THE GOLDEN YEARS

ht_the_golden_years_02_mt_141210_28x15_1600 Part IIWhat are the golden years? These years have little meaning for most of us until we reach approximately 50 years of age. At this point (if not sooner) we begin to experience various changes in our physiology that begins to interfere with our ability to perform activities of daily living. These changes might include:

  • a loss of range of motion

  • pain

  • reduced energy

  • reduced strength and stamina

For many, these changes come on gradually and are viewed as “annoyances” rather than debilitating events. These symptoms are classic examples of degeneration that has occurred over 20-30+ years and has culminated in the (eventual) onset of SYMPTOMS. This gradual process can be minimized with preventative measures!

We all know the term preventative maintenance. Few people practice this concept, however, because culturally we have been willing to sacrifice our health for “pleasurable” destructive behaviors and activities. We don’t think in terms of sacrificing our health; in fact, most people don’t think about their health until it begins to fail them.

Ironically, we’re excited about living a longer life expectancy without giving second thought to what this actually means. For those people willing to live without regard to necessary healthful lifestyle choices that prevent and/or slow down the degenerative process, this prolonged life expectancy is likely to provide:

  • frequent doctor visits (with various specialists) to maintain ongoing chronic diseases accompanied by 6-10+ prescriptive medications for the remainder of life

  • increased pain (typically from osteoarthritis creating loss of mobility and function.)

  • heart disease

  • respiratory compromise

  • chronic recurring infections

  • recurring hospitalization

  • dementia

  •  boredom

  • fear

  • anger

On the other hand, these same people will require less time planning for:

  • vacations

  • physical activities (golf, bowling, tennis, softball, etc…)

  • family visits (requiring travel)

  • maintaining their independence

Many of my patients use to tell me, “getting old stinks!” I would respond by asking them, “what alternative do you recommend?” In most cases, they would simply laugh and I would politely, smile back. In reality, I was thinking to myself, “there is a better alternative than aging this way.”

We can RESPECT or ABUSE our bodies over a lifetime. We can (in most cases) expand the time horizon to live a lifestyle of choice and freedom or be prisoners within our skeletal frames living longer life expectancies with drugs and other artificial devices necessary to “maintain our existence” FOR US.

WELCOME TO THE GOLDEN YEARS!

Which path will you choose?

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.

In other words, dare to be different and do what is necessary to achieve the life you desire, regardless of what others may think.

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48 comments

  1. Yeah…that alternative to getting old isn’t the best either. Lol

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    1. Certainly wouldn’t be on my list of options! 😀 Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I rejected physical activity in youth, was inept at most sports, seriously underweight. I got wise in my 30’s and 40’s, got serious about exercise, entered the 50’s and 60’s looking and feeling better than ever. It’s never too late to start. Nice post. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are a smart man. If you don’t mind me asking, what motivated the change in attitude? Readers of my site often help motivate other readers. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew to what I considered a “normal” weight for my size, and the energy level picked up. I felt better and was motivated by becoming a mother. (My blog name is not gender-specific).☺ I started with yoga, moved on to jogging, found the runner’s high to be addictive ! Never looked back. Thanks, Doc. ❤️

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        1. First, let me remove my foot from my mouth. Next, please accept my apology for assuming your gender incorrectly.
          As a doctor, my patients usually informed me that becoming a mother attributed to their downward spiraling health lifestyle. They were too busy and unable to find the time to do what they knew they should be doing. It is refreshing to hear the exact opposite from you. Would I be accurate guessing your active lifestyle has translated to your child/children? I wanted to ask rather than imply to avoid having to take my other foot out of my mouth as well! 😀

          Stay in motion (one of the major keys to healthy living) and always smile. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will help other readers as they see that children need not be an impediment to healthy living. In reality, they can be a wonderful enhancement!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. No worries, Doc. It happens all the time with the name and the logo.☺ Mine was a conscious choice… my mother was overweight, always blaming it on having 6 children. I had only 2, but didn’t want the pattern of poor choices (the real reason for the weight gain) repeated. And yes, my 2 are very active, always. My daughter gave up a high stress career to become a yoga teacher. My son…daily workouts and walks miles at a time. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I came from a family where morbid obesity was present. I can relate to your desire to avoid a similar pattern in life.
              I’ll bet your daughter is much happier not having to contend with a high stress career. I can’t think of a job or career worth reducing one’s life expectancy for! As a doctor I had plenty of stress, but it was countered by the passion, purpose and meaning of the work. Watching the “light bulb” turn on in my patient’s minds and seeing the positive transformations so many of them pursued made the stress worth it. It is nice to say if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment.

