A wise sage once said that it was his intention to die young at a great age! And there are indeed many octogenarians and older who still look good, are active, healthy, trim and have all their mental faculties.
Ageing is a fact of life. No-one looks forward to getting old, and some people go to drastic lengths with scalpels, implants and drugs to try and avoid it. But is there really anything we can do to retard the ageing process and prolong life, or is disguising it all we can do? Should we embrace the ageing process, or fight it? Should we grow old gracefully, disgracefully or under heavy disguise?
Life expectancy has been rising. Today, British men and women can expect to live well into their eighties, women longer than men. Is there anything we can do to deliberately prolong life and maintain good health into our eighties, nineties and beyond? Well, barring accidents there is.
What’s the secret?
Attitude is one of the things that thriving senior citizens have in common. Ageing expert Dr Marios Kyriazis says, ‘Our attitude towards old age plays an important part in our own longevity. Many people consider advanced age to be a disadvantage instead of a positive asset. They expect old age to be a period of decrepitude and suffering instead of a period of new challenges and new experiences.’
Choose your parents and grand-parents wisely!
Medical evidence suggests that longevity runs in families. A major French study of centenarians examined every aspect of lifestyle and psychological make-up and found only one common factor – they all came from families of long-lived folk.
Some people seem genetically programmed for a longer life. Some scientists believe that every person is born with an individual biological ‘clock’, preset to a certain expiry date. They are confident that one day they will find a longevity gene, and when this happens we will be able to extend our natural lifespan to one hundred and thirty or beyond.
We cannot do anything about our genes, but we know that certain lifestyle changes keep the main life threatening diseases at bay.
Refuse to accept the effects of ageing
People with a strong desire to stay young take better care of themselves. And people who look younger than they are have more energy, suffer less anxiety and make love more often than those who look their chronological age.
Recent research suggests that you will live longer and be healthier if you get your bodyweight down to around twenty-percent lower than the current recommended weight, while maintaining a full intake of vitamins and minerals.
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing!
A Sense of Purpose
People who have a sense of purpose, know what they want, are self-motivated and take responsibility for themselves are more likely to live long. Senility is rare in people who have maintained a lively interest in the world around them. This is probably the greatest factor of all.
‘Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished:
If you’re alive, it isn’t.’
©David Lawrence Preston, 16.7.2016
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