In my family, every woman died before the age of 64! As my friend said the other day when I turned 82, “you have just missed the opportunity of dying young, Beverlye.” That’s OK with me. I have the privilege of having the knowledge that sadly my grandmother, mother and two sisters did not have.
Medicine has come such a long way, teaching us not only about what to do once we have our diseases but how to do preventative medicine. My mother didn’t exercise, my sisters didn’t exercise and my grandmother was way too busy putting out the wash for her eleven children. That was her exercise.
My groundbreaking generation, not only has the opportunity to learn how to protect ourselves from the effects of aging and to push back age-related diseases, but the responsibility to pass that information on to the generations behind us. It’s our job. It’s our pleasure!
Do you remember (those of you in my generation) that little man in his one-piece jump suit that we naively made fun of, Jack Lalanne? Well, we are not making fun of him now. He was way ahead of his time! He lived in a good healthspan until 96 years of age. He drank green juices, exercised every day and stayed the same weight his whole life. His theory was that our bodies needed less food as we grew older and he was right about that too.
I’ve lived nineteen years longer than any woman in my family and I believe it’s because of the lifestyle I have chosen. I drink green juices too, Jack. I exercise every day. I have plans for my future, more speaking, more books, perhaps another documentary or video. I have so many things left to do, so consequently I need my strength to do them. When I feel tired, I push myself to do just five more minutes on the hiking trail. When I’m exhausted I listen to my body and get in to bed. If I need to stay there a day, I do. The next day I am back walking or back at the gym feeling wonderful. I plan events that will excite my brain.
It’s easy to isolate as we grow older. We must fight against that. It’s important to leave our houses (which become our havens) to socialize and to keep our bodies and our minds limber. It is as important as eating healthy foods. Keep looking for firsts. They excite our brain and start our endorphins going. They are there for us, you just have to search fort them. This year I took up Tai Chi. It’s very cool! Find a first and do it.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“Your genetics load the gun, your lifestyle pulls the trigger” - Mehmet Oz
Something will eventually pull my trigger, but it definitely won’t be because of my lifestyle.