By Dr. Rich Bimler, Lutheran Life Communities –
July is a great time to assess our daily life styles! As we age, and we ARE all aging, right now, a prime Holy Habit is to evaluate how we are spending our time, how we are treating our bodies, and, in general, how we are living hope-filled lives in body, mind, and spirit. A friend of mine recently reminded me of the quote, “We are older, but we are not withered; we are wrinkled, but there is always room for learning. We are ready to continue to celebrate and serve, every God-given day, as a gift!”
It is interesting to note that in many of the world’s religions, older adulthood is seen as a time for intensified spiritual reflection as well as passing on wisdom and experiences to future generations. In traditional Chinese society, for example, the sage is seen as the primary keeper and transmitter of wisdom, culture, values, and spirituality. What a challenge we older adults have to gather our courage, access our wisdom, and be of service to others in this anxious world by modeling healthy Holy Habits !
So let’s keep pushing ourselves to practice and develop “Holy Habits”, not only to keep ourselves happy and healthy, but to share our wealth of wisdom with those younger and older around us! David Carr, MD, St. Louis, helps us by stating, “We can achieve significantly healthier outcomes with easy lifestyle changes and less effort than you might think”! Here is his list of “Holy Habits” to consider:
1. Exercise is number one! Even as little as 20 minutes of walking(or limping or crawling or skipping!) a day can do wonders. Move that body, in as many ways as possible!
2. Work on your brain and social life! In other words, think and do things, with others, instead of staying at home, alone. The brain is like a muscle –it needs to be used, stimulated, and pushed.
3. Focus on what you eat, and don’t eat. We have all heard it before: “Eat lots of fruits and vegetables every day and fish a couple of times a week”. Yes, I guess Mom was right after all!
4. Schedule regular health checks to catch diseases early when they are still treatable. Control the risk factors for vascular disease. This does not mean we will not become ill, but it is sound advice for developing a healthier body and attitude as well.
5. I like this tip the best – RELAX! Work at keeping stress under control by doing the 4 holy habits above, and also by “chilling out” however you can. Perhaps for you this means quiet time, or less TV headline news, or meditating, or taking a walk, or reading, or listening to music. Any habit that we can develop that takes us away from feeling and being “hurried” in this fast and instantaneous society, can certainly improve the health of our bodies, minds, and spirits!
Holy Habits through healthy living is the focus and priority of The Arlington of Naples, our new Continuing Care Retirement Center about to break ground in the Lely Resort area. Come check it out! You might just add it as #6 on your list of Holy Habits!
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