What are the secrets for healthy aging?
My second cousin and her husband are visiting this weekend, while attending a wedding. We are friends as second cousins because my Great Grandmother lived to be 101 and was her Aunt. We have a generation gap because Great Grandpa was the oldest child and my cousin's Grandmother was his younger sister by 18 years. Our ancestors lived long lives - not easy lives as they grew up in a cabin that was homesteaded in 1862 with no indoor plumbing and tried to earn a decent living as farmers. They always told us that hard work was the secret to healthy living but definitely good genes help too.
It is interesting that many people who were born in the beginning of the 20th Century have lived long lives - even without all the modern luxuries we enjoy. Yet, not everyone today is living longer, even with our knowledge of healthy living. Many aspects of aging are made more difficult when a senior is overweight or has failed to exercise or eat the right foods. Many seniors also may have quit smoking years ago but because they did smoke for 20 or more years, they now are suffering from emphysema or lung disease.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and other age-related diseases can often be slowed or reversed with proper diet and exercise.
Are you taking care of yourself now, at whatever age you are? There are many health issues we all cannot control but if you are eating right and exercising and controlling your stress level, you will increase your odds of living well as long as you live. It is especially important for Caregivers to take the time to care for themselves.
My favorite resource for healthy living is Dr. Andrew Weil. He is well educated (Harvard) but also has been in the trenches and understands the challenges for healthy living in America. He has traveled the world to meet with herbalists and local doctors to learn other culture's secrets for living well and living long. He believes in healthy aging, rather than anti-aging - because the fact is, we are all going to age. His website offers recipes, vitamin information, and answers to health issues.
I did get to meet Dr. Weil a couple of years ago at a seminar on healthy aging which he and his associates at the University of Arizona hosted. They were all "mature" - in their 50's or older - and one thing I noticed is they all seemed healthy, and even more amazing, really happy - they were managing their lives well and the joy showed.
Dr. Weil has also written a cookbook with one of Oprah's former chefs and has a skin care line which is sold by Origins. Check out his website and his products and you'll probably learn something new - he is a huge fan of mushrooms and all their benefits and even uses them as an ingredient in his skin care products.
And, feel free to share with us any tips you have for healthy aging.