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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Food Wise: There is More to Health Than Food

by Olivia Blanco Mullins

Tags: Food Wise, Olivia Blanco Mullins, Real Age, Yoga, Working Out, Health,

New Year’s resolutions have never been a big part of my life. On occasion I have been determined to lose weight, exercise more or be more organized in the New Year, but I must admit, I never stick with it.

This year may be different, however. My age is starting to get to me. I am turning 30 this year, which I know is young in the big scheme of things, and many people say I look younger, but I am very aware that this July I will no longer be in my 20s.

Yesterday I ran into the Real Age website, which I know is nothing new, as it has been featured virtually in every major media outlet, but I had never paid attention to it before. I decided it could be a good place to start figuring out if I am healthy and young or not. It turns out my “Real Age” is 2.4 years younger than my actual age—what a relief!—mainly because of my healthy diet, which includes lots of vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and no red meat.

The one thing I do need to improve is my amount of exercise, which apparently makes me less young. While I am not completely sedentary, I know I am not active either. I have never played organized sports and jogging bores me.

My goal in practicing yoga is to achieve serenity and improve my flexibility.

One of my main problems is that I have no sense of competition when it comes to sports, so nothing really motivates me. I give up too easy. From time to time I have enjoyed working out. For example, the year after I graduated college I went to the gym four times a week for about an hour each time. Somehow it helped me go through the transition of becoming an adult, but once I moved out of my parents’ house, it was back to working out only when I remembered, which wasn’t often. The year before I got married I went to yoga twice weekly for six months, and I enjoyed it immensely. As my life changed so did my exercise habits, and I am now back to working out irregularly. Between the holidays, work and being sick, the last time I exercised was December 26, when I went for a long, brisk walk with my parents. That was 11 days ago!

I know that I should change this, and by the number of obese and overweight people in this country I am not alone. So with the goal of improving my health and being “Real Age- younger,” I have decided to exercise more, and to keep myself motivated, I will add a note about my performance in each blog entry. Eating healthy is not enough to be healthy, so this is a natural addition.

To start I am going back to yoga, which not only gives me the opportunity to stretch my body and align my back, but it also helps me deal with stress and balance my life in general. I am planning on doing yoga twice a week.

I know yoga is not enough, especially because I won’t be practicing it daily, so I am also adding cardio three times a week and will start doing some strength training two of the days when I do cardio. This leaves me with two days to rest, which I think is fair.

My weight has never really bothered me too much, and so I won’t be worrying about this, but rather, I’d like to observe how I feel physically. I am planning on updating my Real Age test in three months, and see how young I have become through my habits. I am shooting for 23…and I hope I can keep it up for years to come.

Take the quiz and tell me, what do you need to improve to be healthier and what are you doing about it?