The amazing 86 year old Heather Lee talks to us about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
I remember being 15 years old when an assistant in my Mother’s business was having her 30th birthday, it seemed to me that being 30 must be really old, little did I realise that one’s thirties can be the best time in one’s life.
Later when I reached my 40th birthday it was then that I felt ‘over the hill’ and was quite depressed. It was probably then that my husband and I decided that we needed to take a look at our lifestyle now that we were in our middle years.
Both of us wished to live as independently as possible as we got older, and, particularly, when there was only one of us remaining. How could we do that? Not that we had lived a hard or extravagant life but, with an eye to the future, that perhaps there were changes we could make that would put us in good stead for a healthy and longer life ahead .
Neither of us smoked, which was good, and we only drank very moderately and socially. The pundits were already saying that a low fat diet was preferable to avoid possible heart disease, so we were more discerning with our choice of food, meat in particular, we even occasionally tried a cleansing diet that I remember made us feel refreshed and full of vitality.
Adopting healthy eating habits we continued to live and eat moderately and remained much healthier and I might say, happier. We maintained our level of weight and as a woman this was very good and satisfying, we were always active people also, an important part to healthy living.
Now that I am 84 years old, looking back, it seems we made a wise choice all those years ago and I have remained fit and well and living proof that with a few changes to one’s life that it can be done. It really is about the ‘quality of life’ that is important.
As you probably know I walk a lot and found it good therapy after my husband died which eventually found me entering various Fun Runs etc, and which to this day I am still continuing as I enjoy ‘the thrill of the chase’ so to speak. I had no idea that I would ever do such a thing which only proves that none of us realise just what can be achieved so why not try.
Keeping fit is up to every one of us and as we get older it is easy to, perhaps think old, and put age and inactivity as a normal matter of course, but age is only a number not a reason to slow down and vegetate. It also, I am sure, helps us to keep mentally fit and who among us does not fear forgetfulness and all that it might entail. So why not embark on a ‘healthier living program’ you can never start early enough.
I was born in an era when motor vehicles were a luxury to most families so we did not take the car to go shopping as people do today, cars, if you had one, were for weekend outings etc.
We would go for an evening walk along the Esplanade, the whole family, that is, meeting other families doing the same, it was a tradition. Nowadays, people have television and computers and mainly lead a more sedentary life, really they do not know what they are missing and I would advise anyone to think long and hard about their lifestyle and get to be much more active.
As the advertisements say’ take the stairs, not the lift’ in other words take every opportunity to exercise, you will reap the rewards later in life. Age has a way of creeping up on us before we realise and then it may be too late.