If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.
(quote attributed to various people like Cary Grant, Mickey Mantle, George Burns, Eubie Blake and Adolp Zukor)
Yah, do I really want 20 years of failing health, a declining mind and increasing dependence on others?
There is an alternative! You can take better care of yourself and make a difference – no matter what your age. Interestingly, many of the activities that lead to extending well-being are actually enjoyable.
Here are a few examples to get you going.
Research by the Cooper Institute shows that those who exercise in mid-life are more likely to live disease-free until their last year or two. They get to enjoy an extended life.
Nice for them, but what if you weren’t into exercise when you were in mid-life or even now? There is good news on at least three fronts.
One, the biggest benefits from exercise is making the shift from being sedentary to being active. Of course, the more active you get the bigger the benefit.
Two, even those who are considered elderly and frail benefit from regular exercise. In one study after just 3 months of a supervised exercise program, frail individuals experienced improvements in physical ability, memory and quality of life.
Three, Studies show that people typically lose 8% of their muscle mass each decade after 40 years of age. This is significant because the loss of muscle mass means that your metabolism burns fewer calories and weigh gain can become a problem. The loss of muscle mass and strength can also become a problem for injuries doing routine activities. While you may not win a body building contest, recent studies show that exercise can maintain and evern regain muscle mass and strength in all decades after 40.
Mood and Energy
A gloomy outlook is no fun and it is not good for your health. A solution, brisk walks or some other form of activity. It stimulates brain chemicals that make you feel better, reduces stress, and even helps you sleep better and have more energy during the day.
Most of us fear the loss of mental acuity with age. Still on the exercise theme, regular exercise can reduce
the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Not only is the quality of life better, along with independence, exercise reduces the loss of brain volume, especially in areas related to memory and new learning.
Want to learn more, download our paper, Lifestyle, Well Being and Longevity