How To Live Well Into Your 80s and Beyond!

How To Live Well Into Your 80s and Beyond!

I heard recently that the average person considers being “old” as being 15-years beyond their current age. If that be so, the average 20-year-old considers 35 as being “old”: the average 35-year-old considers 50 as being “old”; and the average 50-year old considers 65 as being “old”. I recently turned 80-years of age... does that mean that I should not consider myself as being “old” until I reach the age of 95, just 15 years from my current age of 80? Consumer Reports magazine had an interesting article in its June 2014 issue titled: “How to Live Well Into Your 80’s and Beyond” that caught my attention because I am already over 80. Of course, very few people want to die or look forward to dying, but if we can maintain our youth and health and “live well into our 80’s and beyond” that would be an exciting concept. In the Consumer Reports article they give “Five keys to a long, healthful life”, which I thought our Health Tip readers would be interested in learning. I will share those five keys they gave to living “a long healthy life” and at the end of the five keys, under “Editor's Comments”, I will share some of my thoughts regarding the subject. But before we get to the “Five Keys”, at the beginning of the article in Consumers Reports, they shared the following: “What you can expect as you age”, was the result of a survey they conducted of 2066 Americans 50 and older. Here were their findings: Have four or more chronic conditions: Age 50-64 15% Age 65-79 37% Age 80+ 52% Take more than three Rx meds: Age 50-64 43% Age 65-79 64% Age 80+ 72% Less active than 10 years ago: Age 50-64 56% Age 65-79 65% Age 80+ 80% Difficulty getting in and out of chair: Age 50-64 10% Age 65-79 10% Age 80+ 26% Live alone: Age 50-64 23% Age 65-79 25% Age 80+ 49% If I had taken part in that survey, my results would NOT have appeared in a single one of the 80+ percentages because none of them apply to me at the age of 80. Now here are the five keys: Five Keys to a Long, Healthful Life
  1. Managing Your Health – Under this heading the article recommended three ways to manage your health: (1) A great primary care doctor; (2) Well managed medications; (3) Health insurance savvy.
  2. Keeping Your Body Strong – This key starts out by saying: “One of the ongoing effects of aging is loss of muscle mass”, followed by five ways to keep your body strong: (1) Get a physical therapy evaluation; (2) Do 150 minutes of cardio every week; (3) Add strength training; (4) Keep your balance; (5) Stay flexible.
  3. Staying Mentally Sharp – Was followed by “The older Americans we surveyed said that losing their cognitive abilities was their No. 1 fear about aging.” This was followed by three suggestions: (1) Remain physically active; (2) Stay socially engaged; (3) Learn something new.
  4. Living Independently – “Our respondents wanted to stay in their own homes, with help as needed, as they got older and required more care”, was followed by suggestion such as (1) Ground floor sleeping space; (2) Bathroom safety features; (3) Lever-type doorknobs and faucet handles; (4) Chairlift.
  5. Moving To An Easier Home – “Renovations and villages aren’t an option for everyone. You might find yourself struggling to take care of a big yard or feeling isolated because driving at night has become difficult. These may be signs that it’s time to relocate to a more aging friendly home.” Some features to look for: (1) Entryways and interior doors without raised thresholds; (2) Wide hallways and doorways; (3) Bathroom, bedroom, and laundry on main floor; (4) Universal design features such as levered door handles, grab bars in bathrooms, and a place to sit while preparing meals; (5) Services, shopping, transit, and recreation facilities within walking distance.
Editor Comments: After reading this article, my first thought was that the writer of this article assumed all people would decline in mental and physical abilities as they aged, and the main purpose of the article was to help people as they aged, cope with this decline. Sadly, all of the ways this article recommended we manage our declining health and mental abilities was based on the use of doctors, drugs, health insurance and different living conditions. ***PLEASE NOTE: Not once did the article suggest how a person could, as they aged, PREVENT or escape declining health or declining mental abilities from occurring! In the church where Rhonda and I attend, they have Sunday School classes for all age groups. Rhonda and I attend the Senior Adults (65+) class. There are about 40 in that class ranging from 65 to 90 years of age. I am 80 years old and among the oldest while Rhonda is nearing the age of 70. Our class meets in the Chapel on the second floor and there is an elevator or stairs available to gain access to the second-floor classroom. As Rhonda and I always use the stairs, it is sad to watch many who are still in their 60s, having to use the elevator. At the beginning of each Sunday School class the teacher takes prayer requests and I am always saddened by the prayer requests for physical problems being experienced by members of that class that they would not be experiencing if they simply changed their diets and started exercising. We attend a church (Turning Point at Calvary, St. Augustine, Florida) with over 1,000 members, and are so fortunate to have a pastor who is concerned about the health of the people. Since we have been members of that church for the past two years, the Pastor has had me share two “God’s Way to Ultimate Health” seminars, two “Biblical Nutrition 101” eight-week classes and Rhonda has just been asked by the Pastor to teach an eight-week culinary class beginning in August. Though we have had hundreds attend these special events to help the people in our church improve their health, sadly, very few seniors in the church have taken advantage of these opportunities. How To Live Well Into Your 80s and Beyond Because I am only 80 years old, I am probably not the best person to write on this subject. :) But because I have reached the age of 80 with a body that is still healthy and muscular and with a mind that is still strong, I believe I have learned and experienced enough to not only help myself age healthy but help others age healthy as well. So let me use the rest of the article sharing some of the things I have learned and experienced that might be of help to others who are getting close to (or already in) what are considered their senior years. According to the AARP, senior years begin at the age of 50.
