Dr. Art: Simple Steps for a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life

Thanks to the Winds of Change and the Rotary Club of Pemberton I was able to attend the Speaker Series at the Pemberton Community Centre, featuring Dr. Art Hister, last Monday.

Dr. Art Hister

Having previously seen him on his 5 minute Global BC health spots, I was interested to hear his perspective and thoughts on how to live a longer, healthier and happier life. However, I wasn’t prepared for the fact that he is so small! I’m only 5′ 4.5″ myself, but he is tiny!

He is also full of handy tidbits of information and hilarious anecdotes, which made him a pleasure to listen to as he flicked quickly through his powerpoint presentation.

But I was able to take away some interesting points, including the fact that women in Canada live, on average, 5 to 6 years longer than men. The current average life expectancy for men is 78.2 years compared with 82.9 years for women, however, it is still better than the average of 45 years lived in the early 1900s.

So what did Dr. Art put this down to? Why do women live longer than men?

  1. Women generally have greater support systems and they tend to talk to friends and family about their health concerns. Men keep their concerns to themselves;
  2. Women are less adversely affected by stress or are just better able to deal with it;
  3. Women get better quality sleep than men (although this point was disputed by the ladies in the audience!).

Furthermore, most women make better life choices and follow the advice of health professionals whereas men don’t listen; to their bodies, their doctors or their family and friends.

And with that he offered his 7 most important health practices and the most common sense approach to life:

  1. Don’t smoke;
  2. Exercise regularly;
  3. Eat a balanced sensible diet (think Mediterranean);
  4. Minimise stress levels;
  5. Maintain a healthy weight;
  6. Get better quality sleep;
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation.

(Point 7 used to be higher up the list but he found that no-one bothered to read anything after that so moved it to the end!)

When it comes to exercise the principle is easy to remember – B.A.R.F.!

  • B-alance
  • A-erobic
  • R-esistance (doing weights)
  • F-lexibility

Change Your Life

His final words of wisdom to living better:

  1. Think more positively;
  2. Get married;
  3. Drink lots of coffee (it is a bean after all!);
  4. Forget anti-aging miracles (his tip – add 10 years to your age – you’ll always look good that way!);
  5. Forget supplements and a specific number of cups of water every day;
  6. Avoid processed foods and low fat products (they add worse things to make the product taste okay);
  7. Watch less TV (ie get up off the couch and move about).

I left the community centre feeling a little happier. Yes I could do with losing a little bit of weight but at least I get out of the house each day to walk the dog, I eat a fairly balanced diet with very little processed food, I have never smoked and, for the most part, I get a good nights sleep and don’t drink to excess. Plus, even though I am [slightly] older than my husband I am destined to outlive him if the law of averages is on my side!

So thank you Winds of Change, Rotary Club of Pemberton and Dr. Art Hister MD, I shall now look forward to my longer, healthier and happier life in such a beautiful and caring community such as this.

On a final note, I am still participating in the #50DayWellnessChallenge by drinking 2 x 800ml bottles of water every day. I must admit I did only drink 1 bottle one day but on the plus side that’s still double the amount I was drinking before!

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