news Healthy aging is more than just diet and exercise.Ask the Fab Five
For the past eight years, a group of Melbourne men aged 68 to 91 have met daily for a swim in a local pool.
Group member Angelo Natori told ABC RN’s Life Matters:
He explains that there is a rigorous vetting process to join them.
“It’s called breathing.”
It’s a laughing swimming club. a lot.
“We’re not out to break records…we’re also out to exercise and get a little companionship,” says 73-year-old John Tate.
The man, who was a total stranger before we met at the pool, has become very close and we even have regular dinners and coffee catch-ups.
Kate Gregorevich, a geriatrician and internist, says the Fab Five are a great example of a positive attitude toward aging and how they can counteract our “inner ageism.”
Aging can bring challenges, and “not everything in life is in our control,” she says.
“But there are many things we can do to make our lives better.”
And it’s worth the effort. Dr. Gregorevich says how we think about our own aging—negative or positive—can have a profound effect on our mental and physical experiences.
For 88-year-old Graham Polkinghorn, a member of the Fab Five, regular swimming with the group has been an important part of life.
“For me, it’s an inevitable question because it becomes like making a promise,” he says.
“I think that’s what keeps me alive. Otherwise I’d probably be in bed more often.”
A growing body of research suggests that aging and feeling good about yourself can actually help you live longer, says Tim Windsor, associate professor of psychology at Flinders University.
“When we are very young, we can have a negative view of what it means to be old. That’s where beliefs about aging already have negative qualities,” he said. he says.
“Perceived losses associated with aging are associated with worse outcomes in terms of health and well-being.”
While it is undeniable that aging is prone to loss of health and function, it is powerful to recognize that it also has a positive side.
Just recognizing that there are things you can really gain as you get older means you’re more likely to experience those positives, says Dr. Windsor.
As we grow older, we may exercise better judgment based on experience, become wiser, and become more adept at managing social relationships. We may become more aware of what is important in our lives and become better at prioritizing goals to focus on those things.
Dr. Windsor says these are benefits that “help offset some of the losses that may occur” with age.
“If we are optimistic about the future and recognize the resources we may have accumulated as a result of getting older, we may be more likely to mobilize those resources … that will continue into the future. It helps me stay happy.”
don’t forget to have fun
Dr. Gregorevich says there are lifestyle adjustments you can make to increase your chances of staying healthy longer.
“It’s inevitable that people of a certain age will be unable to do things.”
For example, getting enough sleep and eating vegetables are known to extend life. She recommends making most of your main meal plate vegetarian.
Exercise also extends life, but it’s probably not the kind we always think of.
Your routine should include a combination of cardio and strength training, such as swimming, brisk walking, and running, says Gregorevich, author of her latest book, Staying Alive: The Science of Living Healthier, Happier and Longer. says Dr.
“People don’t realize how important it is. But one of the things that happens as you get older – especially relevant to women – is that you lose muscle mass…and of the time. Over time, you may reach a point where it becomes difficult to do so.Rising from a chair puts you at risk of falling.
“So keep [strength] Being able to do what you want later in life is really important to you.
“And of course, maintaining brain health is really important to hopefully enjoying our long life ahead,” she says.
Despite a common misconception, the brain and body are “inextricably linked” rather than functioning separately.
That’s why Dr. Gregorevich emphasizes the value of simply having fun alongside things like maintaining an exercise routine and a healthy diet.
“I think the importance of enjoying life is underrated,” she says.
Fab Five’s Angelo Natori says the social interaction of swimming regularly has a positive impact on mental health.
“I feel great. I feel great and ready for the day,” he says.
And much like Dr. Gregorevich, he encourages his contemporaries to do something similar.
“Anyway, do something. Don’t just sit there. Go in and do something. Swim, walk, whatever, but don’t do it in this pool, it’s going to be crowded.”
Joy, fun, and a little hedonism go a long way, says Dr. Gregorevich.
“We all need it in life.
“The reality is, there are no 100% guarantees, so you should find fun wherever you can every day.”
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