Senior Health: Just Where is That Fountain of Youth?

If we could just take a few pills and keep our youth, our resiliency, or strength, and our health – life would be so incredibly wonderful! Alas, that’s not going to happen so we must learn how to keep our senior health strong as we age. 

There is much to be said for our mindset when it comes to aging. Each of us knows people who lose their vitality and deteriorate steadily as they age; we also know others who are like an iron horse that just never quits. What creates the difference? Are we in charge of the aging process or is it totally beyond our control altogether? 

There are going to be some genetic factors that we can’t escape.  Those factors create a propensity (a likelihood) that we will experience pre-determined disease or conditions that produce disease.  However, that given, there is so much more in the aging experience that is based on how one looks at the world and choices one makes.  It is that psychological expectation that helps individuals overcome or more effectively manage the genetic code written in DNA. To simply accept deterioration as normal is turning ones back on the mind-body relationship. 

The old adage of strong minds and strong bodies is no less true as we age. Strong bodies, complemented by equally strong minds, do not happen by accident. Exercise for body strength is critical for senior health. One of the phenomena, for example, that naturally occurs in the aging process is loss of bone density. Strength training is a very important component of exercise because it builds bone density.  A fractured hip is a very serious injury that happens commonly in people over the age of 65, due to bone density loss. Complications can be life-threatening. Although most hip fractures can be repaired, prevention (in the form of exercise) is still the better choice. 

Strong minds are as important as strong bodies. For example, studies today reveal that seniors who continue to do aerobic exercise experience increased blood flow to the brain; thus, healthy brain tissue is maintained at the same rate as that of younger people. Another option available to seniors is keeping the brain stimulated with reading books, magazine, puzzles, brain teasers and other ‘brain aerobics’ that send an abundance of oxygen to the brain to support its activity.  Brains seem to love stimulation, and when endorphins start popping, memory loss and deterioration are delayed! 

Remaining active and exercising your body and brain just makes good sense. Otherwise, we can expect to become the rocking chair elderly people that have difficulty thinking, walking, comprehending and most of all thriving. Follow your doctor’s advice for any medical or herbal regimens that are needed but keep your hunger to live, to be the fine wine that ferments to a greater potency.  Living an active life as a senior is worth it!