Gerontologists say that 70 percent of the aging process is controllable with the right lifestyle choices. Anti-aging expert Barbara Morris agrees, and has written a hot new book, Put Old on Hold that explains how and why at 75, she feels and functions as a 50-year old. She says, “It’s easy when you start early to make anti-aging lifestyle and attitude adjustments. If I can do it, others can do it too. The traditional aging process that our society has adopted unnecessarily relegates middle age people to early decline. There is a better way.”
In Put Old on Hold, Barbara Morris, who works full time as a pharmacist, offers plenty of “what works for me” advice. Here are five of her “power tools” for smart women (and men, when they are not too stubborn to listen!) to help control the aging process:
1. Take control.
Aging is inevitable but getting old is strictly an option. Smart women don’t buy into society’s outdated model for aging; instead, they constantly grow and improve, defying convention and horse-and-buggy traditions and customs. If you don’t take charge of your life, and you just let life happen – life will just happen, and the result will be typical, fossilized old age we accept as normal.
Bottom line: Smart women decide how old they are going to be no matter how old they actually are.
2. Inventory and monitor youthful characteristics.
Observe old people. What is it about their “oldness” you would like to avoid? How strong and flexible are you, mentally and physically? Can you bend and touch your toes? Can you walk up stairs without becoming out of breath? Keep and improve what you can, while you can! Youth makes us arrogant. Every day we see a seemingly unchanging image in the mirror that slips away even as we admire what we see.
Bottom line: Smart women stay aware of what they have and work to keep it.
3. Plan your future.
By age 50, smart women have a plan for a healthy, productive second life at retirement age because they know they will probably live to 100 or more. In 1950, there were a mere 2,300 centenarians. Today, there are over 40,000. By 2050 close to a million people will be 100 or more.
Bottom line: Smart women maximize their future by protecting and building their health, and visualizing their future.
4. Avoid the ultimate social disease.
No, it’s not sexually transmitted, it’s worse than that – it’s self-inflicted, and it’s called retirement. Once you internalize that you are no longer productive, that you no longer have goals, decline sets in rapidly. Everything slows – movement, reaction time, thinking, walking, talking. The mind and body go into a shutdown mode in preparation for the final event — death.
Bottom line: Smart women rewire instead of retire.
5. Manage and fix correctable symptoms of aging.
For example, a slow shuffling gait, poor posture, unattractive teeth, and uncorrected hearing loss. Invest time, effort, and money where it matters: Buy a treadmill and use it daily to maintain a youthful gait, cardiovascular fitness and weight control. Get on an anti-aging diet, and do weight-bearing exercise daily to stay strong and upright.
Bottom line: Smart women manage how they change with age.