Going gently into that good night? How about living to a vibrant, ripe old age until you drop off your tree?
Growing older is something many people dread, but what they really dread is pain, poor health, dementia and dependence.
So, your health is your wealth – without it, life can be pretty miserable at any age.
What to do?
Your everyday choices have the biggest effect on how long and how well you will live – from what you decide to put on your fork to whether or not you go for that walk.
Even tiny changes can be fun, delicious and liberating. You can still enjoy a coffee and a glass of wine, fabulous food and a nap after lunch.
Knowing what you are doing and why, helps you keep up the momentum, until putting life into your years become a set of habits that lead you to enjoy every day.
Your body wants to keep you functioning. Fortunately, nourishing food, sleep, meaningful activities with family, friends and your community, plus laughter, love, intimacy and the ability to relax can all support your body’s ability to maintain itself daily.
Colourful, fresh veggies and fruit; beans, whole grains, fish or shellfish, various nuts and olive oil, provide the materials for the job.
Find activities you enjoy that increase your heart rate, such as walking, gardening, cycling, swimming, making love or dancing.
Did you know that sugar can make you burn fast and die early? This is true for yeast cells, mice and humans.
On the other hand, a little careful food restriction over a few days can do you good. We evolved with food shortages. Our bodies use those times to ‘clean house’.
Look up Dr Valter Longo’s “The Longevity Diet”, or Michael Mosley’s 5-2 diet, to find good examples and more detail on building fasting without going hungry – into your life. Check with your GP before fasting, and definitely don’t fast if you’re using insulin.
When fasting we burn off fat. We also hunt round our bodies for cells that can be recycled; the damaged ones; the infected ones, the unhelpfully over-active ones. We burn those too and keep going, then when eating regularly again, we rebuild with fresh, new versions. This helps to keep our organs young.
Fun, food, fasting and frolics help you live until you die, still with a twinkle in your eye.