A Journey To Better Health

Welcome to my site. I hope to take you on a journey to better health. I will be focusing on health as we get older. This site will deal with not only physical health, but emotional, psychological and spiritual as well.

As a starting point, I've made a list of rules which I have been following in my own life. I hope they help you in your own journey towards better health.

25 Rules For Better Health

1. Don't diet.

2. There is no such thing as perfection.

3. Honestly evaluate yourself.

4. Set realistic goals and expectations.

5. Believe in something.

6. Small Steps.

7. Getting over the hump (One of many).

8. Make the right choices.

9. Put away the scale (Save for special occasions).

10. Reach out to those around you.

11. Get a pet.

12. Walk before you run.

13. Build Muscle.

14. Push yourself, but know your limits.

15. Rest.

16. Relax.

17. Have balance in your life.

18. Know yourself (Physically and emotionally).

20. Try to be a good person.

21. Boost your metabolism.

22. Don't be afraid.

23. Realize that life is hard.

24. Laugh at yourself and the absurdity of the world around you.

25. Reach your potential.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Breast Cancer

     All of you are familiar with the pink ribbon which symbolizes breast cancer awareness. I pulled this particular ribbon off a wonderful site which has other ribbons you can download. The site is Pink Ribbons by Carol Sutton. I did this post because breast cancer is an important subject which affects so many women's lives. I believe we should all support any efforts not only for awareness, but research for a cure. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among woman. Only skin cancer affects more woman in America. Over their lifetimes 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women, but it is the number one cause of death for women between the ages of 35-54. Overall only lung cancer kills more women each year. In 2009, 192,370 women where diagnosed with invasive (malignant) breast cancer. Of these 40,610 died. It is no wonder that we are seeing so many efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

11. Rule For Better Health-Get a Pet

"The famous Chase, searching for an opportunity to run."

     A little over a year ago we got our dog, Chase from a family who lived in town, and didn't have the room or time to give him what he needed. They could give him plenty of love, but not the exercise he required. At the time we had just lost a Golden Retriever, named Kinley at the age of thirteen. Her loss had left a big hole in our lives as well as in our home, which suddenly seemed so empty. When we got Chase he was nine months old, full of life, fast, energetic, and loved to run. He actually got the name "Chase" because he will chase anything. If it moves and God put it on this good earth he will chase it. Kinley, as she got older loved to lay in the sun, and watch the days pass by. She was happy to sit beside my Wife, have her head rubbed and sleep the days away. Chase, on the other hand needs to be moving all the time. If you take him for a walk you need to have a strong harness, a lot of patience, and a good pair of jogging shoes. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Arthritis and it's effects as we age

     As I got out of bed this morning, I looked outside to see another cool, rainy day. It's on days like this that my joints ache; especially in my back and my knees. I used to run, and over the years I have had knee problems. I decided to write a little bit about Arthritis. I've learned that it affects over 40 million people in the United States. Arthritis can be debilitating, but with proper care and treatment Arthritis can be defeated. Its important that you become aware as early as possible about its effects, and more importantly what can be done to prevent it.

Monday, April 25, 2011


     When we think of  a "Stroke", what do we think about? We think of a disabled family member or friend who has trouble moving and speaking, and needs to be cared for; possibly for the rest of their lives What you may not know is the stroke is the third leading cause of death in America, and it is number one in causing long term disability. Simply put, a stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain. It is sometimes called a "Brain Attack." Strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, or more commonly when a blockage occurs. Without immediate treatment the cells in the brain become starved for oxygen and quickly begin to die. The result can be a serious disability or even death. It sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?

The good news is that there are many things to do to prevent strokes and to minimize the damage when one occurs. The key is to take the time to learn how to recognize the onset of a stroke, and what to do. Sometimes the symptoms can be confusing. Sometimes you may be confusing age related problems such as physical infirmities, along with age related memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer's with what may actually be a stroke. The key is to learn all the symptoms, and keep your eyes open for them. Take a look at the picture below. Notice how one side of the face is dropping at the eyes and mouth. It is very important to look for this. Here are more symptoms.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


     I was recently asked why my "25 Rules for Good Health" doesn't include any rules on running? first, let me tell you that I love running. I believe that it is one of the best things to do to keep in shape. There is nothing like the runner's high you get after a work-out or a big race. I was a runner in my mid to late 30's. I would still be running if not for the wear and tear on my body.  A lot of this was caused not by running, but by other factors such as my size and weight, over training not strengthening my muscles, and not having proper form. God bless the runners whose bodies can take the stress. When I go on my morning walks with my dog there is a man in his 70's or 80's. It's hard to tell his exact age because he's in great shape. He runs every day. From watching him I can see that his mile splits are still good at between 10 and 12 minutes. Studies have shown that as we get older running is one of the best ways to slow the aging process. After age fifty it has been found that runners have fewer disabilities, a larger span of active life, and a reduced risk of early death. The key words are "active life." I've know people who lived to be a hundred, but the quality of their lives over the last twenty years was poor. They were often sick, had limited mobility and spent the last few years of their lives being cared for in nursing homes. Sometimes the quality of life, and how active you are as you get older are what's important.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BMI-Good or Bad?

