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Recognized Social Butterfly

Advice to myself as I approach 70 years old

Ah, if we all could be like the Matriarch Sarah, particularly those of us who are senior citizens! Jewish sages have commented that Sarah had the strength of a 20-year-old before she died at age 127. What a blessing, considering the chronic ailments that weaken many of us as we age: from arthritis to Alzheimer’s.

Is there anything we can do to prevent or at least lessen these afflictions, or are we doomed to be debilitated? No matter what disease we are suffering from, having a positive attitude can give us strength. Instead, too many of us lament that we have lost our vitality. If we spent as much energy finding productive things to do in our lives instead of complaining and feeling sorry for ourselves, we would be healthier. We can ward off some of the gloom if we frequently connect with family (electronically or in person)—even if it is initially uncomfortable or even painful. Having a network of upbeat friends is another positive step. It doesn’t matter what we do together—play cards, play charades, swap photos, take a cruise to nowhere, just be engaged.   Nor does being home alone have to be a downer. As my once computer-phobic mother-in-law found out, the World Wide Web can virtually be your friend.

Even if our doctors want us to get reconciled to our lot, we can still increase our physical strength. But it will require changing our mindset and our lifestyle. Permanently go on a medically-approved diet; being overweight exacerbates illnesses. Schlep over to a fitness center for at least minimum aerobics, whether with machines or in the water. If we stand more and sit less, we’ll live longer, according to recent studies; and we will feel better. And let’s not forget to belly laugh. Norman Cousins, former editor of the Saturday Review, remarkably recovered from his near-fatal illness with the help of the three stooges and the Marx brothers, good old-fashioned slapstick comedy.


Bronze Conversationalist

@schlomo Your advice to yourself at age 70 is applicable to folks of all ages. I think it would be helpful to start much earlier especially the food/diet and physical activity advice. I agree that having a positive attitude helps people meet life's challenges. However, there are times and situations when a negative approach is appropriate. Lets hope those times and situations are far and few. Having already passed the age 70 milestone, I am offering some additional ideas for all folks to consider. First, if you are a smoker, stop smoking. Second, reduce or eliminate added sugar from what you eat and drink. It is also helpful to reduce the amount of natural sugar that  you may consume (i.e., fruits, etc.). There is no nutritional value to added sugar. However, fruits may provide vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Third, if you do not have access to a fitness center, simply walking can be beneficial. An added plus to walking outside is that you meet other people with the same goal/need. Hope this helps.

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