Living a Vibrant Life
by William Fraser | Chair, Wellness Committee
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
When I first heard the word vibrancy, I thought in terms of colour. Then I remembered watching my youngest grandson playing video games. With the controller in his hands and his eyes on the screen, he is continually in motion — bouncing, ducking, twisting, vibrating. I was jealous of the energy level and pure fun he was experiencing.
From this observation, I developed my own personal definition of vibrancy regarding health and wellness. It is the ability and energy to enjoy life at any age. Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine showed that adopting smart behaviours reduced the chance of death by eighty per cent. Their study provided a to-do list for achieving a vibrant life.
- Be active more often — at least thirty minutes a day. This could be a regular daily walk.
- Improve your diet with a view to eliminating health risks — not just concern about weight. Make a good start by reducing meat, sugar, and processed foods, and eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and fish. The energy-boosting vitamins are D and B12. Sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and seafood, egg yolks, mushrooms, and sunshine. Vitamin B12 specifically is found in meat, fish, dairy products, poultry, eggs, soy products, and fortified cereals.
- Get quality sleep — which might be easier said than done. Most sleep problems are a result of snoring, medication side effects, and underlying health conditions. All of these should be addressed with your doctor. Enjoy more satisfying sleep by creating a calming space, dedicating enough time for sleep, and practising relaxation techniques.
- Stop smoking — you know that. Improved health begins in as little as twenty-four hours after quitting.
- Challenge your brain — like every other part of your body, the brain needs to be exercised. Some ways to give your brain a workout could include finding a new driving route to a regular destination, learning a language, participating in music-making opportunities, playing games, and solving puzzles.
- See your doctor — regularly. Review your medications for their efficacy and side effects. Maybe you can eliminate some or replace others.
Joy for life at our age may not exhibit itself in an energized bouncing, ducking, twisting, vibrating response to fun but, with attention to our health and wellness, we can still experience vibrancy in living.