98 year old Tao Porchon-Lynch- “I don’t believe in age. I believe in energy. Don’t let age dictate what you can and cannot do
93 year old Charles Eugster- “That’s exactly what I’m saying. People can start a new life, a new job, rebuild their bodies, whatever their age.”
86 year old Anna Pesce- Months of yoga with a scoliosis specialist straightened her back that had ben humped over for decades.
They tell you to enjoy your youth because getting old sucks. You shrink, get wrinkles, can’t move as fast, get sick more often, and the list goes on and on. We are consistently told from birth that growing old is terrible and once you get there you start to lose the ability to drive, go places on your own and even live alone. Its like this crazy conspiracy to get people to feel useless once past a certain age. Well I have met many people in my life who defied those stereotypes and said “Screw that! I’m going to live it up until the day I die.” The three people above are in that camp. The world said now you are out to pasture and they replied with a resounding “No I’m not.”
There is a lot that does happen as you get older to make getting healthy and staying there tougher. Osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass due to lower HGH (human growth hormone) and your body basically has just been used more than a young persons has. BUT and that is a huge but, It doesn’t have to mean you are out to pasture. We know so much more about fitness, nutrition, and the aging process then we did even twenty years ago. How you take care of your mind, body, and soul is a big indication as to how you will fair in the “golden years.”
The first thing is to reduce stress and help your mind and body work for you. There are so many ways to do this. Meditation, yoga, floating with sensory depravation, short vacations (even if it is just a few days watching tv at home) and many more. Finding reasons to laugh and see the positive side of life can have such a profound effect on your health. According www.apa.org “Multiple studies have shown that these sudden emotional stresses — especially anger — can trigger heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death.” It can make you age quicker inside and out and also compound on itself and make future stresses worse. So slowing down a few minutes a day can give you a reboot that will give your body a better ability to handle stress in the future.
Second is fitness. Its amazing how much we are capable of but tell ourselves we can’t do. www.branhq.com says “Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.” What that means is that as we get older we generally think our brains lose clarity and function which is why grandma starts to need to be reminded who you are from time to time. But regular exercise help combat that and it some cases can prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Staying socially and physically active have been found to make these diseases less likely to develop.
Learning new things that are outside of your comfort zone helps keep your brain healthy which in turn keeps the rest of you healthier. So learning a new language or a musical instrument, or learn to paint. This helps you keep your brain from deteriorating.
Nutrition has such a big impact on longevity as well. How you eat in your twenties, thirties, and forties can determine the health you have to deal with in your sixties, seventies, and eighties. But at any age you can make a change and notice dramatic changes. There was an experiment where they took people with type one and type two diabetes and had them all go to a ranch. They were only able to eat a raw vegan diet for thirty days. It varied from person to person but they all improved in the their illness. Most lessened their medications and some were able to get off medication completely. They all lost weight as well which adds to the health benefits. Now you don’t have to go that extreme with your nutrition but adding vegetables and more healthy selections can really give you a big bump in how you feel.
The last thing that most people who live long healthy fit lives have is a positive attitude. Perception is reality. If you think you will get tired, old, and saggy no matter what you do then you will bring that to reality. Equally in the other direction if you decided that you don’t want to slow down and you want to live life to the fullest till the last moment then you will find a way. You hear people say all of the time that their body just doesn’t work that way and they have this illness or this condition that prevents them from getting what they want. To them I usually say that every person who gets fit in the older years has obstacles. The difference between them and you is that you let obstacles stop you and they don’t.
Whether you are thirty, sixty or a one hundred and five year old asian man who loves to run how you treat your mind and body determines how far into life you get. Believe that you can. It may take longer than others or happen slowly over time but my favorite solution to that sort of impatience is if you want something then tell yourself “It takes as long as it takes.” If you really want it then there is no time limit and nothing that will get in your way. Just like Buzz Lightyear says “Never give up! Never Surender!” Who says you cant get life affirming advice from a cartoon. Eh?