6 Secrets to a Good Long Life for Baby Boomers

Old man WorkingAs baby boomers reach that stage of life where we’re slipping off the plateau of middle-age, the quest to extend the good life and live long has become popular (understatement). It’s become necessary. For me, if I want to see my (not yet existing) grandchildren grow up, I’d better live to a hundred!

So it’s no surprise that researchers like Dan Buettner of Blue Zone fame have captured the imagination of mainstream Americans (at least those of us of a certain age). Buettner found, researched and documented areas in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, where an extraordinary percentage of people lived to be 100. I’ve adapted some secrets he found that are practiced by the people on the island of Ikaria, Greece. They live long and well an reach the age of 90 at more than twice the rate of Americans.

Naturally we can’t all move to a remote island and duplicate the Ikarian lifestyle exactly with all their secrets to living long, but I’ve adapted the list of secrets to include those things we can all do if we choose. You will be heartened to know that although having good genes is an important factor, your genes only account for 20% in the quest for longevity. There are a lot more factors, but I’ll share my top six that we can start with:

6 Secrets to Living a Good Long Life:

  1. Eat a variety of Greens – think salad every day and herbal tea—lots of anti-oxidant old farmerrich foods!
  2. Lead an active lifestyle – it’s not about going to the gym. It’s about moving around all day. This is tough for those of us who work on a keyboard all day–but not impossible. It wouldn’t hurt to get a pedometer or Fitbit to see how active you really are and then ramp it up!
  3. Toss your watch – slow down the pace of your life and eliminate the strict schedule and that constant sense of urgency (okay—this one may be tough for some of us!)
  4. Take Daily Naps! (I see people cheering in the audience!)
  5. Become part of your Community – embed yourself deeply in a community of like minded and/or nearby people—in your church, your workplace, your neighborhood, your club, your special interest group (book clubs are good!)
  6. Diet rich in Beans, vegetables and olive oil – and short on meats

We can do this!

Do you use protection… ahh for your skin? Ha! Gotcha! #mgtab

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I don’t know how many of you might be finding a similar situation is occurring with your face but this is what’s happening to mine.

I’m getting blotches and red lines and my freckles are all growing together and I have darker brown spots everywhere now and I………okay breathe!!

Phew… that wasn’t so hard to share…

First I’ll tell you that I’m in my late sixties. Next, I’ll tell you that my doctor told me I wasn’t to go outside anymore without sunscreen. Following his advice for the last few weeks, I faithfully slathered it on before gardening for an hour or so every day. Then, for some strange reason, today I checked the best before date and it showed 12/11.

Whaaa..!!!??  

I tend to hold on to old things – did I mention I’ve been married for 49 years? 🙂

Anyway – I threw the sucker (still half full) in the garbage and started researching skin care for women who spend time in the sun.

Other than exfoliate, use natural products, moisturise day and night, eat right and stop smoking every one of the places I found said this: Stay out of the sun.

Well… that just can’t happen because gardening in the dark doesn’t cut it with me. Therefore, I went back to google and researched sun products for older women. And this is what I found here.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/79294-skin-care-products-60yearold-woman/

Dermatologists consider a sunscreen to be the best skin care product for a woman of any age. It does not matter whether a person is a sun worshiper or not. Anytime a person will be exposed to the sun, the Mayo Clinic recommends applying a sunscreen to the exposed skin beforehand. According to Skin Care Physicians, sunscreens containing a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 are needed for best results.

Truthfully, after discussing this number with my pharmacist, we decided that the 60 SPF is even better. At least I did, and he agreed… humm??

So, at this moment, I’m the happy owner of a large tube of total shield suntan lotion.

Now, all I have to do is remember to add it on each time I go outside and then to wash it off as soon as I come back indoors and use my moisturiser.

When did life get this stressful?

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Life is for the living… #mgtab

This morning we were called by the lodge where my 91-year-old mother-in-law resides. They wanted us to know that she was fading; that they had given her oxygen and Tylenol and were making her as comfortable as possible.

I rushed to sit with her and this is what I found. This tiny little lady, who in no way resembled the vibrant woman I had known and loved for thirty-five years, lay sleeping peacefully. When I searched her gaunt features, a stranger lay there. No longer my friend, my competitor for too many scrabble games to count, my lunch and shopping pal who was always ready to go and play in the stores with me and the person who had shared every Christmas with us since we’d met – this sleepy soul looked ready to meet her maker.

I prayed for her to finally be at peace and to go and join her beloved husband who’d passed on many years ago. Then I was racked with remorse for praying for her life to end. As I sat there, realism seeped in and pushed out the guilt.

I wasn’t sorry this poor, emaciated lady was leaving us. I was just thankful we’d had her in our lives for so many wonderful years.

All the anxiety and stomach clenching dissolved and became replaced it with simple common sense.

Life really is for the living…

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This lovely woman had had her turn and made the best of her lifetime opportunity. Now it was our turn to follow in her footsteps and make our time here count in the same way she showed us by example.

So… when He releases you from the silken chains that bind you to this earth, my dear friend, I’ll be happy for you. And when the tears come, they’ll be for me… because I’ll miss you.

Terribly!

 

Mimi Barbour is a New York Times, USA Today and a best-selling, award-winning author.