GratiTuesday: My health

On each of the four Tuesdays in December, I am highlighting what I am most grateful for in 2017.

As I look back on 2017, I am very grateful to have enjoyed good health throughout the year. I may have had a cold or two, but no health challenges and nothing that slowed me down significantly.

Before I left the work-world, I read a lot of books, articles, and blogs about making the most of retirement. Emphasized over and over was the importance of maintaining one’s health. Eat a healthy diet and maintain a good weight. Get plenty of exercise and avoid being too sedentary. Minimize stress and negativity. I think I have been able to do these things for the most part, but I know I can do better.

I am lucky to be a generally healthy person. Over the years, I have experienced a few bumps in the road, but they are now in my rear-view mirror. I don’t have any chronic conditions or ongoing issues that require regular medical attention. I know that isn’t true for everyone, especially as we get older and our natural defenses are reduced. So far, anyway, I’ve reaped the benefits of inheriting healthy DNA.

Now, I look in the mirror and see the gray hairs starting to appear, wrinkles lining my face, and I notice that my body is shifting and softening, and settling in different areas. What I can’t see is what is happening inside, but I know things are changing there too. No matter how much I’d like to deny the inevitable, the inevitable is just that… inevitable. I want to ensure that I’m giving my body the tools that it needs to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

As I focus on maintaining – and improving – my health so I can continue to age well, I am grateful that I have access to healthy food and safe places to exercise. I am grateful that I am healthy now and look forward to an even healthier 2018.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

57 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: My health”

  1. The greatest gift is that of good health. In my early 20’s I struggled with Crohn’s Disease, unable to get it under control. In my 30’s I had two back surgeries. My 40’s and 50’s have been fantastic, so I guess I’m improving with age. 🙂 I’m happy to know you’re enjoying the benefits of good health. 🙂

    1. My health challenges were earlier in my life too. Other than breaking my hip in 2016 (and that was less of a health challenge than a consequence of being balanced-challenged 🙂 ), I have been very lucky lately. I’m sure you are improving with age too!

  2. I’m very grateful to have enjoyed good health, too. I do invest time and effort in maintaining it. Thanks, Janis, for sharing this.

  3. I think you give yourself the best chance at good health by eating well along with both physical and mental exercise. Developing and maintaining relationships and community too. I recently had a scare with my left eye (I thought that I had a detached retina but thank goodness everything is OK). It reinforced that my plan to experience life more fully is a good one.

    1. I’m glad your eye is OK! That would have been very worrisome. You are right about the importance of maintaining connections with others too. There is so much, other than just diet and exercise, that contributes to our overall health.

  4. Hi, Janis – I just saw your post entitled “My Health” pop up on my email…and must admit that my heart skipped a few beats. I guess I missed the “GratiTuesday” part. Phew!! I’m so glad that your good health has continued! This post is loaded with many pearls of wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing them.

  5. Beautifully expressed, Janis. I am happy for you that health is not one of your worries. Good genes are such a benefit! And, you are living a healthy lifestyle, which certainly helps. We are careful with those physical factors as well (we eat healthy and exercise regularly, if walking can be called exercise :-)), but I’m struggling with the mental part of having and maintaining a positive attitude. Something always seems to go amiss, when I am finally ready to relax my mind.

    1. Walking is definitely exercise… it’s my favorite too! I think that having a positive attitude is key to overall good health (and it’s been scientifically supported). Things go wrong for everyone, it matters most how you perceive challenges. I think you and Mark both have a “we can do this” attitude, and that’s good.

  6. Always a great reminder of how important movement and exercise are to our human bodies! You live in an area where getting outside is easy yet so many just don’t partake! We just came back from walking our dogs in the cold evening air and it felt bracing and good!

  7. Like you, I am fortunate to have generally excellent health, and like you, I do what I can to maintain it, including intensifying the exercise bit. I noted a number of comments on balance challenges–lots of studies out recently that practicing balance is another thing that can be of great benefit to all, and most particularly seniors. I take a yoga/pilates class at my local Y and we’ve started working more balances and adding challenges to improve. Its helping. Cheers to all of us for continuing to grow and heal!

    1. I feel as if I’ve skated along a bit just because I happened to be born with healthy genes. Now that I’m older, I really need to become more proactive health-wise. Yoga and pilates are both great ways to enhance our flexibility and balance. Best wishes to you for a healthy 2018, and beyond!

