Healthy Living Habits for Today

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Healthy habits for today begins with a positive attitude toward diet and exercise. Just because we are getting older doesn’t mean we sit in a rocking chair and wait for life to end. There’s too much of life to explore! We seize each moment with sound nutrition and an active lifestyle that keeps our minds and bodies performing like well-oiled machines.

When I was fifteen years old, I decided to take care of my body for the long haul. I’d been a chubby child and faced all the ridicule that went with it. Educating myself on what my body needed to maintain a healthy weight meant eating to live, not living to eat. My decision to take care of myself highlighted rising early and exercising before the school bus arrived. Those habits have stayed with me for several decades. I believe my body is the temple of God, and I’m a steward of His holy gift (1 Corinthians 6:19.)

If we are motivated to get healthy and stay healthy, it’s not too late to embark upon a lifestyle that gives us purpose and meaning. Perhaps a goal is to shed a few unwanted pounds, or an illness may have snatched extra weight we need to add back to our body. Even if we’ve never considered our food intake or activity, this post may open our eyes.

Before moving forward:

  • Check with your doctor and discuss expectations.
  • Request blood work to make sure your body is in fine shape.
  • Ask your doctor for vitamin and supplement recommendations.
  • Plan a sensible diet and exercise plan.
  • Enlist an accountability partner.
  • Purchase the proper equipment/shoes for the activity.
  • Subscribe to a respected online website that focuses on health care for the aging.

Food choices

Our bodies thrive on fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and whole grains. Simple, but when we add extra fat, salt, sugar, and carbohydrates, our bodies will rebel over time and not in ways we enjoy. We are what we eat. Choose wisely.

If we are diabetic, gluten-free, or have other health issues that limit our intake, that’s okay. We choose or substitute foods to keep us feeling good and ensure our medical reports shine. Deliberately eating or drinking things that make us feel badly isn’t wise.

Sodium can be a killer. Literally. Our saltshakers are not the worst problem. Consuming processed foods and eating out adds far more sodium than is healthy at any age. Cutting back can be as easy as cooking from proven recipes and limiting restaurants to special occasions. However, some organic and whole foods eateries are selective in the preservatives that enhance their dishes.

Some people have never experienced a weight problem and saw no reason to educate themselves on what goes into their bodies. Now is the time to take notice. Take the time to read product labels and recipes for a huge nutritional payoff with dividends that money can’t buy.

It’s okay to be picky, and I fall under that category. I don’t care for the taste of a huge list of foods: beets, milk, egg yolks, red meat, white bread, white rice, potatoes, watermelon, or any kind of melon, to name a few. Weird, I know. But I can find the nutrients my body requires in multiple ways. I never met a green vegetable I didn’t like. Nut butters are my friend. My point is, make choices that suit your tastes and cause the nutritionist to smile.

Detoxing and/or intermittent fasting have proven to help the body’s overall function. If this is of interest in your new diet regimen, consult with your doctor before embarking on a habit that could be potentially harmless.


The average adult body contains approximately 60% water, and as we get older, the percentage decreases. Lean muscle contains more water than fat, making water a sensible alternative to sugary or artificially sweetened beverages. When we don’t have enough water, we’re tired and can be plagued with headaches. Don’t forget that fresh produce contains a lot of water, so your body is happy and healthy. 

Balance is the key to living well and enjoying life. 

Denying ourselves an occasional treat can cause a grumpy person who forgot the pleasure of licking an ice cream cone on the hottest day of the year. Or blowing out the candles on a birthday cake and taking a swipe of frosting.

Vitamins and minerals are nuggets of gold. 

Big tip! Vitamins and minerals do not add to our life span. But they can add to quality of life. The best source of supplements is in food, but that isn’t always possible. Also, the extra nuggets of power we took when we were younger should change as we age. Our bones become more brittle, and calcium and vitamin D help slow down the process and fight osteoporosis. Stress is another factor in which supplements like vitamin B can aid in appropriate mental and emotional processing.

Selecting the vitamin and mineral brands can be a dilemma. Do we choose the least expensive or the most expensive? Choose the brand that eliminates or has few preservatives and extras not needed by the body. Always check with your doctor or nutritionist about what is best and inquire about potential side effects. Taking too many or the wrong vitamins and minerals can do more harm.

How do I choose the right exercise? 

Some of us have exercise limitations that curb our type or level of activity. Limitations do not mean conditioning our bodies is prohibited; it simply means we understand our restrictions and find alternatives.

I believe varying what we do in our activities is a plus for our bodies. Walking may be your favorite form of exercise, and you have walking buds to join you. That makes the activity fun. I’m a fan of hiking. Grabbing a helmet and pedaling around the neighborhood may give you the extra boost your body needs. Wonderful. Some prefer a gym with a person who coaches members—now I’m jealous.

Various forms of exercise are available, no matter our age or disability. Determination and a positive attitude to change and maintain a healthy lifestyle is a win-win situation for all of us. Our God gave us bodies to move, minds to think, and food to maintain physical and mental health.

Are you ready to get started?

Comments 18

  1. After my husband’s death, I decided to lose some weight. I was getting a bit chunky. My daughter-in-law lost 30 pounds using Optavia products. I began this journey with her as my coach. I lost a total of 34 pounds in about 6 months. I was very pleased with the results.

    The plan is called 5 and 1. You purchase feelings from this company and prepare a “Lean N’ Green” Meal each day until you lose the amount that was your goal.

    This plan was begun by a nutritionist so you get the benefits of vitamins and minerals. You are encouraged to exercise, too.

  2. Great advice Ms. DiAnn. I should’ve heeded it thirty-five years ago. 🙂 We all do what we can though. God’s blessings.

  3. This is wise advice. Finding what works for each of our bodies is the key to being consistent. We can plan around healthy foods that will also fit our taste buds, as you described with the ones you don’t like. Thanks for sharing, DiAnn!

  4. I seriously have been fighting my weight since puberty, I will soon be 70! 😬
    I need to lose about 40 lbs now. I’ve had several injuries, accidents, surgeries and broken bones in my life. Right now I’m in physical therapy trying to get strong again after a broken shoulder. 😩
    And I do have osteoporosis!

  5. Thanks, DiAnn. Thinking back over the many years I’ve seen you at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference, I can vouch for the fact you live your advice to others. We need reminding of healthy eating in these years of go, go, go day in and day out. Opening cans take so much less time than cooking from scratch!

  6. Great advice! We really have to listen to our bodies, and hear.
    Although I do enjoy balancing my cookie with an ice cold glass of milk.
    Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. DiAnn,

    These are life-changing words. Living in a manner worthy of the Lord so we will please Him regarding our diet and our bodies is essential.

    I enjoy walking in the mornings around 5:30am. I enjoy riding my bike when I don’t have the time to walk. My husband walks with me on his off day. I enjoy eating lots of salmon. I have not used dressings on salads in years. I have used Balsamic or Vinaigrette dressing, however now I use blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and cucumber to boost salads. And, the combination tastes very good.

    So many folks have come a long way in their diets and have avoided catastrophic diseases. Count me as one of the ones who God ushered along the way in my eating to where I enjoy relatively good health for my 65 years. (I must be honest. I asked God why did He have to make pound cake, carrot cake, and chocolate taste so heavenly. Hope we’ll be able to eat while enjoying eternity.)

    This is a very timely post. I’m sure it will cause readers to bear much “fruit.”

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