Need a New Year’s resolution to live healthier? Here’s something you can embrace from a baby boomer who has proved his own commitment to good health: Vancouver, Canada-based screenwriter Michael Stephen McGuire, an active boomer who is focused on good health. What’s the commitment? No coffee.
I once used to drink two cups of coffee a day, one first thing in the morning and the other around noon. Having just two cups was a lot better than many acquaintances who drank much more coffee than I did, or so I thought. I enjoyed my coffee, the routine of it, its aroma in the kitchen, the smell of it in coffee shops.
Though I knew coffee wasn’t healthy, I had no desire to quit. I looked forward to that first cup each morning as I planned my day.
In September of 2013 though, I developed a skin irritation that was persistent and irritable. My doctor referred me to a specialist whose first words to me were to “stop coffee.”
But I only drink two cups a day, I countered. It didn’t matter. He gave me a list of other foods and drinks not to consume (chocolate, soft drinks), but coffee was the first and foremost antagonist. “You’re probably addicted to it so it will be tough to stop,” he told me. “Stay off coffee for three months.”
Coffee is a stimulant, which is why so many drink it to get motivated. Various opinions say that minimum coffee use is okay, maybe even healthy. But it is addictive. It dehydrates our bodies and raises our blood pressure, which leads to other adversities.
I wanted my skin irritation to heal, so I developed a strategy to allow me to quit. And it worked, and it was actually quite easy.
I had to replace coffee’s stimulation. I remembered riding my bike to the fire hall during my working days as a firefighter and on those mornings I didn’t bother having a coffee because I knew that within a few blocks, I’d be stimulated anyway from the exertion of riding my bike.
So why couldn’t I do this each morning, even if it didn’t involve riding my bike. My first morning without coffee, I ran on the spot for thirty seconds and breathed fast.
IT WORKED. I was stimulated. I did this routine every 90 minutes those first days and I was amazed how easy it was. When feeling groggy in front of my computer, I’d breathe fast and deep for 20 seconds. This woke me up and motivated me each time.
Without drinking coffee any more, my body soon felt different, and better. I digested my food longer and more effectively. Within 10 days I was sleeping better. What’s more, my skin irritation disappeared. I know that I’m healthier without the daily dose of coffee and I am confident and knowledgeable about how to live without it.
We baby boomers must evaluate our own health and take command of how much coffee we drink, if any. If I return to coffee at all, I now know how to keep it at a minimum.
To jog on the spot or to breathe fast for 20 to 30 seconds stimulates us. If you wish to quit drinking coffee as I have or at least to reduce how much you drink, you now know how.