Another gorgeous September day! It is paradise for any cyclists, runners, walkers, gardeners, golfers, tennis players and anyone who loves the great outdoors. We have been blessed with dry, perfect temperatures and plenty of sunshine all month. I wish the day like today would never end, and that I had an unlimited amount of days like these. All who know me well have heard that I’d like to live to be at least 100. I’d like for my 3 kids to throw me a party on that fateful day (if I make it until September 6, 2040), but not to make it a surprise! I’m always on the lookout for books and research studies that examine longevity and how centenarians live their lives. Aside from moving to Japan, Switzerland, San Marino, Italy and/or Singapore, which all have the top ranked life expectancies-(anywhere from 83-85 for females), I’m doing my best to be here well into older age.
Two new books, Dr. Hillary Tindle’s “Up” and Lauren Kessler’s “Counterclockwise” seek to unlock the mysteries of successful aging. “Counterclockwise” deals with what you can do physically to preserve yourself through older age. Its focus is on exercise, nutrition, stress management and lifestyle, while “Up” deals more with mental attitude.. It’s no big surprise that people who are more optimistic live longer, happier lives despite some recent research that suggests that pessimists have an edge when it comes to going to the doctor and getting an earlier diagnosis when they think something is wrong. Current estimates suggest that a full 70% of the disability related to aging may be caused by factors within our control. Genetics only accounts for 30% of factors that determine our overall health. I have clients that refer to their parents when they try to imagine their own life expectancy. “Well, my mother died of breast cancer at 45……”. “How many years ago?”, I ask. “It was In the 70’s”, they answer. Needless to say, cancer diagnosis and treatment are light years ahead of where it was 40 years ago! Also, many of my clients are living much healthier lifestyles, watching their weight, exercising regularly and living entirely different ways than their parents, who may have smoked, been overweight, and exposed to many environmental hazards and made dietary choices that we now know are toxic.
The good news is how much we can control, manifested in our choices of caring for our minds and bodies. Check out the following article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/health/counterclockwise-and-up-in-pursuit-of-longevity.html?smid=tw-nytimeshealth&seid=auto and the aforementioned two books along with another of my favorites, “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge M.D, and “Younger Next year for Women” by the previous authors along with Gail Sheehy.
Here’s to health, happiness and enjoying many more beautiful autumn days!