My Grandmother Lived to be Over 100 & She Never Worked Out!
It’s true I had a grandmother & a great -grandmother who lived to be over 100 (101 & 103). In fact of the 4 adults (grandparents) from whom I descended they all lived long full lives, my memories of childhood did not include anyone dying young nor did they include anyone working out, in fact, more than a few of them were heavy smokers, they ate LOTS of bacon & enjoyed a cocktail or two. There were tales of my great aunt Marie, who died of scarlet fever at age 11 (that kinda thing happened in the 1920s) & my great uncle Rudy, hit by a trolley car, at 29. Everyone else it seemed lived full lives & passed of old age related things. It appears I was truly blessed with great genes! Why then why is it, I ask myself, in an age where life expectancy is on the rise, why did both my parents die at age 66? What is different?
Let’s look at some other things they, my grandparents, probably NEVER did
- They never spent as many hours glued to the TV, phones & computers, as we, as a culture do
- They never ate at (fill in a fast food joint)..well not until later in life & rarely even then
- They never drove places as much as we do, one of my grandmother’s never had a license, I walked miles with her when I was kid, I googled the route we often took, it was 3+ miles! Even when she was in her late 60’s and beyond & she did it with style, she LOVED a great pair of shoes & purse to go along…I do miss my grams
- They didn’t have desk jobs..hard labor for my people
- They didn’t exist on a diet of nearly ALL processed foods, I am astounded what is in what we eat and what is considered food
SO back to my gym skipping, bacon-eating ancestors, what was their secret? What did they do with this spare time of theirs? The gym can take a lot of time, to be clear, I for one don’t plan on giving up going anytime soon.
1 They ate their Veggies-My mother’s parents had a fresh salad of escarole or other mixed greens at nearly every meal, with a lemon & olive oil dressing, summers with fresh garden veggies were heavenly! We could all plant a garden, but that isn’t the easiest solution. In today’s get it now world, this can take a bit of planning, that we just aren’t used too! INVEST IN YOURSELF, MAKE TIME! Personally, I think it can actually be easier with the vast amount of food available in nearly an instant it seems, healthy choices are out there. Quite simply, start adding more veggies to your day!
2 They Moved their bodies -Well heading to the market every day on foot, didn’t happen in an instant I can tell you, neither did the meal prep. All of our fabulous technology has taken us to phenomenal new heights of knowledge, but it is keeping us down physically, you already know this, you need to move more! (need some tips)
3 They exercised their minds-They read a lot. Books upon books, my nondriving grandmother walked to the local library a few times a week for a new supply, lugging a bag of books along the way-nice workout for the body & the mind! Books aren’t your thing, find something that is, puzzles, word games, math games.
4 They Hung Out! Make some time to connect. Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking. how can we reconcile our lives & job necessities, with living a healthier life…Today’s good news, online connections can be beneficial too! (NO NOT THAT KIND) Support groups, Facebook groups, networking, learning..shouldnot completely substitute for human interaction, however, our busy schedules often demand it. I have an eclectic group of online friends I stumbled into that I thoroughly enjoy interacting with. I have local people that I get to connect with online ALL the time & gather with people who feed my social need in both online & in-person interactions. I strive to constantly connect with people who inspire, entertain, and empower me.
5 They did something that fed them daily and seemed happy– a study of things most centenarians have in common, found, they did something they enjoyed daily & it wasn’t necessarily always a “healthy thing”, a good cigar, some bourbon, a walk in the park if you are going to partake-do it to the fullest enjoyment and embrace it. As far as HAPPY! The “never complain, never explain attitude” can be detrimental if it’s something you ALWAYS do, but it seems that complaining about all that isn’t good has become a national pastime. I am not condoning covering up things but why not start with all the good stuff 1st, just saying out loud some good things about your life, you may just get caught up in a wave a positivity! Think about what you say when asked: “how are you today?” Think of something good! MY GO-TO response is I am HEALTHY (more ideas on how to be positive)
6 They drank -yup they drank, but in moderation, it was a celebration! Or to console “how about a highball to take the edge off” (this needs to be said with a Jersey accent, for full effectiveness) This was done as healing, a commiseration, a group intervention of the best kind, a group sigh..not an entire coping mechanism and rarely to excess.
Cold hard facts are most of our issues are due to our lifestyles-short of giving it all up for a shack on the beach-we need to make small changes that will return to our simple pleasures & former lifestyle if we are to increase our chances of surviving long & healthy lives. It’s just that simple
Cheers to your Best Self!
*items here are intended for entertainment and information, should be not be substituted for medical advice, health concerns should be directed to qualified medical personnel.