Staying Healthy and Living Longer

By Theo and Ganine and Jessica Hicks, Fort Myers Fred Astaire Dance Studio –

As a man in his mid fifty’s, last month’s topic is personal and timely as April is also my birthday. Men’s and Ladies health, or lack thereof, is now a featured topic in print and media, it’s as if prior to this last century we weren’t interested in staying healthy or living longer. The fact is, we do and much of what we thought we knew was misinformed and in many cases old wives tales.

Let’s start with heredity, just because your father or mother had a particular aliment or illness does not mean you are prone to the same future. In fact, that history should act as a wake up to chose a different path then the one your parents traveled. Today, we know that by staying active physically, mentally and maintaining a good diet you can severely alter your own health results.

Let’s take physical conditioning first. I am a professional dancer and continue to teach, compete and perform on a regular basis. I have been doing this for thirty-eight years. For a non-dancer, this would be extreme exercise but for someone like my-self, it is not enough to burn calories or stress my muscles, heart or lungs so I have to do more.

Your body develops a tolerance after a time and though you feel as though you have exercised your body does not. If you are performing the same old exercise ritual, you most likely need to alter or change it up, in my case I bike, dive and weight train.

Our next area of health is mental. Like physical exercise, so goes the mental. You may have a job for most that would be mentally taxing, however, you have performed the task for so long that you could almost do it in your sleep. This will not help your mental acuity, you need more. Learn a new language, start a new hobby that engages your brain, crossword or suduko puzzles even reading, anything that challenges your brain.  If your brain is not healthy, you can be sure your body won’t be either.

Our fourth element is diet. Our metabolism is constantly changing and how we process food differs greatly. First, I would recommend getting some blood work done so you can better assess the state of your health, then you can better decide on the diet you need to maintain a healthy mind and body. Find activities that you enjoy and don’t mind doing all the time.

Enjoy Life and Feel Great
Dancing is fun, aerobic and great for your brain. The first lesson is free at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 12123 South Cleveland Ave. (US41), one block north of Crystal. Our phone number is 239-939-1517 and our website, Learn to dance and you will enjoy life more, feel great and smarter.

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