Healthy Living



Achieving Senior Status

One of the benefits of living to our senior years is that perspective and expectations are greatly enhanced by previous life experiences. When I was younger and engaged in my career I still set aside time to exercise - often by lifting weights and running. I gave little thought to running where vehicle exhaust fumes were evident, industrial fumes and other sources of air degradation prevailed. Since I grew up in the midwest and lived the majority of my life on the east coast or midwest it was just a fact of life to accept the low quality air or water in the environment.

What We Are Willing To Accept

Exercise even in less than prime conditions was better than no exercise at all. I joined a gym and different work out centers which have their own smells inside and then came out into less than favorable air which I was accustomed to living and working in every day. I ran in a beautiful city park approximately 18+ miles per week not even considering the air quality or the occasional burning of my eyes or lungs. I was so used to the poor air quality which I accepted it without any serious thought.

Aha Moment

When we finally retired and moved to live out the remainder our days in the mountains of S. Colorado at 9,800’ elevation I discovered what fresh air actually smells like and how city water or bottled water differs from pure well water (215’ deep) in the mountain. When I draw a glass of water from the tap now and hold it up to the light it is absolutely clear, sparkles and has a fresh sweet taste unlike any water I previously had including bottled water. How I accepted poor air and treated water previously now made me question why I had not paid closer attention in the past.

Factory Noise and City Pollution

When I go outside and take a deep breath of air and smell the freshness now I become invigorated by the smell; it is free of manufactured odors that I had previously become so used to. I grew up in an industrial city and lived a few blocks from a drop forge and auto manufacturer. Everything then depended on which way the wind was blowing as to the odor and quality of air and we adjusted our lifestyle accordingly.

At 9,800’ Elevation - Less Oxygen

Life at 9,800’ is not all ideal however. Not everyone can adapt to the thinner oxygen level and clearly my heart has to pump harder to get sufficient oxygen to my body. If you already have a heart condition life at high elevation can exacerbate the condition. However, if you have high  blood pressure over time living at a higher elevation can actually lower blood pressure. In our 21+ years here I have had several physicians explain these health factors to me.

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