Tag Archives: old

Aging Well

Aging well with a healthy lifestyle

From Aging Beyond Belief by Don Ardell

Don Ardell racing

Don Ardell

Everybody knows this at one level, but many unconscious desires, hopes, and particularly frustrations occur when the reality is not accepted at the deepest, unconscious level. Getting old is not as good as being young in many ways, aging is part of life. Accept unavoidable facts as cheerfully as possible.

Two systems of concern are bones and muscles. In time, bones become less dense and lose mass and minerals. This, of course, weakens the bones and makes them vulnerable to fracture. Muscles also lose mass and strength, in part due to less water in the tendons and ligaments, leading to added stiffness. The cardiovascular system is affected because the size of the heart increases a little, as does blood pressure. More important, your maximal heart and heart recovery rates diminish. An ambitious fitness routine delays all this substantially.

Unlike your bones and muscles, the decline of other body parts or systems with advancing age are less responsive to vigorous wellness lifestyle practices. That is to say, these systems are going to deteriorate whether you stand on your head, run marathons, eat a perfect diet (whatever that is) and do absolutely everything as well as it can be done. These systems include the following.

  • Hearing – the cells of your inner ears are damaged by normal wear and tear of sounds over time. The auditory canal walls become thinner, eardrums thicken and it becomes more difficult to hear higher frequencies.
  • Brainpower – the number of brain cells (neurons) diminish with age, though the number of connections between cells increase in some areas of the brain.
  • Kidneys – the size of your kidneys and bladder capacity are reduced. The kidneys become less efficient at removing wastes from the blood.
  • Reproduction – men produce fewer sperm and suffer loss of testosterone; women produce less estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, for starters.
  • Eyesight – There are losses in ability to produce tears, the retina gets thinner and the lens yellows. Almost everyone over forty learns the meaning of the word “presbyopia,” a visual condition in which loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye causes defective accommodation and inability to focus sharply for near vision.
  • Skin – you really do become “thin skinned,” or at least your skin thins even if you don’t become quick to take offense. Also, your sweat and oil (sebaceous) glands are less active and skin moisture decreases.
  • Nails – Grow half as fast as they used to. Who cares? I suppose some women do, but of all the inevitable changes, this is one I won’t mind in the slightest.

Of course you never know, there may be extraordinary advances in the years to come. All you have to do is live long enough in order to benefit. However, be careful – some advances might never come to pass, in which case you could find yourself hanging around, waiting forever.

Many advances are on the horizon it seems. Scientists just might develop impressive new memory-boosting strategies and life extension techniques. How? The possibilities are limitless. Maybe the key will be found in estrogen or testosterone. Maybe proteins of some kind or stem cells or gene therapies will be used to solve neurological problems associated with aging that will preserve cognitive function, prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, asthma, infectious diseases – and aging itself. Maybe, but probably not in time to work for you. The best strategy is to adopt a wellness lifestyle.

We can greatly affect the quality of our lives. Life quality is very much subject to lifestyle actions, even if the ratio between birth and death will always to one to one. Clearly being old isn’t what it used to be. A wellness lifestyle will allow you to remain younger in important ways as long as possible. Live well and enjoy each day!

Donald Ardell is the author of Aging Beyond Belief: 69 tips for REAL wellness. R = Reason, E = Exuberance, A = And, L=Libery.  Aging Beyond Belief

How Old Am I? I am the Age I Want to Be.

Be Happy at the Age You Are
By Leigh Anne Jasheway

Leigh Anne Jasheway

Leigh Anne Jasheway

I used to subscribe to a magazine for women of a certain age (no, it wasn’t Seventeen) but I got so tired of the monthly advice on how to prevent looking old by adopting fashion and beauty trends of younger women that I stopped reading it. This reminds me of that old cliché from childhood, “If all the other kids are jumping off the roof, would you do it too?” Only in this case, the magazine insisted that I do it in 4″ stiletto strappy sandals and false eyelashes. And that I post my status to both Facebook and LinkedIn on the way down.

The best way to keep aging from getting you down is to stop thinking about how old you are and get on with your life. If you let a number stop you from doing something, wearing something, or thinking something, you’re letting math win. And that’s worse than letting the Packers win. (Ed. From a die-hard Vikings fan.)

Leigh Anne and Friends

Leigh Anne and Friends

On Monday, I gave a presentation to the Lions Club. I showed up wearing an above-the-knees black & white polka dot skirt and an orange v-neck blouse. I know Lions — they’re mostly men in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and I wanted to make sure the oldest stayed awake. (Side note: I once did a presentation at a nursing home and afterward a woman came up to me and gushed, “My husband didn’t fall asleep once!” High praise indeed.) I was the younger woman and I got a free neck massage and dozens of great laughs out of the morning.

On Wednesday, I went to a comedy show in which several of my friends were performing, including Virginia Jones from Portland. I wore jeans and a casual, yet somewhat sexy shirt. I sat with the comedians, who ranged in age from 22 to 30-something. I was the older woman and I got lots of laughs and lots of great conversation out of the evening.

If I’d said to myself, “I’m only 50, I don’t have anything in common with 80-year old men,” I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself so much with the Lions. If I’d said, “I’m over 50, I shouldn’t be out at 11:30 at night on a Wednesday hanging with people half my age,” I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself so much at the comedy club.

I have a quote on my office wall that says, “Some people pursue happiness, others create it.” If you want to create a happy life, forget your age. Act your strappy sandal size instead.

Leigh Anne Jasheway

Leigh Ann can be found at the Accidental Comic.

She has written Don’t Get Mad Get Funny available from Whole Person AssociatesDontGetMadGetFunny