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Tips for Growing Old Slowly and Gracefully

Anyone over 50 can probably remember what "old" people were 30 or 40 years ago.

Usually they were people over 50! Most boomers no longer consider themselves old, which is quite possible with life expectancy going up year after year. But we need our health to assure us of a quality of life into our sixties, seventies and beyond.

Here are some really good tips to consider in order to grow old slowly, gracefully and healthfully.

1. Keep away from smoking. The most important general tip. We have all heard the many reasons not to smoke and to stay away from others' smoke.

2. Keep the weight down. Leanness is high on the list because fat cells have several bad effects - weight, hardening of the arteries and a propensity to cause type 2 diabetes.

3. Take supplements. Particularly alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine. These boost the energy output.

4. Skip a meal each day or fast a day each week.Eating less food appears to reduce tissue wear and tear from excess blood sugar, inflammation and free radicals. Drink plenty of water to replace the meal.

5. Get a pet. Pet owners tend to visit the doctor less, survive longer even after a heart attack, and suffer less from depression and high blood pressure.

6. Get medical help for chronic pain. If you are in pain, get it seen to. Chronic pain dampens the immune system, can cause depression and tends to elevate levels of the noxious stress hormone cortisol.

7. Get walking. Through age, blood vessel walls tend to harden and exercise keeps blood vessels pliable. Light exercise also reduces the likelihood of diabetes, cancer, depression, dementia and even aging of the skin.

8. Reduce arguments. Arguments and bickering increase the risk of clogged arteries. Rather than allow arguments to simmer, agree that it is OK to have differing points of view.

9. Live around plants. Having a garden or greenhouse to grow plants in is a wonderful way to decrease stress or recuperate from illness. Just being able to see plants in a room or through windows has been proven to be beneficial to bed-ridden patients.

10. Do some weight-training. Strength training is almost as important as cardio exercise to the aging body. This is because from 40 on the body can lose a quarter-pound of muscle each year which is replaced with fat. Lifting weights 3 times a week for a half-hour can easily replace that lost through natural aging.

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