Okay, I have to confess this was supposed to be posted in honor of Father's Day, but I got busy and a friend needed me and well, now it's a week late. But, I wanted to to make sure I got the message out and share some of the habits I've seen from my dad over the years. Now that I'm older, I can truly appreciate what I've learned simply from watching and knowing my father.
We celebrated my dad's 75th birthday a couple of years ago. It was a wonderful time. It was a surprise birthday party and his friends came from near and far to celebrate with him. He was truly surprised and so happy, the happiest I had seen him.
My father doesn't look like a 77 year old man, nor does he seem like it. My parents drive all the way from Florida to Pennsylvania every year. The fact that they can make this trip back and forth safely, is a testament to how my dad lives his life.
And so, if you're ready to learn what my dad has known all his life, then read on.
1. Eat at the table.
While some people will eat on the road, or on the go, not my dad. My dad, as far as I can recall, sits at a table to eat his meal. He doesn't watch TV while he's eating or has a tray across his lap.
According to Healthline, "Sitting down for a meal may also help your brain register that you've consumed a 'real meal,' reducing the likelihood you'll overeat during the following meal"
Research has also shown that eating while sitting down can lead to mindful eating. Mindful eating helps you to stay in control of what you're eating. Which leads me to habit 2...
2. Eat slowly.
For as long as I have known my father, he has always been the same weight. He is within his healthy BMI and basically has stayed there. I believe the big reason is because my dad is a slow eater.
He takes his time, he chews his food, he isn't watching TV, he is also sitting at a table. He's said how people have commented on how he eats slowly. In this day and age, where people are always on the go, they eat in their cars or offices, I have never seen my dad rush through a meal.
Studies have found that people who ate slowly helped with weight loss and were less likely to be obese. In one particular study, researchers who told participants to eat slowly found they reported feeling fuller compared to those who were told to eat faster.
My dad doesn't follow any diet and will basically eat whatever you put in front of him. But, because he eats slowly, he is giving his brain enough time to tell his stomach that it's full and therefore, he doesn't overeat.
3. Drinking rarely if at all.
My dad is not a big drinker. He isn't one to partake in a casual glass of wine every night. He would usually nurse the same glass of bourbon/scotch/whisky at a family function. While my dad does drink during special occasions, it's never excessively.
We all know that effects of chronic, heavy alcohol consumption, but we are finding out more about so-called moderate drinking and its effects on our health. According to the Cancer Research UK "Research has looked mainly at the amount of alcohol people drink in total and the effect on cancer risk. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancer whether you drink it all in one go or a bit at a time." And they share that the less you drink, the lower your risk of cancer.
4. Staying active.
Even before my dad retired, he was always busy doing something. Growing up, my father didn't go to a gym and he wasn't much into physical fitness. But, he was rarely ever sedentary as well.
In the summer, he'd be outside working in his garden or building something. He'd always be fixing things around the house. Before Youtube and Pinterest, DIY Network or HGTV, there was Bob Vila, and my dad was always watching and learning something from his show.
Now that he has retired, he is still busy working in his garden or building something. Keeping your body as well as your mind may help to stave off symptoms of Alzheimer's. While more research needs to be done in this area, it certainly doesn't hurt to keep your brain mentally stimulated.
Get started now!
The best part about these habits that I learned from my dad is that anyone can start incorporating them into their daily routine immediately. You don't have to go on any specific diet or join a gym. Just becoming more mindful when you're eating, slowing down and taking the time out to stay active, will make some big changes in your life.
What do you think? Will you start any of these habits? Do you have some healthy habits of your own? Tell us in the comments.
Scarlett is a business owner and lover of pretty things. She started this blog to share some of her witticisms and favorite things.