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Same Age, Different Lifestyles

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If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, then this one’s as long as the Harry Potter series of books.

On the left is eternally youthful Golden Boy Tom Brady at age 43. On the right is a quarterback from another era, George Blanda, at the same age, looking like a Public Service Announcement from the anti-smoking lobby.

Now, this isn’t about football or quarterbacks or even just cigarette smoking, although we’ll get into that.

Instead, we’re talking about the changes in aging that we’ve seen in the last two generations, since Blanda’s heyday as an NFL great, and today, as exemplified by Brady. The comparison reveals a lot about anti-aging myths that were nurtured by the reality of an earlier time – and persist today to the harm of many people who are in the “second half” of their lives.

Stereotypes Standing in Your Way

Any of these sound familiar?

·      “She looks good – for her age.” 

·      “Old people are so cheap.” 

·      “Old people are afraid of technology.”

·      “They’re frail and just want to stay home.”

These are just some examples of ever-present ageism that might’ve had some basis in reality back in, say, the 1960s, when Blanda was thrilling crowds.

But today?

Marketing research shows the “active ager” consumer has time, money, and powerful motivation to spend on fitness, wellbeing, clothes, beauty, and more.

If you’re over 50 and want to exercise, quit bad habits, and start better ones, then don’t let ancient negative thinking hold you back.

It’s up to all of us to decide how we want to present ourselves – how we want to look and live, far past the time limits that might’ve applied to our parents and grandparents.

Happy Years Ahead

Adults 65 to 79 say this is their happiest stage of life, according to a British study of 300,000 people. The study found that satisfaction with life peaked during this period. This jibes with other clinical and anecdotal research.

Fitness helps people at any age feel satisfied, healthy and confident. It gives mature people the ability to continue living the way they want to live – to move, feel and look better

This is largely about individual choices, but Blanda was a man of his time even more than Brady is of his. Consider these general trends for the US, Canada and other Western countries:

·      Half as many people smoke cigarettes as they did in 1970.

·      Alcohol consumption is down.

·      Life expectancy for Americans born in 1990 is 75.4, compared to 69.7 for those born in 1960.

·      Physical fitness is part of the culture; it simply was not 50 years ago.

Of course, obesity, high blood pressure and other problems are on the rise – and only about a third of adults exercise regularly. So, it’s sort of “one step up, two steps back” in the broader sense.

You have more options today, and more support to live a long, healthy life. We’re here to help.

Just imagine the stories your photos will tell.

Beverly Brewer Karpinski, CPT
Functional Aging Specialist
Whole Body Wellness Coach
602.971.5242
Posture Plays Important Health Role Later in Life

“Stand up straight!”

“Stop slouching!”

We all used to hear that as children, right? It’s even more important now, later in life.

Parents might tell their kids to correct their posture more to instill pride and project confidence. But good posture is about a lot more at this stage of life.

As we age, our bodies are “de-volving” into a more rounded, slumped posture. Not only does that add years to our appearance, but it also contributes to joint and muscle misalignment, which creates bad movement patterns. Continue with those, and pain and injury aren’t far behind. 

For many, the slouching starts due to an occupational hazard: sitting behind a desk for decades.

The body will conform to those positions that it is most frequently in. As you sit in a chair, the body assumes a forward head posture with hunched shoulders. Hip flexors also are contracted and shortened. Even our breathing can become restricted.

Try this: Take a long deep breath. See and feel how your chest expands and your shoulders roll back, creating the desired tall, upright posture. 

The rounded haunch is common but not inevitable. You can prevent or correct it.  So focus on breathing, stretching and strengthening your core to maintain a solid base. And be sure your regimen includes at least a couple of exercises where you’re pulling those shoulders back, like seated rows. Yoga and Pilates are also excellent for strengthening posture.

All of those will get you or keep you standing tall. Mom would be proud.

Breakfast Salad with Smoked Trout and Quinoa

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Wait! What? Salad for breakfast? You bet! Lots of people love it, and it’s a great way to get greens and protein in the morning. Here’s a great example from Bon Appetit. If this seems a tad fussy, you get the idea. Now improvise!

Ingredients

2 large eggs

1 head of Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated

½ Persian cucumber, sliced

4 very thin slices red onion

3 ounces smoked trout, coarsely flaked

½ cup cooked quinoa or other grain

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon drained capers

¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

Chopped dill (for serving)

Preparation

Step 1

Carefully lower eggs into a small saucepan of gently boiling water; cook 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool; drain. Peel eggs; thinly slice.

Step 2

Toss lettuce, cucumber, onion, smoked trout, quinoa, oil, capers, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a large bowl to combine; season with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Mix yogurt, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tsp. lemon juice in a small bowl; season with salt. Divide lemon yogurt between 2 bowls and mound salad over. Top with egg slices and dill. 


Healthy Self, Heal Thyself

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