              Hope the two children will be around this weekend to help celebrate Mother’s Day. Enjoy your special day!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thanks so much, I surely will. ☺

                Liked by 1 person

  3. “In other words, dare to be different and do what is necessary to achieve the life you desire, regardless of what others may think.”

    Before I turned 30, I heard a great deal about “changes” that I could expect to my person. Before I turned 40, it was the same. I have never experience any of those “changes” that all the negative voices around me have so willingly shared. I love the point that you make at the end. Part of healthy living, I think, involves ignoring the negative sentiment surrounding all the problems that “we should expect” with “aging”. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There certainly are no guarantees in life regarding longevity and quality, but the more we are willing to respect our physical, emotional and mental needs, the better the chances of living a lifestyle of choice. Aging is a natural process. Focusing on the things in life that add meaning and purpose will greatly enhance the quality as opposed to complaining about the limitations we never had when we were in our 20’s. We are capable of experiencing more joy and happiness in our lives than we credit ourselves.

      Staying positive as you recommend plays an important role.
      Be healthy and happy and enjoy your weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will. You have a wonderful weekend also!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed everything about this post, and the quote at the end just encapsulated everything so beautifully. We pride ourselves in state of the art technology that will make things more “convenient” for us, but is physically killing us slowly. Elevators, escalators, you name it, we use it. Every once in a while when coming off the underground subway on my way home from work, I observe how many people will choose to take the stairs up the ground level and how many opt for the escalators. Without fail I would say more than 80% opt for the escalators. These are office people like myself who already spent an 8 hour work day sitting…this is where your quote really resonated with me. In Africa many buildings have elevators and escalators but a lot of them don’t. People are forced to exercise whether they like it or not. Who knew a slow down in technological advancement could be a blessing in disguise.
    Then there is Stanley Thomas, the 94 year old that still lifts weights, runs and competes. Being normal is not getting us anywhere, its time to be weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your energy and enthusiasm. You were placed on this planet to help guide those in need (without a doubt.)

      My mentor was Jack LaLanne. His message in the 1950’s and 1960’s regarding exercise and nutrition applies to healthy living in 2016. He was a pioneer and well ahead of his time. I hope to positively impact the lives of others the way he impacted my life. There is no better feeling than watching people go through a metamorphosis as they transition empty lives into purposeful meaningful ones filled with passion.

      Keep educating the world. Your gifts will help many overcome hardship and failure. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  5. There is no alternative to growing old. Better to do it wisely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One life, one body, one chance!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wish I knew this when I was younger.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey I am trying to get a jump on old age…but man it creeps up and bites you without warning….kat

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Time No Matter and commented:
    My friend Jonathan is wonderful and always has great advice and suggestions….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kat.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Follow a healthy path and the bite becomes nothing more than a hickey! 😀

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  9. As a former manager of mine used to say, “every day above ground is a good one.” Well, yes and no because, as you say, lifestyles can vary dramatically between people based on the long term health choices they’ve made.

    Two choices for us; either we die prematurely or live in to old age. Might as well give ourselves the best odds we can for a healthy and productive life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Especially if you like yourself! 🙂 I am convinced the more I get people THINKING about their health and their current situation, the more likely they will change their current path (if it requires changing.) I am not trying to get everyone on my path, because I take things to unusual levels (because I enjoy it,) but rather, on a path of their choice where they can enjoy a life of good health and happiness on a level of their choosing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s our duty I believe to share our respective “unusual levels” of understanding about the world. The beautiful part is we all have one too. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A fantastic post. I choose the healthy route for sure !!! A healthy body, a healthy mind. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After reading your postings, not only do you choose it, you practice it! You should be proud of yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much !

