Wellness Pearls

02 June 2019

How to Age: Lifespan vs. Healthspan

As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.

Author Margaret Deland (1857 –1945)

There are many ways to age well.

I recently took a bike trip and met two women, lifelong friends who had joined the same trip.
I was struck by their determination and can-do spirit: even though they were well into their eighties, they could ride long distances through strong headwinds.
These women, pictured below on a ferry with my family and I, were great examples of how to increase not just our lifespan, but our healthspan: the length of time we spend free of the costly and harmful conditions of old age. Here’s what I learned about how they lived their lives in Germany:

Stayed fully engaged with their grandkids
• Only ate real food
• Biked or walked every day
• Went to cultural events to keep their minds sharp (even if they didn’t care for the type of event)
• Traveled together and had rich friendships
• Lacked the limiting belief that age is a disqualifier for going on an international, long-distance cycling trip.

These two elders cultivated good habits in everyday life, actively extending their healthspan. They were an inspiration to live vigorously into old old age and hopefully expand not just their lifespan, but how long they live with good health.

5 Responses

    1. Eileen O'Grady

      Wonderful Eva Happy Birthday to a very young at heart woman! What kind of grandma goes rafting down the grand canyon multiple times? You, that’s who! Have fun. Eileen

    1. Eileen O'Grady

      Hi Sister Connie! I have the book and heard him interviewed a dozen times, This is prompting me to pull it off the shelf and read it. SO great to hear from you! Peace, EIleen

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