Age isn’t what it used to be

Yesterday morning in water exercise, we chatted as we worked.
Somehow, the topic of age came up, and I discovered to amazement that the young woman I was talking to was about to reach her 85th birthday.
When I exclaimed in surprise, the person on my other side said she was the same age. From then on, I began to assess the ages of the other exercisers. Some of them surely looked younger than 60, but I no longer trusted my judgment.
All I can say is that age isn’t what it used to be.
When my grandmother died, she was 72 years old. She was young in spirit, but old in body. When my mother died 41 years later, she was 82 and much more youthful than my grandmother. But now, 85 is young.
It isn’t just our perspective. We live differently than our grandparents.
“Fight Aging—10 sure strategies that will make you feel younger at any age” by Dr. Ronald Klatz and Dr. Robert Goldman outlines the strategies that can keep us young.
The first rule in the book is to drink lots of water. “Drinking too little water actually speeds up aging . . . proper intake of water may be why some people don’t look their age.”
So every morning, why not fill an eight-cup pitcher of water and make sure it’ empty when you go to bed. You’ll have younger skin. Your blood will distribute nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, keeping your cells well-fed, young, and vital.
Water even will have a positive effect on age-related vision problems, like cataracts.
Exercise is one of the top strategies for staying young. Klatz and Goldman say 23 percent of deaths by chronic diseases can be linked to lack of exercise.
Walking is still the best exercise for young and old. But if you have difficulty walking, why not try water exercise. You’d be surprise how much easier it is to exercise in the pool.
Exercise is very important for your brain, too. A brain needs oxygen to be healthy, say Klatz and Goldman.
And you also need mental exercise. There are easy exercises that can be fun—crossword puzzles, Scrabble, jigsaw puzzles. Or try playing along with TV quiz shows.
Finally, stay emotionally healthy. Don’t let life’s stresses make you sick. “Stress is the great destroyer. At least 75 percent of all visits to the doctor are stress-related,” according to Klatz and Goldman.
Try these stress-busters as a beginning. Eat nutritious meals. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Resolve problems when they occur. Develop an optimistic attitude.
But most important of all, make time for fun with friends and family. Get involved in organized activities. Have coffee or a meal with your friends. Stay in touch with your long distance friends by e-mail.
Or better yet, meet two goals at once—exercise with a friend.
These doctors know what they’re talking about. Dr. Klatz is the president and founder of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and Dr. Goldman is chairman of the organization.
They begin this insightful booklet with “Almost greater than the fear of death itself is our fear that old age will turn us into physical and mental wrecks.”
The purpose of this book is to “help you stay out of the doctor’s office and the nursing home . . . and help you maintain a keen enjoyment of life.”
Can you imagine a better goal than that?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist.

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