A Zoomer's advice on a healthy – and 'fair' – life

Mirror, mirror on the wall.  Who is the fairest of them all?

I knew what the response would be. Why you, my dear April! Look at you! Another new year has begun and you look fabulous!

That is not exactly how it went.

The mirror sneered and said, “You may be fair, my dear April, but what on earth is that you are carrying around your middle?”

Taken aback, I replied, “Why, those are my love handles!”

“Love handles!” came the retort. "I hear you have given up men…what on earth do you need with love handles!”

I hung my head in shame. “You have a point there, oh merciless mirror, but it seems I had a relationship with chocolates instead over the holidays. Perhaps I was a little too indulgent but give me a break.”

“I will not!” came the indignant response. “What kind of example are you setting for all those Zoomers out there who look up to you as an exemplary model for “the new vision of aging?”

I was not going to let my miserable mirror get the better of me. I held my head high, pushed my shoulders back and stared at him directly.

“I shall challenge you, you reflective ranter, you glassy gasbag! I can tell you what Zoomers require to maintain fitness. And I bet you don’t know the number one and most important thing Zoomers can do to protect their health!”

“Sleep!” was the mirror’s immediate response.

“Good answer!” I agreed. “Sleep is an important way for our bodies to rest and restore themselves. It is nature’s way of healing our tired and stressed bodies. But it is not the number-one preventative strategy.”

“My turn!” I jumped in before he could say another word. “Exercise and more exercise. This could be simply brisk walking, doing stairs or yoga. It could be strength exercises with weights or soup cans. Anything to get off the couch and avoid a sedentary life!”

I was on a roll now. “Did you know research has shown that the best way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is by exercising? Huh, DID YOU?”

Score: one all.

Not to be outdone, the mirror proffered his next answer before I could catch my breath. “Proper nutrition…eating sensibly. And that doesn’t include boxes of chocolates!

The mirror was beginning to sound righteous now and was getting on my nerves.

“Yeah, yeah,” I conceded.

Feeling a little cocky now, I piped up. “And what about social interaction with others? Bet you never thought of that one. Being with people with like interests will keep you mentally active and keeps depression at bay.”

Score: two all.

“Smoking, as in no smoking!”  the mirror spat out vehemently.

“That’s a no-brainer,” I chided. “And alcohol in moderation…preferably only in social situations. Drinking alone is a bad habit to get into! You still haven’t hit on Number One!”

Score: three all.

I could see the panic written all over Mirror. He stammered and stuttered and finally admitted defeat. “I give up…what is it?”

Expanding my chest with my competitive spirit, I blurted out, “Flossing your teeth! There is research showing the co-relation between gum disease and cardiovascular disease! The best way to stay fit and healthy is to floss your teeth!"

The mirror looked disconsolate.

“I won!” I yelled obnoxiously. “Now mirror, who is the fairest of them all?”

“Why you are my dear,” the mirror replied sheepishly.  “Doing anything Saturday night?”

April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP, a national group committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada.' She writes monthly.



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