I saw an elderly acquaintance in the grocery store the other day. I hadn’t seen him in a few years so I went over and asked, “How are you? Good to see you!”
He had nothing good to say about himself. “I’m old, grumpy as hell most of the time and this cold I’ve had for weeks is wearing me down.”
It was a cold, nasty day and I was dressed warmly with a toque on my head, gloves in my winter coat pockets that I slip on when I’m outside and I was wearing winter boots.
This man had nothing on his head and he had the top two buttons open on his shirt. He was a typical man, not dressed for the winter.
“Shouldn’t you be wearing something warm on your head?” I inquired. “It’s a cold day to be going hatless.”
“My hat is in the car,” he retorted.
He was good at giving advice when we knew each other in years past. Now I had just the advice he needed.
People winterize their vehicles. They put snow tires on and have the antifreeze checked and make sure the windshield wash water is filled to the brim. But when it comes to looking after themselves, men are very carefree. So many guys walk about in the cold with nothing on their head as if it were summer.
“Do you take cod liver oil?” I teased. He looked at me, rolling his eyes, “Are you crazy?”
I’m a big believer in taking cod liver oil and have been using it for years. A 500 ml bottle of Norwegian cod liver oil costs around $11 and is much cheaper than the capsules.
The main reason I take a spoonful every day is for my joints. Lubricate the joints! It’s known to decrease pain, morning stiffness, and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Cod liver oil is effective in treating joint pain and can slow, even reverse, the destruction of joint cartilage.
Cod liver oil is a type of fish oil supplement. Like regular fish oil, it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to many health benefits, including reduced inflammation and lower blood pressure.
Most cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of Atlantic cod. Although cod liver oil is a fish oil supplement, it’s quite different than regular fish oil. Regular fish oil is extracted from the tissue of oily fish like tuna, herring, anchovies and mackerel, while cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod. The liver is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D, which give it an impressive nutrient profile.
Here is more advice to stay healthy:
• I never leave the house or vehicle when it’s cold without something on my head.
• Staying healthy during the winter season is about more than avoiding a cold or flu. It’s also about protecting your body. When you’re outdoors, bundle up. Wear a warm coat, put on a hat or toque and wear warm boots that have good grips. Gloves are extremely important when it comes to protecting your hands and fingers and they hold in heat in general to keep your body warmer.
• Get a flu shot. Safeguarding against the flu is important.
• Stay active. I work in the bush during the winter months, cutting firewood. It keeps me active and in shape. I’ve been doing winter bush work since I was a youngster and love it. Staying active will help promote bone and muscle health, control weight, and improve sleep patterns, leading to an overall healthier lifestyle throughout the year.
• Get lots of sleep. Lack of sleep alone can make you feel sick and tired. Don’t be shy about napping during the day when you feel tired at home.
• Drink plenty of water. Don’t buy bottled juices, pop drinks or sugary drinks. Eat lots of fruit and a good variety of vegetables. Make home-made chicken soup.
• Eat healthy. A healthy diet strengthens the immune system, helping the body resist viruses or infection. And don’t forget the cod liver oil!
Maynard Van der Galien turned 71 on Jan. 17 and his physician says he has 20/20 vision. He is a Renfrew County crop farmer and writer.