Don’t be beige... stay angry, stay healthy.

Friday 5th December, 2014 

  • How to avoid being boring as you get older

  • Discover why you need attitude to age

  • Here’s the guide to help you through – Get Ageing with Attitude 

Did you ever believe that the Naked Mole Rat of East Africa could be of interest to anyone other than David Attenborough?

Well you should be paying more attention to it.

This little burrowing rodent has become a bit of a celebrity amongst those searching for the power of eternal life, and a bunch of Russian scientists reckon they can emulate its propensity for long life by giving us a pill to make us live until we are 120.

Apparently they think that this will be a good thing.

By studying the rat the team have identified that its secret lies in a low respiratory and metabolic rate.

The scientists argue that by changing the way our metabolism works, and specifically the activity of the little energy factories in each of our cells called mitochondria, our bodies will age more slowly and fight off disease like cancer more effectively.

Exactly as the Mole Rat does.

But it is also expected that some other disease will develop which will replace cancer so that even though we might live until around 150, it’s unlikely that we’ll get to say, 800...

...er, can anyone think that any of this is a good idea?

For instance the Daily Telegraph ran a story this week saying that more people are spending their old age caring for even older relatives.

The newspaper reports that:

"Norman Lamb, the care minister, said Britain faces a social 'time bomb' with millions more people required to dedicate themselves full-time to looking after frail and vulnerable parents and other relatives.

Even those who in a previous era might have been old enough to be the recipients of care, are often now being required to provide it, said Mr Lamb."

So if we are to live for another 40 years, who would benefit?

It’s not a pleasant thought, but we are all going to end our days at some point – and surely it would be better to live a full and active life and then turn up our toes whilst we are in control.

The idea of spending my days as a frail and dithering creature dependent on everyone around me for my care isn’t something
I’m hankering for... are you?

Rather than dwelling on the length of my time, or the manner of my end though I would rather consider what I do right here and now.

Burn bright and live well

Taking anything for granted always leads to problems.

This is true of our health, wealth and relationships as much as anything else, and occasionally we need to take a long hard look at our approach and attitudes just to make sure we are not taking the easy option.

If you are beginning to make excuses that you can’t have a kick about with the kids/grandchildren in the park because it might hurt your dodgy knee, or put off shifting the fallen leaves because of a dicky back or even take the car to the shops rather than walking because the walk puffs you out – I’m talking to you!

Growing old is unavoidable but doing so without a plan, a drive or a bit of a fight is not an option.

Let me tell you about something that has made me rethink the whole bit about getting older.

Over the last few days I have been totally absorbed in a book – and it wasn’t one of mine!

The book's title seems relevant to most of us – Ageing with Attitude; A guide for baby boomers not ready to hang up their boots.

Here’s what one of the authors, Mary Evans Young, says were the reasons for writing it:

"The good news is that if we are reasonably healthy, both physically and mentally, our generation can expect an extra 20 or 30 more years than our parents and mid-life can be anywhere between 40 and 75 – depending on your experiences and your attitude to ageing.

Most people reach a stage when they want something different or more than what has gone before. Perhaps you are ready for a change of career or life direction. Maybe you are looking for a more rewarding relationship, new experiences or excitement, or perhaps more meaning in life.

We asked ourselves ‘what now’? What do we do with these extra years? How will we be in the world? Will it be a rather depressing and steady decline into decrepitude, retirement into a staid existence in a seaside community, or something else, something much better and much more rewarding?  What is it to be for you?"

Well for me I’m keen on the concept of burning brightly, even if it isn’t for quite such a long time – so those pesky Russian chaps can keep their secrets of the Mole rat to themselves!

So, do you want to age quietly or disgracefully? Click here to find out how to get your copy of this fantastic book

Your daily checklist for a disgraceful old age

In 2006 Virginia Ironside wrote a checklist that she lives by which always makes me laugh – so if you are a woman in your 60s here’s the highlights:

  • Never wear white. It makes yellow teeth look yellower.
  • Always keep your upper arms well covered. The ‘Bingo Wings’ look is never attractive.
  • Get a new bra every six months at least and keep it well hitched-up. You don't want to be one of those people whose boobs touch their tummies when they sit down. Or, worse, when they stand up.
  • Don't disguise a lizardy neck with a scarf or polo-neck. They always look as if you have something to hide - and the imagination always conjures up something worse than the reality.
  • Make sure you possess and wear the most glamorous dressing gown in the world.
  • Keep impeccably clean. Check skirts, ties and trouser bottoms hourly for stains. Wash your hair every day. There is nothing more repulsive than a dirty old person.

You can read more of what she wrote in The Independent here

For us chaps, well, who better to follow than Billy Connelly who recently commented that he fully endorsed growing old with attitude:

“I think disgraceful is the way to do it. Be a nuisance, stay alive,” he says. “In Britain you’re encouraged to wear a cardie and have the crotch of your trousers away down at your knees – bum fainters they call it in Scotland, because if you look at it from behind it looks as if your bum’s fainted.

“You’re constantly told to grow up. ‘Grow up, it’s time you grew up, you’ve got some growing up to do boy.’ What they really mean is, get boring, stop being angry, stop being interesting, stop being a nuisance. I would say don’t grow up. By all means grow old, but don’t grow up. Don’t be beige.”

Wise words indeed!

Grab life by the scruff of the neck yourself and delve into Ageing with Attitude – NOW

Yours, as always

 

 

 

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