As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
The first step in healthy aging is taking responsibility. A major ongoing study of identical twins over many years shows that 70 percent of the aging process is controlled by lifestyle and environment. Only 30 percent results from your genes. So, we are responsible for the majority of conditions in the aging process. It’s up to us to do it right.
The following are really very simple steps and probably won’t surprise you, but together they are wonderfully effective and a part of my daily life.
The first step is to keep your weight down. Many serious diseases are caused by excess weight—Diabetes, heart problems to name a few. Obesity is a vicious circle since it causes us to become less active, which in turn only compounds the weight problem. Being overweight or obese and the health issues it causes can most often be prevented. – but you have to take charge. Think of all the medical bills you won’t have to pay…think of all the pain you can save yourself …and think of all the time you save by not being sick.
Step two is to get regular medical checkups. This is very important for a long life and healthy aging. For example cervical cancer, osteoporosis, as well as so many other illnesses are totally preventable through medical check ups. Many of them are slow to develop so get your checkups … and listen to your doctor.
Step three – Exercise every day. Exercise will reduce stress and anxiety as well as help you stay healthy, active and in shape, and last, but not least, burn off those unwanted pounds. Walking is good – it gets your cardiovascular system going … don’t worry about overdoing it. Any kind of exercise will be beneficial. Even if you only exercise for 15-20 minutes each day, three or four times a week.
Step four – Do things that bring you joy and happiness. Look on the bright side of life and find things to do that really give you joy and happiness.
Step five – Keep your brain busy – even playing games is fine. Golf, cards, games, dancing, sports, learning something new are stress zappers, and also stimulate the brain and body. When your mind is focused on an activity, it gives your body a chance to relax and exercises the brain cells as well.
Step six – Have fun. Pick friends who add fun and laughter to your life. Drop those who drag you down. Having fun and laughing gives you a mental break and is a wonderful prescription for staying young.
Editor’s note: Readers who are familiar with the blog will no doubt recognize that most of these steps have appeared in the blog before. I thought it would be worthwhile for you to see this combination from another source, particularly one like Oleda who has been imminently successful in her aging.