A Word In Edgewise: More Than An Apple A Day

Photo courtesy of BigStock/Chinnapong

Keeping healthy is only part of the equation of continued well-being. Even proper diet and exercise can’t override control our genetic makeup, random encounters with disease carriers, or inadvertent exposure to carcinogens; all can sabotage our well-laid plans.

To Lavender’s recently offered tips for seniors for surviving the dark winter months through good diet and mental stimulation, I’d add safety caveats for all of us to be aware of our physical safety. No matter what one’s age, it pays to be watchful, mindful of the laws of physics and good sense. We’re all aging, and whether “senior” begins at thirty-nine or seventy, each of us is simply not what we used to be. Be honest; your degree of willingness to admit change can increase your physical safety, and hence your overall health.

Consider the Romberg test: Stand upright with your feet together, then close your eyes. Are you a bit off balance? You probably have some loss of proprioception. My doctor had me perform this recently, and this time, I felt a distinct disequilibrium. Nothing grave, but a distinct change. Is it more unnerving to drive at night than it used to be? Is climbing a ladder to change a light bulb more daunting now than when you were 20? Perhaps you should ask a friend to climb the stepladder and change the bulb or reach down a tureen for that healthy soup.

My point, and I’m learning to apply it to myself, is that all the good food, fresh air and exercise will not prevent your being in traction for a month with an injury you needn’t have incurred. A realistic assessment of your own body can help prevent injury and setbacks to an otherwise healthy life.

Slow down, think as you move. Enjoy life and its pleasures as fully as you can, always keeping in touch with your body and listening to what it’s telling you. Get your flu shot, update your pneumonia, tetanus, and shingles vaccines; this year’s maverick H3N2 can be a killer, so don’t just “tough it out.”

As the prophet said, “To everything there is a season…there is a time there for every purpose and every work.” Stay healthy, stay safe, embrace and enjoy all your seasons.

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