    I just received a notice from my Son's high school informing me of his current BMI score. The BMI or "Body Mass Index" is given yearly to measure the height and weight of students to determine whether they have a healthy weight for their sex and age. I noticed that his score was in the higher percentiles, while bordering on being considered overweight. I thought something was wrong with the results. My Son is in perfect health. He eats healthy and exercises, including lifting weights. He has large muscles, very low body fat and has been developing a set of impressive six-pack abs. How could he be considered being heavy for his age. I decided to do a little investigating of my own, and came up with some startling facts.

Friday, April 8, 2011

10.Rule For Better Health-Reach Out to Those Around You.

      It seems a little strange to see this on a health blog under the heading of 25 rules for better health. When most of us think about our health we think about exercising, eating healthier and losing weight. These things are still very important for our physical health, but sometimes we overlook some of the spiritual, emotional and psychological factors which determine how healthy we really are. I learned a long time ago how our emotional health is directly related to our physical health. You could be a world class athlete with strength, speed, agility, and a perfect physique, but if you're not happy, loved, needed, and fulfilled, then life is pretty empty. I would like to tell you a story of a remarkable woman who is on her own personal journey to better health. I hope Sarah can teach us all why it is so important to reach out to those around us, and why this is so important for our health.

Monday, March 21, 2011

9. Rule For Better Health-Put away the scale (save for special occasions)

     Before we get started, let me say just a few words on scales and their use. There is nothing wrong with scales to help you monitor your weight. I have one that must be twenty years old sitting in a corner of my bathroom. I also used to be a member of Weight Watchers. For all of you who are in Weight Watchers I'd like to say it's a great program. I wish you all luck in your journey to better health. Part of my weekly program with Weight Watchers was that I would go in for a weigh-in. The weigh-in's were confidential. I didn't have to take off my shirt like on the "Biggest Loser", and stand in front of other contestants as well as millions of viewers, but it was still a lot of pressure. I wanted to please the support staff, and I would get depressed if I didn't reach my goals. Some weeks I would lose weight, sometimes I'd even gain, and other weeks I'd stay the same. It often felt like I was on a physical and emotional Yo-Yo. I understand why the scale is an important part of weight loss programs. It gives you goals to achieve. It can also be use as a source of recognition and pride in your accomplishments. Most weight loss programs use scales and weigh-ins as a mean to strengthen the support structure and help foster camaraderie among its members. This can be a good thing. It's tough losing weight alone. A lot of people depend on other people to help them get through the tough times. For all of you who find scales to be a valuable tool, I won't say to abandon them. I will give you some of my views on why I only use them for special occasions.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


     If you walk into any supermarket, department store or drug store you will find row after row of Vitamins and supplements. You'll see so many different kinds and brands. Some are multi-vitamins and some are for specific things. I've even see vitamins targeting the eyes, fingernails and hair growth. It's very confusing. How do you determine what vitamins you need, and in what quantities? Let me give you a little primer on vitamins before we move on. In the simplest terms vitamins are; "organic compounds required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by any organism." Some of these compounds are synthesized by our own bodies, while most must come from our diets or through vitamins in manufactured forms. Remember that vitamins are different from other essential nutrients including, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. These are required in greater quantities, and we receive almost all of them from our diets.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

8. Rule For Better Health-Make the Right Choices

     When I look at my own life, I look at it as a long and winding road that often leads to forks in the road where we need to make a choice. Sometimes as in the picture above there isn't a clear choice. Both roads look pretty much the same. They're aren't any signs to help us make our decision. You would be surprised at how many choices we make every day. We all face three types of choices in our lives. They include good choices, bad choices and ones that are neutral. An example of a neutral choice is taking a walk on the beach or one in a park. We all understand some of the choices we make in terms of dieting or watching what we eat. How many of us have had a choice between an apple and a delicious donut with a jelly filling and sugar on top. The choices also include things which affect our emotional and spiritual health. We not only make physical choices every day we often make moral ones. One of the keys to better health is to begin to learn to become keenly aware of every choice we face whether it is a big one or a small one. Sometimes the smallest choices can be just as important. I've learned that small choices have a way of piling up on you and weighing you down. Imagine that each bad choice is a small brick which is placed in a bag which you carry over your shoulders. Every time you make a bad choice another brick is added to the bag. When you make a good choice a brick is removed from the bag and your load is lightened. You might think to yourself that the weight of a brick isn't so bad. Now imagine you've made bad choice after bad choice until the weight on your shoulders becomes so great that you collapse and you can't get up. Just remember that sometimes small choices are more important than they initially appear.