Live a Long Life: Eight of the Best Tips for Healthy Aging

 

Welcome to another great guest post by Kaki Zell. Thanks SO much, Kaki!

 

Whenever a person turns 100 or older, friends, family and even reporters ask them: “What’s your secret?” Centenarians and supercentenarians (those who have lived past their 110th birthday) often have unique takes on why they’ve lived so long — 117-year-old Emma Murano said the secret to longevity is “being single,” while the third-oldest verified person ever, Nabi Tajima, said the key to a long life is “eating delicious things.”

Based on their responses, there is no one secret to aging past 100 — but there are a few ways to encourage healthy aging at any decade that are backed by cold, hard data. Until we discover the Fountain of Youth, here are some of the things you can do to foster healthy aging.

 

 

  1. Eat Well and Exercise — The two fundamentals to a healthy life at any age are diet and exercise. What you eat and how much you move have major effects on how you age. Nutritionists recommend eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats in order to provide your body with the right amount of nutrients. This healthy diet will also help prevent weight gain, which could lead to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
  2. Get the Right Amount of Sleep — Like diet and exercise, sleep is fundamental to good health. The National Sleep Foundation warns that people with sleep problems are at a much higher risk for significantly diminished health. Untreated sleep disorders — including insomnia, excessive sleepiness and sleep apnea — have also been linked to heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic or life-threatening diseases. Beyond getting enough sleep at night, studies also show that napping is good for you, so go ahead and relish that afternoon snooze.
  3. Boost Your Circulation — To live a long, healthy life, you need to get your blood moving. Poor circulation can prevent your body from staying healthy, healing well and functioning properly during everyday activities. In other words, it can hold you back from the things you want to do in your twilight years. Wearing compression gear as part of a compression therapy program is an easy way to improve your circulation so that blood can properly transport essential oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body. Putting on a pair of compression socks each morning can also help reduce foot and leg pain and swelling as an added bonus.
  4. Travel as Much as You Can — Looking for an excuse to finally book that luxury cruise? Here’s one: it can actually help you live longer. Research shows that those who do not vacation annually are at a 30 percent higher risk of developing heart disease. Other studies indicate that there’s a link between happiness and travel, so sunning on the beach or touring a famous landmark might benefit your mental and cognitive health, too. The primary reason taking a trip can support health and well-being is that it’s a surefire way to decrease stress, which is often the silent culprit behind many of our most pressing health issues.

  1. Take Up a New Hobby — There’s a wide variety of hobbies and activities that are linked to better health and happiness, from sports (for the obvious reasons) to writing, which improves cognitive performance and concentration. There are a few other activities you may be surprised to learn can prolong your life, including reading, gardening, playing chess, playing an instrument and cooking. Learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby is an excellent retirement activity and can connect you with likeminded people to foster social connections, so it’s an all-around win.
  2. Take Care of Your Teeth —Many people are surprised to learn that there’s a connection between the health of our teeth and the health of the rest of our body. The American Heart Association says that gum disease — the buildup of plaque that can cause tooth decay — shares risk factors with heart attack and stroke, and doctors often use oral health as an indicator of heart health. Good oral health also helps prevent bad breath, dry mouth, sores and cavities, which can cause stress and low self-esteem. So, the next time your dentist scolds you about not flossing enough, take it seriously!
  3. Stay Social — Study after study confirms the notion that good friendships help you live longer, so making your lunch and dinner dates a priority is certainly a good strategy to vitality. Loneliness is closely linked to lower mortality rates, with some studies suggesting that it could be as dangerous to your health as smoking. Similarly, those with stronger social relationships have a much higher (as much as 50 percent) likelihood of survival. The fact is that social connections are fundamental to a healthy lifestyle right alongside diet, exercise and getting enough sleep, so make sure you’re spending plenty of quality time with friends and family.
  4. It’s All About Prevention — An ounce of prevention is worth… well, you know the saying. One of the best things you can do to ensure that you live a long, healthy life is to practice prevention. With so many new medical advancements and insight, there is simply no excuse not to take the preventative route as often as you can. You can practice effective prevention through diet, exercise, regular health screenings, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting your consumption of alcohol and processed foods. Make sure that you monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly as part of your prevention plan.

Thanks again, Kaki!

Comments are always welcome.

I’ll be back again next Sunday–or whenever I next have something to say. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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The Growth of a Hobby

I’ve been interested in technology since I was a teen. Even then, my fascination was with all things audio. I’ll never forget buying a Webcor reel-to-reel tape recorder. (Even if you recall reel-to-reel recorders, how many of you recall Webcor products?) Unlike those cheap little recorders that were so popular then, this recorder could record in stereo. And since each channel had its own record button, that allowed me to record two tracks of any of my songs I wanted to record. Voice and guitar. Or even two guitar parts.

Years passed and technology changed and grew. I bought a four-track recorder that recorded on cassette tape. I was starting to get a taste for what could be done with multiple tracks. I could play guitar on one, bass guitar on another, and sing on a third. I used the fourth track for simple percussion; I’ve never been much of a drummer.

And then I upgraded to an eight-track analog recorder, not to be confused with those eight-track players that played those humongous tape cartridges. But this one also recorded on cassette tapes. And not the cheap ones. But that was okay. Being able to harmonize with myself and add additional accompaniment–sometimes additional guitar parts, sometimes strings or other instruments from my keyboard–was challenging but worthwhile.

And then I decided to switch to a digital eight-track recorder. I don’t recall how much it cost, but the prices on equipment like that had come down considerably. No longer was I limited to recording on cassette tapes. The new baby used a special kind of diskette that retained every bit of clarity I would ever need.

I still use that recorder, although it’s quite outdated now. Many musicians who record at home do so with their computers, using specialized software.

I seriously doubt I’ll ever do that. I don’t do nearly as much recording as I used to do. I’m not sure whether those diskettes are even manufactured anymore. But they’re entirely reusable, so that’s not likely to become a problem.

My newest gadget deserves mention, however. It’s a tiny, hand-held stereo digital recorder that makes broadcast-quality recordings. At least it would if it had broadcast-quality microphones. But recordings it makes can be easily uploaded to my laptop and edited there. (The inability to do that is a real drawback with the eight-track recorder.) I use it mostly just to record each of the songs I share at my church’s weekly nursing home ministry.

So here I am–a committed amateur musician who records as many of his songs as possible–for posterity, if nothing else–and posts the best of them, the nursing home recordings included, on his website.

Do you have a hobby or interest that started small and has grown larger or at least more important to you over the years? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

Links you may be interested in checking out:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger