Posts tagged ‘health’

On the Way to Being a Centenarian

A few months ago, I decided to go for the goal of being a centenarian.

It’s one of those things you don’t think about when you’re young. Everyone wants to live long or just assume they will. But how long? Most people would answer as long as possible. Since I believe in applying business principles to my personal life, I’ve decided to go one step further by stating a bold goal and taking the necessary steps to succeed in that goal.

Originally, I had set my goal at 90 years. But then I decided why slack off here? Why not go all the way to 100? So, here it is I am going for the full century.

I have a few good things working in my favor to start. The first is good genes. Both my parents are still alive and in relatively good health. My father is close to 80 and my mother isn’t far behind. Both my maternal grandparents lived past 80 years old. The second statistic working in my favor is that I have never smoked in my life.

However, I have a couple of big obstacles. The first is that when I stated my goal of being a centenarian, I met the definition of being obese—literally (which is a euphemistic way of saying that I was plain fat). Being obese is defined as having a Body Mass Index or BMI over 30. The second obstacle is that I have a lot of stress in my life, but I am working on reducing it by working smarter (more about that in a later post). There is a third obstacle which I believe will be easier than the other two to conquer. That is to increase my social interactions and connectivity. (Running a growing company doesn’t leave you much time to hang out with the guys).

I’d like to talk about my first obstacle to become a centenarian which is being overweight or obese. With the exception of those with certain medical conditions, most people are overweight because of poor nutrition and physical activity behavior. In other words, the reason I was obese was because I wasn’t eating right and I wasn’t spending enough time exercising.

During a talk I attended by an inspirational speaker Joe Dillon, he remarked that you will not find too many 90-year-olds who are overweight. I certainly couldn’t think of one 90-year-old who was overweight. This was probably the start of my quest to engage in better nutrition and physical activity behavior.

So, what am I doing now? For starters, I am watching my calorie intake. I don’t really walk with a calorie counter around me. But I know based on measurement done by a physical trainer that I need about 2,000 calories, and I try not to exceed that intake.

The second thing that I started is to exercise about five days a week for at least 30 minutes. To get me going, I set a goal of running a 5K in 29 minutes by December of this year. Originally, my goal was 25 minutes for the 5K but this would not leave me much time to work on my tennis or golf game. Re-evaluating this goal and adjusting it to realistically meet my desires and expectations was important to helping me succeed.

So, far I am on track. Since setting my goals I have lost about 25 lbs. In terms of exercise, when I started running a 5K, a few months ago I was huffing and puffing to make it close to 35 minutes.  This morning, I finished a run of 3.03 miles in 30 minutes and 28 seconds. With some positive determination and willingness to work, meeting this goal was easy.

Won’t you join me in being a centenarian?

May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am 2 comments

Give the gift of life

Recently, I had one of those Eureka moments as a parent. The thought went like this: the best of any gift that we could have given to our children is that we brought them to life in the first place, so wouldn’t the next be thing be to help them prolong that life?

What if we could take actions that have the potential to increase our kids’ life by 10 to 20 years, would it be worth it? How about if it’s merely a 3 to 5 years? Yet, many of the decisions that our kids take or that we set for our kids have the potential to impact how long they live. These decisions not only have the potential to affect how long our kids live but also the quality of life that they will live.

Clearly, no parent would want their kids to grow up smoking or be a drunkard or have their life shortened by something like cancer. However, when we as parents are failing to encourage our kids to embrace other healthy behaviors that have been proven to help increase their life span are we not to some extent implicitly refusing to extend their time on this earth?

Specifically, I think there are two major ways that we can help by a)encouraging health behaviors primarily as it comes to nutrition and physical activity, and b) by adopting these behaviors ourselves. Think of all the kids who will develop diabetes, develop heart disease or even cancer because they were allowed to indulge in all kind of fatty and sweet junk food?

For 2010, my goal is to be first an example at home by leading a healthy lifestyle. When I confided to one of my long-term clients my love for food, she reminded me that I should eat to live and not live to eat. To live by this adage, I will watch my calories, eat healthy portions, balanced meals, have my vitamins and do my exercise 3 to 5 times a week for 30 minutes.

Of course, by being a good example for the kids and embracing a healthy lifestyle, I hope not only to add a few years to their life but also to prolong the time that I get to spend with the grandkids on this earth.

January 9, 2010 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment

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