Happy Leap Year


Arnette Travis

by Arnette Travis
Author/Activist/Advocate, RLACEI Contributing Author

‘Let this be the year you’re ready to leap into the life you’re meant to live. Ready, set, fly!’


o celebrate the extra day we’re given every four years, here’s what I call The Mental and Physical Fab Four, along with a bit of info on how they play into our daily life.

1. What’s Eating You? 

We know that we should eat nutritious foods and exercise to be healthy. But if you are not getting the essential nutrients your body needs, your body’s ability to function in the way nature intended is limited, and in some cases, disabled. If you eat too much or too little, lack of proper nutrition can interfere with the ability to focus and concentrate, and recent research suggests that the risk of dementia can be lessened by diet choices.

  • You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake. Your diet should include beans, fresh fruits (avoid fruit juices), green leafy vegetables and nutrient-dense vegetables (e.g. cabbage and broccoli), fatty fish, avocados, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, garlic and dark chocolate. Eat meat sparingly and in small amounts. (Consult your doctor when making diet changes.)

2. Wet Up

Water is essential to all life forms and makes up about 60 percent of the human body. The main reason we need to drink water is to replace bodily fluids lost through exhaling, sweating and eliminating waste. As we age, the physical sensation of being thirsty can dull and may not occur often enough to prevent dehydration.

  • Drink half your body weight daily in ounces of water to ensure proper hydration. Set a reminder (maybe wear a rubber band around the wrist) to drink water throughout the day.

3. Sleep Time

Lack of sleep impairs physical and mental function, and sufficient sleep boosts your physical and mental functions. Sleep affects growth and stress hormones, the immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure and cardiovascular health. On average, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night to achieve the maximum restorative benefits of sleep.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Limit the use of electronics before bed.
  • Relax before bedtime. A warm bath or reading might help.