Daily Choices and Your Health

How much do your day-to-day choices determine your long-term health and well-being? When it comes to longevity, Sophie, 95, has great genes. Most of her blood relatives have lived well past the age of 80. Now a resident of a local assisted living community, Sophie enjoys brunch, bingo, brain fitness and the occasional bourbon. Sophie learned to drive when she was 57 years old. Before that she often walked to and from work and to do errands. Throughout her 60s Sophie continued an active life, teaching, housekeeping, sewing, going on family camping trips and hosting neighborhood parties. Her quick, dry wit kept her smiling through many challenging times. She worked until 65 as a second grade schoolteacher. Even after she retired to Thousand Oaks at age 87, her assisted living bus took her to the second-grade classroom where she volunteered weekly. She joined the local church, taking pleasure in the people and the message.  Sophie is an example of good genes, good choices. The...

The Other Side of 50

How old is “old”? One adage says it’s 10 years older than whatever age you are. That may be true, but one thing for certain is we’re all getting older. With each birthday our bodies creak more noticeably or we do a 5K a little more slowly or we forget more often why we went into the next room. Whether you’re 50 or 60 or 101, things happen that you haven’t faced or even thought about before. According to research, how you perceive aging affects how long you will live. A study that followed 660 people for 23 years showed those with positive perceptions of their own aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those with negative perceptions. This effect remained after other factors such as age, gender, income level, loneliness and health status were controlled. What’s so great about aging? Good question. Our society prizes youth and beauty above all. Messages about aging usually emphasize the negative aspects. But, like fine wine, people should get better as they age....

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