This shot was recently taken of my dad, Verne, and me. My dad turned 93 on June 19th. He’s always been a huge supporter of me and my kids: attending and organizing swim meets, water polo matches and coming to Kona for most of my races… and, of course, doing all of things dads do that make them so special.
Growing up, Mom and Dad were both very active with my two sisters and myself. Now, at 93, he still swims 4 times a week and does his strength and stretching 3 times week. His golf game is also making a resurgence!
After visiting with him I came up with 6 Tips for a Long & Healthy Life. My dad sticks to this regimen and I believe it’s helped him be a spry and relatively healthy 93 year-old.
I’m looking forward to my dad visiting Boulder in a few weeks and enjoying another good glass of wine together.
1. Increase — not just maintain — your range of mobility. Keeping your hips, back, shoulders and ankles mobile is vital. Verne does his routine on the living room floor (per my suggestions) and takes a strength class 3 times per week.
2. Strength train for balance, symmetry and preserving muscle mass. I’m absolutely dedicated to this and have instilled the same belief into my Dad. He performs 3 to 5 exercises where he pushes to good fatigue – not failure. He also practices balancing exercises on single legs and combines them with arm movements.
3. Don’t sit too long! I’ve told my dad to get up off the chair every 20’ and walk around for a couple of minutes. If he’s hunkered down watching the news or sports, he needs to get up and move. He’s getting better at this.
4. Quit eating bagels and other simple carbs. Verne has improved in this area and recently mentioned his weight is down to its lowest at 168 pounds… and he’s holding the muscle mass. Great job!
5. Drink a bit of coffee and a little wine. He loves the freshly ground coffee that we share in the morning so I threw out his Folger’s can. I’ve also reminded him of the importance of a good glass of Cabernet at dinnertime (and there were no protests).
6. Keep your mind working. Read, do puzzles, write emails and notecards, listen to current events. He does all of this and more… a productively active mind will help you stay young!
We can’t stop the incessant passing of time, but we CAN do many, many things to improve our quality of life as we age. I hope that these tips inspire you; share them with a parent or friend!
Do you have other suggestions? Email me your thoughts at email@example.com or post them on Facebook.