  8. Exercising our minds & our bodies can only help as we continue the journey of life & aging. I too, am very fortunate, to have had relative good health in my lifetime. Although I am certain some of that is something I have no control over, I would like to think that the day to day choices I make have a little something to do with it! Wishing you health & happiness in 2018!

    1. Those day-to-day choices become even more important as we get older. I admit to having a bit of a salt-tooth (as opposed to a sweet-tooth… which I have a bit of too 🙂 ), that I need to restrain somewhat. It’s all a matter of balance, with a few treats thrown in now-and-then. I hope your 2018 is healthy and happy too!

  9. I am glad that you have recovered from your broken hip, and hope that 2018 will be a healthy and happy one for you and your husband. In addition to our access to healthy food and safe places to exercise, I am also grateful for our healthy lifestyle culture and access to advanced medical care when needed.

    1. I’m amazed that my hip fracture feels like a distant memory now. Thank goodness for advanced medical care – and having the insurance to pay for it. I’m looking forward to a happy and healthy 2018… there are many adventures ahead! Best wishes to you and Esther too!

  10. Here’s to many healthy years, Janis. I love growing older and I also hope that mine/our health continues to be healthy and more so that we are happy doing what we chose to do in the best years of our life.

    1. You and your husband have chosen such an interesting life for yourselves and your many walks in all the places you’ve stayed have probably kept you very fit. I look forward to reading about your new adventures in 2018… and beyond!

  11. As I sit here being zapped by a nasty cold, I appreciate the fact that it could be worse. I, too, have managed to stay healthy this year for the most part. This little bump is going to go away, and that’s great because not everything does.

    1. Those nasty little colds – especially around the holidays – can be so irritating! But, you are right, they are but a blip and will soon go away. I’m sure you’ll be up and hiking again in no time (and all that exercise that you have done will help you recover even quicker). Feel better soon!

  12. As I read your gratitude post, I had to modify it for myself a bit. Beyond being grateful for healthy foods and safe places to live, I am extremely grateful for the advances in medical treatments in our world.

    1. I know you are facing something right now and I wish you a positive outcome. We live in an amazing time with regards to medical treatments… several of my family members and I have benefited from them. Wishing you much health and happiness in 2018!

  13. Amen to being grateful for being healthy! Health is something that I forget to cherish until I’m literally three boxes of tissues deep and my throat feels like it’s on fire. Going to a huge University, getting sick every time we get back from break is not uncommon. I am so thankful for that 🙂 Thanks for the great post!

    1. It’s true that we tend to take the important things for granted until they are gone. I remember going to college and getting just about every cold and flu that was in the atmosphere. It’s especially hard when you are away from home (meaning mom with chicken soup 🙂 ). Thank you for your comment!

  14. I love your idea for posts in December, Janis. Anytime is a great time to be focused on gratitude, but there is something especially poignant about December.
    I too am delighted to report that I’m in great health. How wonderful it is to say that. As you said, it’s so important when we are retired that we keep up or renew an active lifestyle.

  15. I agree that good health is everything, but I notice that some people often mistake weighing the same weight as you were at a younger age for being healthy at an older age. There’s more to good health than fitting into your clothes from high school… or college… or pre-menopause. I’m plumper & slower now, but have never felt better. Go figure.

    1. I think that is absolutely true (which is why I said “maintain a good weight” as opposed to a low weight). Many of us kept slim effortlessly when we were young, even though we didn’t eat a healthy diet. Now that we are older it’s important to find that sweet spot of healthy eating, exercise, and enjoying life. I’m glad you feel great!

  16. Thanks for sharing this post, Janis. It was a good reminder for me to appreciate the good health I enjoy now and to protect it for the future. Sometimes I look back at my “young” body and wonder why I didn’t appreciate it’s youthful fitness then, before the shifting and softening that comes with age. I do not want to look back on this phase of my life and wonder why I didn’t appreciate my health when I had it!

  17. Good for you. It appears you’ve got a healthy retirement dialed in. I have been totally blind sided by my new retired sedentary life. It’s a battle dealing with that.

  18. I think retiring was the best thing I could have done for my health. When I was working, the extremely long days reduced my opportunities for exercise and healthy eating. We were far away from the people we loved, and the stress was unremitting. I never had enough sleep. Now, as retirees, we have choices.


    1. Like everything else, the most important ingredient is our attitude. I think some people retire and, unfortunately, become less active. The fact that you’ve found more opportunities to be active and exercise bodes well for staying healthy into your retirement. You are right, we have choices and we need to choose well.

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