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It was all over in the medical journals this week.

New discoveries on how to slow and even reverse aging.

The article on reversing aging, from experiments done on mice, sits in my inbox awaiting my attention.

Today I want to concentrate on the one on slowing aging.

The summary in Medical News Today put it this way:

“As a result of its proven ability to prevent and treat several chronic diseases at low cost, doctors have called exercise a drug-free “polypill” that can benefit nearly everyone.”

Now I’m sure this doesn’t really surprise you, or me. 

This is not to say that what you eat doesn’t matter. We intuitively know they go hand in hand. (Another topic for another time.) 

The article goes on to say that starting to exercise at any age can make a difference. 

Genetics plays a role in how long people live. But, all you need to do is look at the lifestyle of any 90+ year old you know and you will see your own future and your choices. 

I have the honor of having 4 such people in my life and 3 of the 4 are doing amazingly well. 

I will highlight my aunt & my uncle (both siblings of my mom) as 2 examples.

My Aunt Jeanie, caught the fitness bug back in the 60’s when Jack Lalane was on TV. By the time the 70’s came around, she had a gym membership that kept her fit most of her life. She will turn 93, if my calculations are correct, next month.

Though she no longer goes to the gym regularly, (knee replacements in her 80’s put a dampener on that,) she remains active. She still “works” (actually volunteers) several times a week at the performing arts center near her home. She also still lives independently.

Her older brother, my Uncle Irving, 18 months her senior, will turn 95 in June. Though he moved in with my cousin and his family a few years ago when his wife passed, he continued to work out at the gym and travel until Covid hit. He remains active and mentally fit as well.

Throughout their life, he and his wife continued playing tennis well into their 70’s. And although his wife has now passed, I have little doubt that it made a huge difference in her life as well. Normally a disease that strikes in the 45-55 year time span, she didn’t develop ALS until her late 70’s and almost made it to 80. 

On the other hand, a local friend who was inactive for much of her life and remained so suffers from extreme pain. Though she still has all her mental facilities, she has a life I would not wish on anyone. 

These people exemplify what the journals say and what we intuitively know. Those who remain active throughout life, for the most part, can bypass much of the pain and disability that appears to come with aging.

The article also explains that getting active even late in life can help build muscle and avoid falls and disability. 

So, what’s it going to be for you? To a large extent, the choice is yours.

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