Break the rules of aging

It was a long time ago when my husband and I toured a hydroelectric power plant in northern New York state with Lee and Fran, my uncle and aunt. But I still remember how fascinated Lee was with the plant.
Although he had visited hydro plants many times before, he was like a child in a candy factory. And he wanted to see everything there was to see.
Unfortunately, there was a sign that said “no admittance” at the steps to the water-driven turbines. Howard and I were disappointed, but Lee said, “That doesn’t mean us” and headed down the steps.
If it didn’t mean us, who did it mean, I wondered, but followed anyway.
Sure enough, Lee was right. The operator seemed delighted to explain the inner workings of the plant.
I’m not at all like my uncle. If it says “do not enter,” I don’t. If it says drive 30 miles an hour, I usually drive 28.
In other words, I’m a status quo person and rarely take risks. So much so that I sometimes miss out on life—like seeing how a hydroelectric plant
works.
But there is one area of my life in which I always break the rules. That’s the rules and myths surrounding aging.
“Virtually everything we have been taught about getting older is completely wrong,” says David Lipschitz, author of “Breaking the Rules of Aging.”
This renowned geriatrician says the old myths and rules are out of line with what researchers now know. Here are a few of the rules that Lipschitz urges you to break:
•Rule 1: Thinner is always better
Not necessarily. Researchers have established a correlation between thinness and higher mortality rates (of course, the same is true of obesity).
•Rule 2: A little exercise is enough
Not true. More exercise will improve your quality of life. A good exercise program includes aerobic activity, resistance training, and exercising with weights.
•Rule 3: Memory loss is inevitable
Significant memory loss usually is the result of disease. Otherwise, become a life-long learner and exercise your brain with crossword puzzles, reading, and playing games like Bridge and Scrabble.
•Rule 4: You need all that medicine
Many older people are taking too many drugs and mixing them with over-the-counter drugs—a combination that can be deadly, according to Lipschitz. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned.
In this thought-provoking book, Lipschitz not only advise us to break the established rules of aging but, in his last chapter, gives us “Prescriptions for Life.”
1. Love yourself
Self-esteem is one of the most powerful predictors of good health and a long life. He recommends that every morning you look in a mirror and say, “I’m gorgeous!”
2. Find the bright side
It’s not always easy to have a positive attitude, but do your best to be happy. “No matter how bad things get, you still have a lot to give the world.”
A few of his other prescriptions include seeing retirement as a new beginning, cultivating your creative side, and getting in touch with your spiritual side.
And always remember, age is no reason to not enjoy life. After all, this is the part of your life you have left. So break the rules and live it to the fullest!

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