4

votes

What are your priorities for having a fit and active old age?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 24, 2011 at 1:11 PM

What do you think are the most important factors in staying fit and active into your old age? I'm more concerned with quality of life than quantity so I'm not interested in how to extend life beyond say my eighties but I'd like to be mobile, free from pain, independent, etc. So what are the most important elements to concentrate on? Joint mobility and suppleness? Muscle mass? Attitude and mental agility? Social factors - a good circle of friends - plenty of hobbies? Keeping the weight down? D you have an aging plan?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 06:50 AM

@REnee - ignoring doctors is not the same as working on your health so you don't see them.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 06:49 AM

Yes, if you have common cold. Anything more serious and he will send you to specialist and he is stranger.

499f188c87c6980742b9ba98caa6f563

(683)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Yes, yes! By the time I'm 70 years old I want to be a Special Snowflake.

499f188c87c6980742b9ba98caa6f563

(683)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:08 AM

If you go see the same doctor many times, then the doctor is no longer a stranger.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:46 PM

+300 for making music.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:44 PM

(I got you back to zero as I think the negative votes are unfair.) I am 64 and I think your goal is very legitimate; many doctors today are way too quick to over-prescribe meds and most people I know have as many symptoms from their meds as they do from their health. I was one of those people until I said ENOUGH to all the pain and migraine meds. My health improved a lot without them and has stayed better, so it depends on what your prescriptions are for. Doctors are needed for dental health and cancer screenings, but you can check your own blood pressure/glucose.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

oh good one, forgot about the social part. plus one!

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

sleep....that is about it. i have a feeling genetics will play the biggest role

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I've had to change my ways in my 60s. Before, my life was centered squarely on nuclear family and work. Now, I am a full-time RVer and have learned to seek and enjoy the social interactions as opposed to spending all my time with books and TV. I also have a number of pets, which was part of my lifestyle decision, so I am never alone AND all that animal/human contact is predominantly positive.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I just think that one shouldn't leave such important aspect of life to strangers.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I just think that you should leave such important aspect of your life to strangers.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Oddly, I actually enjoy seeing my MD because he's totally wellness oriented, hip about hormone health, diet, exercise, mental set, and more. I come away inspired from our conversations. However, I totally get your point about wanting to avoid docs in general.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Write that book, DF. There's so much to be explored about the mysteries of birth and its lifelong legacy, so to speak. Have you perchance investigated the clinical and theoretical work of Stanislav Grof, MD? Fascinating observations from scientifically based LSD research (circa 1950s-60s), and subsequently from what he calls "Holotropic Breathwork."

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on October 24, 2011
at 02:42 PM

I make two or three doctor visits a year for prevention. My mother never saw a doctor either and she ended up diagnosed with stage IV appendix cancer. Now she sees doctors a lot!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:51 PM

I'll mention that they eat quinoa, kasha, legumes, etc. However, they never really eat processed things like bread, canned beans, etc. Whatever grains and legumes they eat are in whole form and cooked at home and consumed in a meal with fat and protein. They eat dairy but only as yogurt which they eat for breakfast with fruit and flax I think

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:49 PM

hell yes. I'm with your observations all the way

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8 Answers

6
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:49 PM

This is good question. I do indeed think that having more rather than less muscle mass will lead to a better quality of life through your later years.

However, and I???m basing this on two examples ??? my 60 year old father and his 70 year old wife, I think there are three basic tenets:

  1. eating meals you make yourself from un-processed foods
  2. simply staying active (yoga, tai chi, making and delivering art, entertaining guests and so moving furniture blah blah)
  3. having a circle of friends and acquaintances

The two of them are never sick, always ready for whatever, seem to have more energy than those half their age, are always happy, remain lean, don???t fuss over food at all yet cook everything, eat well and enjoy it all. They set the bar pretty high.

Coming at things from the other side here are things they never do that randomly come to mind:

  1. eat processed food
  2. think about things like paleo, low-fat, this that or whatever
  3. complain or generally be negative
  4. see doctors
  5. be inactive (they just keep busy in a pleasant, un-neurotic way)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:51 PM

I'll mention that they eat quinoa, kasha, legumes, etc. However, they never really eat processed things like bread, canned beans, etc. Whatever grains and legumes they eat are in whole form and cooked at home and consumed in a meal with fat and protein. They eat dairy but only as yogurt which they eat for breakfast with fruit and flax I think

5
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on October 24, 2011
at 02:35 PM

I am a nurse in an old folks home. I want the opposite of everything I see there.

