering discovery that 37 of my classmates out of a class of 215 are no longer with us. Several more are not well. Therefore, being blessed as we are, we consider it almost an obligation to ourselves and to each other to maintain that good health regardless of the lifestyle we choose – active or otherwise.
Obviously, there are steps in this process other than the few that we have touched on here. It is rare that I have to see a doctor for any reason, but that is not an excuse to take my good health for granted. Without fail, I schedule a physical exam every year and eagerly await the results of any tests performed. I am astounded by the number of people that I know personally who do not do the same
Procedures to screen for diabetes, prostate and colon cancer among other illnesses are also part of monitoring my health. I see my dermatologist regularly and it’s rare when she fails to find something to remove from my body and send off to biopsy. My fair skin and my refusal to wear hats in my younger days can be blamed for that. Those visits will continue as will my semi-annual appointments with our dentist.
Medications, in relatively small doses, are necessary to augment our health program. Helen requires an assortment of pharmaceuticals for a thyroid condition, but I only take one prescription drug, Nexium, for acid reflux. I do, however, take a few daily supplements and have for many years. I’m not certain why or when I began the practice of adding supplements to my diet but it was probably at some point in my twenties. At that time I was not eating breakfast; I was eating fast food for lunch and I probably felt that I had to do something before bad things began to happen. The fact that most of the statements or claims made by supplement manufacturers are not evaluated by the FDA does not overly concern me since I tend to buy them from reputable companies like GNC.
Presently, I take a supplement for eye health; saw palmetto for men’s health and, until a few months ago, a multivitamin from GNC for men over 50. I have persisted in taking them because I assume that a history of relatively good health indicates that perhaps something is working and, since I don’t notice any side effects, there is no reason to stop. Frankly, side effects notwithstanding, I don’t notice much of anything with one exception, and it is the exception to which I want to dedicate a few words.
A few months ago I was contacted by an Easin’ Along reader who wanted to place an ad on our website. I was somewhat reluctant at first. I have never taken ads, preferring instead to share our experiences in retirement with others who might have similar interests and leave it at that. Furthermore, just as I do not write about things that do not interest me, I would not advertise a product I would not use. At any rate, I wanted to be polite, so I accepted some information and samples of the product–a vitamin and mineral supplement–while giving the assurance that I would try it.
Within a few days of receiving the samples and, having emptied the bottle of my GNC multivitamins, I opened the bottle of RestoreV (click here for link) and swallowed two capsules. Another dose followed the next morning. On the third day I went to my regular Tuesday morning exercise class at the YMCA and felt a noticeable elevation in both my mood and my energy which continued through most of the afternoon. My immediate suspicion was that the supplement contained caffeine, so I reached out to the reader who initially contacted me for some information. I was told that this supplement had no caffeine and that the energy and lift I was noticing was due to the nutritional ingredients being absorbed more efficiently than other vitamin I was using. All I know is that the product worked and, as a result, I use it in the place of the multivitamin that I have taken for years. Helen also takes it and has experienced the same result…in fact; she insisted that I order another bottle before we exhaust the sample.
Going forward, our intention is to stay the course. By the time this article is published we will be in the second month of 2017. All too often in the past my New Year’s resolutions would have been cast aside long before now and old habits had resumed their familiar place in the daily routine. However, age does bring wisdom and, hopefully, a smattering of discipline which is essential in the quest for improved health. One of my favorite quotes related to the pursuit of a personal accomplishment is “If it is to be, it is up to me”. That quotation seems apropos as we continue our pursuit of an active lifestyle…and continue Easin’ Along.
Next week another retirement road trip – Florida!