I grilled for the family Easter dinner after church yesterday. My parents came over and during the day we had several interesting conversations. One of the more interesting was about whether my wife and I would remarry if one of us dies early. We’re both in our mid-40’s.
My oldest daughter participated in the conversation saying, “If Daddy dies early, I think Mom should remarry so she’ll have someone to take care of her.” I agree. And while I hope I outlive her, if I don’t, I want her to remarry (but only if she finds a man who loves her and my girls as I do). There are a lot of conclusions one can draw from my daughter’s comment, but the one I’m thinking of today is that I should really take better care of myself! (The conversation also points out the importance of family caregivers having enough life insurance to ensure care for an MS patient who remains.)
Now when it comes to longevity, I do have several pluses. I have a low stress job. I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs or overeat. I have no known physical ailments. My checkups are always good. I’m a safe driver, wear my seatbelt and do most of my driving in low risk areas. I don’t play with fire, skydive or do race cars. I come from a family with good longevity genes. I have good blood pressure and avoid too much salt. I’m only a few pounds over my ideal weight.
One significant minus concerns me, though. I don’t exercise regularly. In fact, the main reason I push a lawn mower over my 2 acres of grass in the Summer instead of riding a tractor is that mowing is good exercise. Unfortunately, that’s about all the exercise I get. I walk around the block a few times a month with my daughters, but I’m sure that’s not enough to be considered regular exercise.
I’m not too old to exercise. I have a friend of a similar age who plays hours of basketball each Saturday night … often until midnight! Another friend works out with weights three times a week during lunch.
Why don’t I exercise? Probably for the same reason many caregivers fail to exercise: it requires an investment of time and time is always in short supply. That sounds like a good excuse, but I know it’s not. I have no good excuse. I should buy a bike and hit the road. Maybe start running. Something.
To be rational, it does no good to wish for a long life if one doesn’t do everything required to live long. I must exercise regularly.
Caregivers Tip: Exercise. It’s good for you and your increased health will be good for your loved ones.