4
F3920b85be76a5d8cf466d805bfb99e4

(638)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I think the most important factor is the social factor. One can eat well, move well, look well but if there's no one in your life who gives a rats ass about you then it won't matter too much. Plus, if you have important relationships there's a lot more incentive to be well.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:40 PM

oh good one, forgot about the social part. plus one!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I've had to change my ways in my 60s. Before, my life was centered squarely on nuclear family and work. Now, I am a full-time RVer and have learned to seek and enjoy the social interactions as opposed to spending all my time with books and TV. I also have a number of pets, which was part of my lifestyle decision, so I am never alone AND all that animal/human contact is predominantly positive.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:53 PM

My priority is not seeing a doctor. Period. Everything else will be OK if that basic tenet is accomplished. There is only one thing worst then not caring about your health - to let unknown people do it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 06:49 AM

Yes, if you have common cold. Anything more serious and he will send you to specialist and he is stranger.

499f188c87c6980742b9ba98caa6f563

(683)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:08 AM

If you go see the same doctor many times, then the doctor is no longer a stranger.

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on October 24, 2011
at 02:42 PM

I make two or three doctor visits a year for prevention. My mother never saw a doctor either and she ended up diagnosed with stage IV appendix cancer. Now she sees doctors a lot!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I just think that you should leave such important aspect of your life to strangers.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I just think that one shouldn't leave such important aspect of life to strangers.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 24, 2011
at 05:44 PM

(I got you back to zero as I think the negative votes are unfair.) I am 64 and I think your goal is very legitimate; many doctors today are way too quick to over-prescribe meds and most people I know have as many symptoms from their meds as they do from their health. I was one of those people until I said ENOUGH to all the pain and migraine meds. My health improved a lot without them and has stayed better, so it depends on what your prescriptions are for. Doctors are needed for dental health and cancer screenings, but you can check your own blood pressure/glucose.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:12 PM

Oddly, I actually enjoy seeing my MD because he's totally wellness oriented, hip about hormone health, diet, exercise, mental set, and more. I come away inspired from our conversations. However, I totally get your point about wanting to avoid docs in general.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 25, 2011
at 06:50 AM

@REnee - ignoring doctors is not the same as working on your health so you don't see them.

2
Medium avatar

on October 24, 2011
at 06:43 PM

If I continue to walk 6-8 miles a day, it should be sufficient for fending off lower body sarcopenia and bone weakening (assuming sufficient intake of D3, K2 etc.) but I'd probably need to at least do 1 set to failure per upper body muscle group per week to keep those muscles and bones from atrophying.

Oh yeah, all that spiritual crap too.

499f188c87c6980742b9ba98caa6f563

(683)

on October 25, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Yes, yes! By the time I'm 70 years old I want to be a Special Snowflake.

2
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 24, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I want to be strong enough to have kept MS from kicking my butt, and be able to remain independent and manage my own, small, off-grid, sustainable place -- just a little 2 br bungalow (1 br if my mate of 15 years decides not to do this with me), a cow, a couple of pigs, some ducks, and some small raised-bed gardens -- nothing fancy or huge -- and do it with style, like my dad is doing at nearly 90.

In light of that, I prioritize this way:

  1. Eat good, whole, organic food, as locally-produced as possible
  2. WRITE -- a LOT -- and share my stories as much as I'm able
  3. Invest in my spirit, and open myself to the Universe's oracles every day
  4. Smile a LOT, laugh a lot, and do my best to bring joy to other people's lives
  5. Work hard at the things I choose to work at, and don't let myself be bullied into investing my energy in things I don't believe in.
  6. Re-balance "things" in my life, so they don't take up so many resources.
  7. MAKE MUSIC -- a LOT

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:46 PM

+300 for making music.

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:38 PM

I love your question & all of the elements you mentioned are essential, IMO!

I think the most important element is mental attitude. I see myself getting stronger and more flexible in every aspect of my life as I get older; physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally & socially.

A friend of mine is 53 and regularly inspires me with his walking handstands. My husband (55) has been adding some bodyweight resistance training to his daily yoga practice & is seeing some great muscle growth. I'm working on my handstand pushups and getting up to my goal of 5 dead-hang pull-ups by the time I'm 50 (I'm currently 48.)

To your list, I would add expanding into the work I love & creating a legacy. For me, that means writing a book or two and contributing to cultural change in the birth community.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 24, 2011
at 01:49 PM

hell yes. I'm with your observations all the way

Medium avatar

(8239)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Write that book, DF. There's so much to be explored about the mysteries of birth and its lifelong legacy, so to speak. Have you perchance investigated the clinical and theoretical work of Stanislav Grof, MD? Fascinating observations from scientifically based LSD research (circa 1950s-60s), and subsequently from what he calls "Holotropic Breathwork."

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 24, 2011
at 04:05 PM

My personal Shah78 at 90 yrs of age wish list. Two to three daily bowel movements, (nicely formed), the ability to take a two mile walk in 40-45 minutes five days a week, the ability to attain a usable erection so I can pleasure a woman, or atleast myself, the ability to chew an occasional raw vegetable, the strength to sit down on the aforementioned toilet 2/3 times a day without groaning or hand rails, to carry my class of 78 banner at my 70th college reunion parade of classes and leave the rest of the classmates in the dust!

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