Act Your Age!

October 27, 2010

My biggest pet peeve is when someone tells me they’re ‘getting old’.  It drives me nuts!  I realize we’re all aging daily, but youth is such a gift! I say to those who are getting old: good luck with that…I refuse! 

I’m having such a good time I want to live forever!  Well, at least a long and HEALTHY life.  

The key word here, is HEALTHY.

There are so many diseases, ailments and setbacks as our growing population ages–we’re living longer than ever before.  
Many preventative measures can be taken in our youth to prevent early onset of diseases that come with aging.

Let’s consider some of these:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Knee & Hip Replacements
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Parkinson’s
  • Sarcopenia (muscle loss)

Studies show that these various conditions can be prevented.   Regular exercise is rated among the top 3 in prevention…and leisurely strolls may not be enough.  Vigorous activities such as jogging, swimming, bicycling, playing tennis, doing calisthenics or aerobics were said to be most effective in staving off such diseases as Parkinson’s and Osteoporosis.  When we exercise, we are keeping our soft tissues oxygenated, and constantly regenerating.  Studies have also shown that humans lose musculature as we age.  In fact, more sedentary adults begin to lose muscle as early as their late-20’s!!  In their 30’s, the average person loses between .5%-1% of lean muscle mass per year…and by age 60 the rate of loss doubles!  My advice is to choose activities you enjoy and do them regularly.  Join an age-appropriate gym or hire a trainer who specializes in training mature adults and special populations.  Staying active is key, both mentally and physically.  My parents are in their ‘golden years’ (though they wouldn’t describe them as ‘golden’ at all) and go to their local gym several times per week and get a discount on their health insurance.  Additionally, they work on crossword puzzles, travel and babysit their grandkids to keep their minds and bodies active.  


Below are some (but not all) ways we can help ourselves:
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Reduce stress
  • Ingest vitamins & minerals, and healthy fats such as fish oils
  • Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke
  • Recognize sun safety-use sunscreen
  • Eat colorful fruits & vegetables
  • Reduce red meat & animal fats
  • Reduce exposure to certain chemicals
  • Know your family medical history
  • Get screened regularly–annual physical exams are a must
  • Eat diets high in fiber, avoid sugary & processed foods
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Use your brain: keep learning!  Do crossword puzzles or take educational courses that are engaging
This list may seem like you can’t have ANY fun, but a little preventative maintenance now will keep you having fun well into your 90’s!   

We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!
-George Bernard Shaw
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One Response to “Act Your Age!”

  1. Annemarie Says:

    Love it! Well stated, Jen!


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