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From the desk of Coach James

How to get more out of your life, so you don't live with regrets

It happened rather suddenly, but my grandad is at the end of his life suffering with dementia - it's not nice to witness. I remember as a child my grandparents taking me to the bird sanctuary and I’d do some brass rubbings of birds, and think what a fun day out this is. Ending the fun day out with a banana fritter on a stick sat on the wall with my grandparents.

Old age seems to happen all of a sudden, it happens slowly over time, and then one day you see those you love go downhill, it might start with memory loss, or mobility issues, but it’s a natural progression of the circle of life. I remember in school the poem, All The World’s A Stage. The closing of the poem never made sense to me. But it does now.

That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything

People in today’s world, live for the moment and don’t think about the inevitable next stages of life. Unless we fall ill, or have a reason to start taking better care of ourselves from early in life we’d probably let our health deteriorate at its slow natural rate until it’s too late to do much about. Prevention is always better than cure. Seeing loved ones getting to the sans stage of life brings it home that we’ll all experience that at some stage. I love the line Iron Man says in Endgame: “Part of the journey is the end.”

We know the end will reach us all one day, which is why I’d like to draw you attention to the matter of taking better care of yourself and your health today, to better manage tomorrow. In coaching one of the sayings we use is, begin with the end in mind, and work back from there. What steps should you take now to get you closer towards your end goal?

You don’t have to become Arnold Schwarzenegger, or an athlete to improve your health.

Here are seven simple things you can start doing to improve your health now to benefit you in the future.

Movement, exercise – life is movement, if you don’t move you seize up and waste away. There’s truth to the adage, if you don’t use it you lose it.

Hydrate, with water – our body is 70% water, if we are dehydrated the body cannot function and will disfunction. All chemical reactions in the body occur in a water rich environment, including weight loss.

Sleep, relax – the body needs time to rejuvenate and repair itself, this all happens when we are asleep. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Or take a nap during the day to make up the time.

Quit the bad habits – stop, or reduce the things you know are not good for you, this includes, smoking, drinking alcohol, over-eating, and over-doing things.

Mental health – stress is one of the biggest factors that causes degeneration and illness. Learn to take care of your mental wellbeing to reduce stress and tensions. Meditation is a simple but effective way to reduce stress and improve your health.

Don’t be so hard on yourself – know that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have available to you. Be kind to yourself, take a break from life if you have to, do something fun that makes you feel alive.

Breathe – our body continuously breathes, to keep us alive, but if we take deep more conscious breaths our stress lowers and we feel better for it. Breath work is a therapy in itself these days, but you can do it for free without paying a therapist just by inhaling and exhaling deeply.

Being over weight has lots of health issues all by itself, but did you know, according to a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology; people who are over weight in adulthood increase your chances of suffering dementia by 31 per cent.

People are living a lot longer now, but the quality of life people experience towards the end of this longer life has no quality of life with it.


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