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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: Being a 'super ager'

© Another Day in the Country

That’s the title of an article in the latest issue of the AARP Bulletin. Maybe you saw it. It’s about people — seniors, over 80 — whose cognitive and physical abilities are not all that different than when they were 50 or 60

As I read, I suddenly realized that I am one of those people. According to them, I’m a super ager.

Whoopee! Not only is it wonderful to be my age and feel pretty normal — still able to do things I enjoy, like teaching art, for instance, or working in the yard — but it’s nice to be recognized!

I do think, however, I would have called this group super seniors. The alliteration has a nice ring to it.

Bottom line, no matter what you’re called, if you are feeling good, doing good, being good, congratulations!

The rest of this column is some advice for the younger set, everyone younger than 80. The rest of the article that I read was dealing with why and how super seniors did it.

In my opinion, some of it is predestined. Notice I’m saying some. If your genetic heritage comes from strong, healthy, long-lived people, you stand a pretty good chance of being the same.

There have been a lot of scientific advances in our lifetime, and those are also helpful.

COVID, for instance, reminded us about the simple fact of how important it is to wash our hands often, to stay home if you aren’t feeling good, and to wear a mask to limit exposure to bugs.

Our bodies are wonderful mechanisms, and we need to learn how to take care of them.

I’m forever grateful that I grew up in a home where I was taught that my body was the temple of the Holy Spirit. That meant that I was taught to treat it with reverence and awe, just as you would if walking into any beautiful cathedral. You don’t munch on potato chips and drop the wrapper in the pew.

Now, I know this is a long time ago, but I didn’t grow up with soda pop in the refrigerator. It wasn’t even in the house. We drank water. My parents didn’t even drink coffee or tea; they drank Postum — which I didn’t like. Once in a blue moon, we’d have root beer floats, as a treat.

In my opinion (there’s that magic phrase again), if you want to live to be a super senior, break the soft drink habit. Once in a while may be OK, but constant consuming, especially of diet soda, is not good for you.

I may start sounding like a preacher, but bear with me; these tips just might be helpful. The younger you are reading this, the more helpful they can be. That wonderful body of yours is designed to heal. There are ways that you can help it out.

Here are three tips to begin with:

  • Drink plenty of water,
  • Limit your sugar intake.
  • Stop eating so much processed (fast) food.

You are what you eat! Most folks take better care of their car than they do their body.

When your body gets sick, this is not the end of the world but a reminder that you need to make some course corrections.

Listen to your body. Does your body need rest? How about a hot bath? What are you hungry for? What sounds repulsive? Pay attention.

Learn about natural remedies. One of the simplest is the use of hot and cold to heal.

Remember those “wheat socks” I’ve told you about? Make yourself one. Just fill a sock with wheat, seal it, and warm it up for two minutes in the microwave. If you have a sore knee or a sore throat, put the wheat sock on it. Heat or cold increases circulation in the area where applied and increased circulation carries away toxins. Google it!

When we get anxious or bored, too often people self-medicate with substances that aren’t good for their body — alcohol, sugar, tobacco, drugs, you name it — all no-no’s if you want a healthy body and aspire to live a long and productive life.

Take good care of your brain. If you don’t know how, do some research. They’ve done brain scans on the super agers I read about, and their brains are bigger, healthier, more resilient than average.

Bottom line, teach your grandkids that alcohol not only ruins your social life but also kills brain cells.

Bottom line, your attitude in life protects your brain cells and affects your immune system. Take this seriously, no matter your age, and make course corrections today — every little improvement helps.

Marion County has an unusual predominance of people older than 65 within its boundaries.

May you all be super agers, enjoying good health as you spend another day in the country.

Last modified Nov. 15, 2023

 

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