By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Robert Sweetgall, author, speaker and walker extraordinaire, spent Wednesday in Morrison County talking to residents about living healthier. The sessions were sponsored by Healthy Communities Collaborative and Live Better, Live Longer.
Sweetgall’s scheduled talks included wellness at the workplace, adding years to one’s life, motivation to move and Nordic walking.
While Sweetgall said he was an introvert, his talks were lively with many anecdotes on his travels interspersed with his desire to help people live longer and healthier.
Sweetgall has authored 19 books on the subject of a healthy lifestyle, adding years to one’s life and life to one’s years. He has also walked seven times across America.
While walking is his primary focus, he said that there are several things people need to help them live longer, healthier and happier. They include:
• Having good physiological and physical health;
• Being safe;
• Practicing good nutritional habits. He recommends reducing red meat, sugar and dairy consumption;
• Sleeping well, which he says comes from daily physical activity;
• Seeing the humor in life;
• Reducing stress;
• Keeping connected with friends and family;
• Being able to cope with loss;
• Volunteering and improving one’s humanitarianism;
• Learning something new every day;
• Embracing one’s spirituality; and
• Maintaining a positive attitude.
Sweetgall was impressed with what Morrison County is doing to increase the health of its citizens. The Farm to School program, Healthy Communities Collaborative and Live Better, Live Longer programs were just what every community needs, he said.
“Everyone needs a Day of Caring every day, or at least weekly,” he said. “People’s plates are too full.”
Jokingly, he did say that the Day of Caring is great, but if the homeowners did their own yard work, they would live longer and be healthier.
He recommened taking a daily walk before work and taking life with a grain of salt.
Sweetgall said he is worried about the next generation.
“It’s the first time since the Civil War that children are expected to live a shorter life than their parents,” he said.