Minggu, 15 Februari 2009

Aging and Exercise

I went to a funeral service today for a dear old friend who passed away at the age of 96. He lived on his own until about 3 years ago. His family moved him into a nursing home and he was pretty much bedridden the last couple of years. I think the reason he stayed vigorous as long as he did was do to two things: 1) he ate a healthy predominantly vegetarian diet and 2) he worked hard most of his life. He was quite an athlete as a youngster and was a farmer and did manuel labor. He was in good physical condition. It was only when he stopped being active that he started to significantly decline. He was a good man and I will miss him.

We will all get old if we live long enough. But aging is another story. We can do things to slow down the aging process. Two things we can do are to eat healthy and exercise. What constitutes a healthy diet is debatable. Ask 100 different "experts" and you will likely get 100 different answers. However, if you look at the diets of the longest lived people groups in the world right now, you will find they share some common traits. They eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, they eat whole grains, and they don't consume a lot of meat. Read the book, "Healthy at 100" for a better more comprehensive look. They also stayed active throughout their lives. They may officially retire but they continue to do something. Inactivity kills more retired people than anything else I think.

I have no desire to be old and in a nursing home. Someday it may happen but I plan to put it off as long as possible. That's why I watch what I eat and make exercise a priority in my life. I do hope to grow old but they will have to drag me kicking and screaming into the whole againg thing. I won't go down without a fight.

When Moses died after leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 34:7 "And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." It's a bit late for my eyesight but I plan on keeping my natural force as long as I can.

One of the 12 spies Moses sent out was Caleb. He was 40 at the time. He said in Joshua 14:10 and 11, "And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as He said, these 40 and 5 years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in."

These are the examples of aging that I want to emulate. I won't be able to do it sitting on my rear end watching TV.

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