My Tips for Staying Young

I’m 81.5 years old, but I feel and act much younger. I never think of myself as an old man. These are my healthy rules.

Sleep is important. If you don’t get adequate sleep you will not want to exercise, prepare meals, and other rewarding activities. I feel best with a good 8 hours of sleep.

When I go shopping, I park my car far away from my store, at the far end of the parking lot. This gives me an extra slice of exercise, but there are other pluses as well. I save time by not looking for a place or waiting for someone to move their car out of the space. There is also less chance that your car will get dinged. 

ponder each day. I have trouble meditating, and in fact, I have given up on trying. I ponder instead, and it works for me. Ideally, I do this during my walk. I try to find a beautiful Redwood tree. I stand and ponder by the tree. I would like to be like a Redwood: Strong, dominant, forceful, persistent, patience, and persevering. Redwood trees are resilient and that is just how I want to be. I also ponder my goals: Have fun everyday, do a good deed each, be a better person. 

I do as much as possible outside. Humans were meant to be outside. My daily walks are outside, but I like to do many other fun things outside. I talk to neighbors, I garden, and I eat lunch and dinner outside when possible. 

I do resistance training. I have a thing about doing pushups. I can do 40 pushups to the max. I also do tricep pushups on a bench. Burpees are big these days, and I am working on getting up to ten perfect burpees. I have a set of dumbbells in my house that I use for various exercises. I try and do these two to three times a week. I also do skipping and galloping while on walks. I will break into a good jog pace for 100 yards or so.

I do a six-minute Tai Chi routine. It is Yang-Style 24 moves. I do this at some point during my morning walk.

I grow ten different herbs in my garden. I use herbs in my cooking, and eating herbs adds to a more vibrant lifestyle. It’s a healthy eating habit.

My goal is to walk, ride my bike, or hit the gym daily. I mostly walk, but I ride a bike when the weather suits my needs. The gym is last on my list; it is not my favorite place to exercise.

Cooking is therapuetic. I cook healthy meals for the most part. We eat red meat occasionally, but we like beans, lentils, fish dishes, soups, and pasta. I use herbs and spices liberally.

I’m fortunate to live on a terrific block. We have several neighbors that are friends. I’m also lucky that Janelle and I have several close friends from college. It’s good to socialize. We also have friends who are younger than us. They think differently, and it’s good to hang around them.

Self-care is essential in the later years. Take care of your teeth, keep up with the vaccines, and have an annual doctor’s visit that includes blood work and more.

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