>How to Age Gracefully

>With the new year and everyone wanting to make some changes, here are some tips on how to age gracefully from Dr. Andrew Weil’s book Healthy Aging:  A lifelong Guide to your Well-Being
1. You should concentrate on maintaining optimum health by eating right and keeping physically active. You do not have to get ultra skinny- as a matter of fact, as people age, the ones who live longer usually have more girth! In fact, being too lean may compromise health and successful aging!
2. The earlier in life you start to think about how you want to age, and do something about it- the better off you will be. You don’t have to be told to wear your seat belt when you drive- or floss your teeth! Those things you should already be doing!
3. Stop being obsessed with fad diets! They are more popular than ever. So many diets claim to promote weight loss, and they are false. Remember it is all about “calories in- and calories out.” Whatever you eat for the day- you have to exercise off- or you will gain weight. If you are not active- and you eat too much, you will gain weight!

Some more general suggestions:
1. Don’t smoke
2. Keep your own personal medical records that includes past illnesses, injuries, treatments, hospitalizations
3. Make sure you have had recommended immunizations
4. Get a complete physical every year
5. Learn about what recommended  screening tests appropriate for your age
6. Maintain your blood pressure in the normal range. That means 120/80 or less. If your blood pressure is consistently elevated even with a good diet, exercise and relaxation, you probably need medication – so see your MD. In general, if you are diagnosed with prehypertension or prediabetes, try to reverse it by nonpharmaceutical means. And remember to use the mildest medications available with  the lowest effective dosage.