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  11. If memory serves, I was 14 when I decided that I would never get old…of all the self-fulfilling prophecies that have come to pass, I am sooooooo grateful for this one…and, you know I am soooo grateful for you, too–and for all that you offer….you are a beacon, a light, a blessing…as always, a fantastic post…thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for being a faithful reader and responder. The value of this blog site comes from the interaction and changes readers decide to make for themselves. I simply provide information they may not have been exposed to.

      Your kind words are so appreciated. Now go enjoy your weekend! 🙂

      Like

  12. Thanks…and, I will…my husband’s left for work, and I am going to start reading, “And Then There Were None”…an Agatha Christie novel that another blogger recommended on her book review blog 🙂 Continue to take care…and I know you will enjoy your weekend as well 🙂

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  13. The movie was great as well. Agatha Christie knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. Who would ever have thought the murderer was ………………? Now you don’t really think I was going to spoil the surprise, do you? 😀

    Like

  14. I have embraced getting older and it is just part of life, as you said the alternative isn’t too good! I think we have to accept we are different and changing and accommodate those things in a positive way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many would phrase it, “we just have to accept getting older,” but not you; your phrase was, “EMBRACE GETTING OLDER.” This is the difference between existing in life and LIVING LIFE! Well said.

      Like

  15. Only one item left out of the mix here: Genetics.

    Some people have “good genes” and hold up surprisingly well in old age, even with a less than ideal lifestyle. Others eat healthy, exercise, and do everything right…and drop dead in their 50s from some disease or another.

    My dad is in his 70s and in is in better shape than a lot of guys half his age. I’m hoping I am so lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no question that genetics plays a role, just like “good luck” plays a role, but the expression of genes is something we are gaining greater knowledge about through the science of epigenetics and can even overcome this obstacle to a large extent.
      In addition most people confuse genetics with familial patterns. This basically means living the same lifestyle as previous generations and producing the same or similar outcomes.
      When I was in practice I would encourage my patients to follow a REALISTIC healthy lifestyle and rely less on genetics and good luck. I certainly wish you good luck, but encourage you to rely on the same recommendation I made to my patients.
      Enjoy your Sunday.

      Like

  16. I can see the consequences of early life choices in my parents and their friends – some look far older and are not able to enjoy the activities they had hoped to as they got older. They may be close to retirement, but it won’t be what some of them expected. My parents remain in good shape, which is great for our family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am probably close to your parents age and see my own friends unable to do simple tasks. I feel bad for what they likely will have in store as they continue to age. It takes effort as well as personal sacrifice to stay healthy, but the payoff is so worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see people my own age who are already having trouble doing simple tasks – like walking up stairs or taking a walk – that they should not have trouble with as well. I can’t imagine what their lives will be like in a few years. Give it another twenty, and I suspect the full consequences will have hit them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. …..hence, the purpose of my blog site. Can’t save the world, but will work hard to help as many people searching for answers and a healthier life.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Living a long and healthy life is my primary motivator for getting fit and healthy. Many people my age don’t think about how what they’re doing to their bodies today is going to impact them in the future, but it’s a constant consideration for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This places you well ahead of the pack and increases your chances of achieving your goals. Nice to see some of the younger generation thinking outside the box.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Sandhya · · Reply

    Another great thought provoking post! I truly enjoy reading your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, transitioning from my clinical practice into a writing platform has been a true blessing. This gives me the opportunity to help people throughout the world asking in turn ONLY that people ACTIVELY pursue achieving the level of health and happiness they choose to possess.
      Thank you for sharing your time with me and being part of this new world.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Excellent post. I’ve experienced some of the changes that you describe but at 60+ years I still walk everywhere I go and take an eight mile hike across the city of San Francisco thee times a week.

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    1. Glad you see the value and need to maintain your quality of life. So many assume that time will rob them of this luxury. In reality, our commitment to ourselves is the magic ingredient needed (in most cases) to prolong a life of functional quality living. Keep up the good work and reap the benefits. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I completely agree! In fact, I feel as if I’ve finally become the person I was meant to be.

        Liked by 1 person

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