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Let's face it, we are getting up there in age. And we may not like the changes we are going through but . . . consider the alternative to getting older. Getting older is better than not getting older. 

So we are getting older and the question is, what can we do to put off the debilitating effects of the aging process as long as we possibly can? What can we do right now to make our remaining years the best years or at least a good as they can possibly be?

So? We can't go back and do it over (wouldn't that be nice if we could?) so what can we do if we want to be there at the next reunion?

We can start now, today, from this day forward to do what it will take to make the years to come the best possible:

If you want to be around for the next reunion in 2010, you should do all of the following steps:

1. Wear seatbelts.

2. If you smoke, quit!.

3. Start an exercise  program. Start today. But start easy. 

 

On the other hand, one should not become too fanatical about exercising.

1. It is well documented that for every mile you jog, you add 1 minute to your life. This enables you at 95 years old...to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5,000 per month.

2. My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we don't know where she is.

3. The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

4. I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Have NOT lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up.

5. I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

6. I don't exercise at all. If God meant us to touch our toes, he would have put them further up our body.

7. I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

8. I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

9. The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

10. If you are going to try cross-county skiing, start with a small country.

11. And, last but not least -- I don't jog, it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.

4. Take one baby aspirin a day. If it upsets your stomach, try the enteric coated aspirin. According to Doctor Bob Temple, "it is the only remedy for preventing heart disease that has been demonstrated to be effective."

Would you be able to tell if someone were having a stroke? Could you recognize the signs and symptoms? Take a look at this item sent in by Dr. Bob Temple.

 

RECOGNIZING A STROKE - A true story
 
Susie is recouping at an incredible pace for someone with a massive stroke all because Sherry saw Susie stumble - -that is the key that isn't mentioned below - and then she asked Susie the 3 questions. So simple - - this literally saved Susie's life - - Some angel sent it to Suzie's friend and they did just what it said to do. Suzie failed all three so 911 was called. Even though she had normal blood pressure readings and did not appear to be a stroke as she could converse to some extent with the Paramedics they took her to the hospital right away.

Thank God for the sense to remember the 3 steps!
 
Read and Learn!
 
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
 
    ● Ask the individual to SMILE.
    ● Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
    ● Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)

 
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.
 


5. Before and after exercising, Stretch for 10 minutes every day. The older we get, the more important it is for us to stretch our muscles. Stretching doesn't hurt (if it does, you're not doing it right). You don't have to work up a sweat to stretch. You don't need any special equipment. You don't have to get down on the floor. And it only takes 10 minutes or so.

"Oh sure, 10 minutes of stretching, 20 minutes of exercise, and another 10 minutes of stretching afterwards? Now we are up to 40 minutes. And what about a shower after working up a sweat? Where am I going to find the time for all of this?"

6. Get an annual physical. For the women, that includes a pap smear, a mammogram, AND a CA-125 blood test for ovarian cancer. For the guys, be sure it includes a PSA test for prostate cancer. For both men and women, that means a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy looks at all of the colon. Ask your doctor, more than likely your doctor is suggesting this to you and has been since your turned 50. After age 50, you will need this done every 5 years. Many medical insurance plans now cover these procedures. 

The LA Times carried an item the other day about an FDA web site where you can find a list of certified mammography centers:

http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/mammography

Also the National Cancer Institute keeps a list, (800) 4-CANCER. 

Very important because those listed centers will have the best and latest equipment.

(Thanks Michael (Lois) Robinson Jones, RN).

7. This one is easy. Wear sunscreen.


"Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 1960. Wear Sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience." Baz Luhrmann, 1997.

8. The 8th step is a little more work. You have to lose weight. No way to get around it, you have to lose weight. Unless you are within 10 pounds of your weight at graduation, you are going to have to lose weight. Start today. No reason to wait until New Years to make a resolution. You have to lose weight and now is the time to get serious about it.

9. You should have a semi-annual dental checkup.

And you need to practice good dental hygiene that includes brushing and flossing. Recent articles point to a link between gum disease and heart disease. The new theory is that if you take good care of your teeth and gums, the bacteria won't grow and spread and cause problems elsewhere in your body. My dental hygienist recommends a WaterPik with a capful of Listerine added to the water once a day. The WaterPik cleans out food particles and the Listerine kills germs. Ask your dentist and/or dental hygienist.

 

10. OK, so far so good, right? What's next? How about improve your eating habits. That means you need to start paying attention to what goes into your mouth as well as how much goes into your mouth.

"What, no more Cheetos?"

"Yes, you beat me to it. No more Doritos either."

This stuff is not a secret. You know what you should have been doing all these years. How many Johnnies' Fat Boys did you consume back in high school? How many Bob's Big Boys? How many pizzas from La Cucina?

You know what you should do now to change your eating habits. There will be more on this subject as we go along. For most of us, this item goes hand-in-hand with item 8, Lose Weight.

 

11. Next and almost the last, you need to reduce stress. Stress is not good for you. It can cause major health problems. So you need to reduce stress.

"And how do you suggest I do that?"

We will get to that as time goes along. Don't worry about it. Don't get upset. Chill out.

12. Finally, but not the least important, compensate for short term memory loss. And as soon as I remember how to do it, I'll share it with you.

 


"Let me see if I understand what you are saying. You want me to use seatbelts, exercise, quit smoking, take a baby aspirin every day, do stretching, get an annual physical and a colonoscopy and a mammogram, wear sunscreen, lose weight, get a dental checkup, change my eating habits, reduce stress, compensate for short-term memory loss, and goodness knows what else? 12 steps? Do you realize how long that will take? Why, that might take me 40 years to do all of those things."

"Yes, it might."