Tag Archives: stress

How to Be Like Mr. Miyagi

14 Jun

In my never-ending quest to outlive you all, I am turning myself into a human guinea pig. Through various studies around the world, researchers have determined a few things about the uber-elderly that I am adopting as my very own prescription for living to 125:

  1. Drink one glass of wine/day. See… not everything we love is bad for us. Thank you, wine god, Dionysus. I shall worship you daily.
  2. Do not smoke. I’ve always found the idea of barbecuing my insides rather creepy, so I’m quite happy to oblige on this one.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. My mom still looks fab in a bathing suit. I’m banking on genetics, and a ridiculous amount of squats.
  4. Don’t overeat. My ex-boyfriend used to say, “Eating is not a game,” after a particularly harrowing binge that left him hanging over the toilet all night. I usually only do that with liquor… and Mexican… and brownies… and coffee. Actually, I think maybe I just blocked out the times I’ve overeaten, then barfed in my mouth and swallowed. Wouldn’t you?
  5. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Apparently the Okinawans (Why, yes, that IS where Mr. Miyagi is from. So wise, Daniel-san), who have the longest lifespan in the world eat an average of seven servings a day (though their RDA is 13 servings). Average. So you’ve got to figure there are old men out there eating whole bushels of seaweed to make up for the slackers who are only eating five salads a day. I better go stock up on produce – stat. Does someone have a truck I can borrow?
  6. Fat intake should account for 25 percent of my daily calories. And most of that should come from “good fat” sources. (Bad trans fat! Bad!). Guess it’s time to lay off the pints of Ben & Jerry’s S’mores. Sooo Goood. According to this fat calculator, that’s about 55 grams/day for me. I was already over my limit by 11am today, thanks to my cheese and peanut butter breakfast. Yes, I dip blocks of cheddar in peanut butter. Don’t judge. It’s a snack from childhood, which probably explains why I was always constipated.
  7. Regular physical activity, including weight training. Does walking to the subway station and back count? I also walk my dog around the block a few times a day, and have to climb four flights every time I come in the door. That’s got to count for something, right? After all, too much exercise causes heart damage, and that would seriously put a wrinkle in my live-until-125 plan. Some doctors say the optimal amount of exercise is working at a burn rate of 285 calories an hour for one hour 3-5 times/week. According to this chart, that means I can snorkel, play a game of social badminton, or walk 4 MPH. I think I can handle that. I choose snorkeling. Can someone get me a ticket to the Caribbean, please? I don’t think it’d be too pleasant here on the shores of Coney Island. Interestingly enough, for those of us who are extremely exercise-phobic, a reduced calorie diet is more important than exercise when it comes to life expectancy.
  8. Challenge my mind or, as Mom says whenever we do something stupid, “Use your brain!” Does idiotic writing count? I would play Scrabble, but Ryan is so competitive it stresses me out. Which brings us to the next rule.
  9. No stress allowed! I am a serious stress case. I go through bouts of insomnia, get heart palpitations and hives almost daily, and pretty much worry my life away. If exercise doesn’t curb it, I guess it’s time to take up meditation. Snoooooozeville! Luckily, according to this study, mindless work is more damaging to your longevity than office stress is. Just don’t tell your boss that.
  10. Stay positive and happy. Hah, easier said than done. This one’s going to be fun. I hope antidepressants are allowed. Oh, shit, I think that was a double dose of negativity right there, wasn’t it? Guess I’d better start a stinkin’ gratitude journal. Yawn. Cynicism is so much more fun. You guys aren’t going to stop reading if I get all happy, are you?
  11. Be a social butterfly. This ought to be fun considering what a neurotically antisocial person I am. No, really, I am. Think about it: when was the last time I answered the phone or called you back? Exactly.
  12. Sleep and sleep with. Regular sex and regular sleep. I know the recommended amount of shuteye is seven or eight hours. Just how much sex are we talking? Some studies say a few times a week. If she doesn’t orgasm, though, I say it doesn’t count.

Great, so all I’ve got left to do today then is have sex, write down some things that I’m happy for (yay), do a crossword, drink a glass of wine, vomit up my cheese and peanut butter, and eat five more servings of veggies. I feel younger already.

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