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What it takes to age well

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POSTED: August 19, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Ever since I turned 50, I have felt more vulnerable to the forces of aging. For those of you older than 50, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you under, your day is coming.
Last week, I came across an Internet article touting the eight secrets to aging well. I didn’t know we still had secrets out there in today’s world, so I figured I’d better check it out.
Well, all I can say is they weren’t really secrets; they were more like suggestions to a healthier life. Heck, we all know what we should be doing to live longer - I want to know the secrets to help me beat this aging thing.
Guess what? There are no secrets. I think they just made that up so I would read the article and look at all the advertising on the webpage.  Oh honey, by the way, I bought some new tools off the Internet.
Anyway, I should probably tell you that fruits and vegetables still are good for you, saturated fats are not. Eating fish twice a week will lower your triglycerides, and whole grains will keep you moving - literally.  Drinking two cups of green tea per day is apparently good for you, but don’t sweeten it with sugar or you’ll die (OK, I added the dying part, but sugar definitely is on the “no-no” list).
Exercise still is good for you. That’s certainly not a secret. Pumping iron is getting to be more popular for our aging folks. Apparently, it makes your muscles stronger and bigger, which tightens your skin and makes your wrinkles go away. Someone once told me that fat does the same thing, but I would not recommend this kind of thinking to turn back the clock on aging.
One of the more startling things I read in this article indicated that sitting, according to some medical circles, was the new smoking. Say what? I’m curious as to which medical circles are touting this information. The suggestion for super-sitters was to fidget more often.  Come again? I can’t wait to tell Jennifer, my first-grade-teacher wife, that her students need to fidget more in order to stay healthy. That will go over well.  
I admit that being overly sedentary is not good, and eating right is just as important as getting plenty of activity throughout the day. It was surprising to me, however, that the article didn’t mention anything about getting the proper amount of sleep. I guess there’s probably not enough time in the day to do all of the above and sleep, too.
Maybe my old high-school wrestling coach knew what he was talking about after all. We had just a few simple rules to live by during the season, and they match up well to the suggestions in this article.
• Rule No. 1: If it tastes good, spit it out.
• Rule No. 2: If you have a sweet tooth, get it pulled.
• Rule No. 3 and my personal favorite: Rest is for the dead. Good thing I am writing this article standing up!

DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. Email him at Suites.StationExchange@gmail.com

 

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