My husband's Grandmother passed away recently at the age of 99 years and 8 months. She was what my Dad calls a Grand Lady, caring, thoughtful, and very loving. Any of us could be so lucky to live our lives in good health the way Grandma did; no heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc. Why do some people live long healthy lives while others suffer from illness and die much earlier? It is a question to ponder, but I think Grandma had good habits which helped extend her life.
1. Good Genes. Grandma was blessed with good genes - her Mother lived to be 99 + as well, but I do believe there is more to it than that.
3. Resilience. Grandma was a survivor, taking life in stride and dealing with adversity head on. She always saw her cup as half full, not half empty. I believe this optimistic attitude is key not only in our mental health, but our physical health as well.
3. Stay active and strong. Grandma was both. I don't mean she was working out at the gym, although she did attend some exercise classes. Well into her eighties she was able to go for a walk, help in the garden, catch a bus and shop for groceries, Until the age of 98, she lived independently and was cleaning, cooking, baking, sewing and leading a busy social life. She even held bake sales for the other residents of the senior's building she lived in. She rarely sat.
4. Eat well. Grandma didn't eat prepared or processed foods, she made everything she ate, including her bread and cookies. Delicious! She had a great appetite and could clean a plate or two in a sitting, but she was trim, no weight issues there. On the flipside, she wasn't a tea and toast girl like many elderly people become which invites nutrient deficiency.
5. Enjoy in moderation. Grandma didn't have bad habits - she didn't smoke, drink coffee or drink alcohol.
6. Have a support network Although Grandma lived in her own apartment, her family and friends were available for her whenever she needed them. She had friends in her apartment building to visit, play cards with or even just greet in the hallway.
If we can incorporate some of these healthy habits into our lifestyle, we can extend our lives too. Grandma will be missed by many, but she will be remembered as having had a life well lived.