  • DIETPlease remember this – The foods we eat today, become tomorrow’s body! In other words, the nutrients in the foods we eat today are what the body uses as building materials to build the cells of our body which are constantly in the process of dying, replacing, and rebuilding. The Bible gives us this warning:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth (eateth), that shall he also reap.” ~ Galatians 6:7
We're not just talking about spiritual things, here — it applies to physical things, too! I can’t emphasize this truth enough. Just like your automobile, your body was designed to run on fuel! We wouldn’t think of putting low octane fuel or contaminated fuel into our car's gas tank, yet we think nothing of putting low octane and contaminated fuel in our mouth and body each and every day. God told us what the proper fuel our bodies were designed to run on in the Bible, in Genesis 1:29:
“AND GOD SAID, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed (VEGETABLE), which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the FRUIT of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for FOOD.”
The easiest and fastest way to improve our health and mental state, and extend our healthy years, is to adopt a plant-based diet. See the Hallelujah Acres website for more information on a diet patterned after God’s Genesis 1:29 diet. The diet I have been on for almost 40 years. Another thing to remember is that the fastest way to get high-octane fuel to our body’s cells is by drinking freshly extracted, raw vegetable juices (not fruit juices). Consider this: The juice of the vegetable is the blood of the plant, the part of the plant that contains all of the plants nutrients and life force (enzymes). Green smoothies are the second best way to get nutrients quickly to cellular level. For more information about smoothies, click here. Everybody should start their day with a green smoothie! Click here for ideas on how to do it. I am over 80 years old and have been juicing raw veggies for almost 40 years and having a green smoothie for breakfast for the past several years. The juices, along with green smoothies, along with a diet that is 85% raw plant-sourced foods, is the key to slowing aging and keeping a youthful body and mind.
  • EXERCISE – Lack of exercise is another of the primary causes of declining health, declining mental abilities, heart problems, broken bones, and more.
The article in Consumer Reports under the heading “Keeping Your Body Strong” had this to say:
“One of the ongoing effects of aging is loss of muscle mass. If you don’t do anything to fight it, you could find yourself unable to get out of an armchair or off the toilet one day.”
In days gone by, they used to put a person in the hospital in a bed for long periods of time, but not anymore. Doctors realized that when a person was lying in bed and not using their muscles, muscle mass and tone started to wane. Today, normal practices dictate that a person should be moving around and out of bed as quickly as possible. Because I have personally realized the importance of exercise for a long time now, I have made exercise as important a part of my daily must do routine as eating healthy.
Paul Bragg, who lived healthily into his 90’s, said that he didn’t eat his first meal of the day until he had “earned it” through vigorous exercise.
The first thing I do upon arising each morning is mix a teaspoon of BarleyMax in about 4 ounces of distilled water. BarleyMax is one of the most nutrient dense foods I know of and this gives my body immediate nutrients and energy. A little later I have my green smoothie, and after that I work out on the resistance part of my “Fit 10” exercise system (just 5 minutes). This stresses and builds the muscles in the upper part of my body as well as produces rock-hard abs. The second part of the Fit 10 10-minute exercise routine is 5 minutes running in place for an aerobic workout to strengthen the heart and leg muscles. But instead of doing the 5-minute aerobic exercise part, Rhonda and I go to the beach and power walk, bare-foot, on the beach sand for several miles most every day. Rhonda and I power walk another 2-miles after the evening meal most evenings on the sidewalk where our home is located. In addition, for about a half-hour while Rhonda’s fixing supper, I work out on the Gazelle (exercise equipment) in our family room for both upper and lower body muscle building and strengthening. CLICK HERE for part 2 of this article, as I will share additional steps you can take to keep the brain sharp; how to prevent cancer; how to keep the heart healthy, and much more. Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creek doesn’t rise too high, we will return with another exciting issue of the Hallelujah Health Tip. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.

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