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Youthful Encouragement
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A couple of months ago, my husband and I decided to up our health habits to the next level. Especially Mark, who had noticed that his blood pressure readings were, for the first time in his life, a tad bit high. So we started eating more simple, whole foods, eating less refined foods, and adding a few supplements. Mark also added working out with weights and jogging.

Winter months at the family lumber business can be pretty slow, so Mark used the slow time to jog around the showroom. Our nephew Dave, who is an avid runner, learned about this and made a point to encourage his Uncle Mark. He gave him tips about how to gain more endurance and reach longer distances by gradual measures, and he spoke with such enthusiasm and conviction!

Continuing with the jogging tips that David had shared, Mark did gain more endurance and has lost about eleven pounds. He has also gained muscle tone and is looking pretty fine, I must say. The most important thing, though, is that these changes are turning back the clock in over all health.

People our age (50's) often make plans to improve their health and to make lifestyle improvements. And we should! But it is especially encouraging to be cheered on by people who are younger than we are. If you are a young person, don't underestimate the influence you can be in sparking the interest for fitness in those of the previous generation. Here are some ways you can do it:


1. Notice. When you see someone older than you running or working out or walking, give them an encouraging word, or even just a thumbs up. They might be on the verge of quitting when you come along and give them a youthful pat on the back.

2. Offer your help. Maybe someone in your family, a neighbor, or a co-worker is struggling with health issues. They know they need some lifestyle choices in order to improve, but they just don't seem to get started. Offer to be a coach and if you have time, be a partner.

3. Check up. If you have encouraged someone older to begin an exercise program, check on them from time to time. Everyone wants to be remembered, and almost everyone responds to encouragement.

4. Praise success. If you notice the pounds coming off or muscles shaping up, say so! And don't forget to tell them they're looking younger!
David's enthusiasm told Mark very clearly that he had every confidence in him becoming a runner. Staying young is the work of each person, but a little encouragement from those who are still bubbling with energy is a great inspiration.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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