What qualities are the most important if you are to grow old successfully? What constitutes "successful aging?" Possibly it would include great health, not looking old, being free from disease, having financial security, being in control of your mental faculties, optimum weight, enjoyable social life, etc. Have you given much thought to what you want to be like as you grow older, retire, and even after retirement?
Many people have marvelous careers and plan well for their retirement. But I see a sad thing happen over and over again. Man retires, they move to a wonderful retirement community to really be able to enjoy life. Then suddenly...he has a heart attack or she gets cancer. Or maybe one of them is a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. What a sad way to venture into retirement after 40 years of hard work!
While it is true that we may not always be in control of what happens to us health-wise, there are a lot of things we can do to improve our odds of successful aging, things we can do to help insure a healthier, happier retirement.
In Crook and Adderly's book, THE MEMORY CURE, are some very concise, specific guidelines. The key to good health and mental well being, they say, is diet and exercise. While I suppose most people basically agree with that, it would appear that most people don't practice a good diet or exercise near enough.
Exercise should be at least 3 times a week.
The types of foods you consume are very important. Include antioxidants in your diet so they can scavenge for free radicals. Watch your weight and your food consumption.
Learn the side effects of any medicines you take and how to balance any deficiency caused by the medicines.
Never stop learning and keep your brain cells busy.
Include music as an important part of your life.
Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Do not smoke cigarettes.
Take some time to learn how to be healthy. The internet is full of nutrition-oriented websites. I receive several nutrition newsletters by e-mail and I can tell you for sure, that I have learned and benefitted tremendously from the wealth of natural nutrition information shared by the writers. You can, too.
No matter your age. If young...start learning and applying sound health-giving principles now and you'll grow older in a nice, healthy way. If you are already "old" make changes, too. You may soon find that you are not thinking of yourself as "old" anymore!
By Judy Thompson Health and Physical Education Teacher
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