Frances Woofenden: The Super Skiing Senior
Amazing Super Seniors – 16 February 4, 2014
Ernestine Shepherd: Oldest Female Bodybuilder
Ernestine is the world’s oldest bodybuilder and not missing a step at 74-years-old. Her daily routine entails waking up at 3 am to run and lift weights. Ernestine is inspired by Sylvester Stallone as she is a die-hard Rocky fan. Ernestine runs over 80 miles a week and can bench press 150 pounds! How many miles are you running a week? I bet (hope) this makes you want to run more, whatever your answer may be.
Well, maybe not run! But definitely walk more, play more and live more!!
Book Review – in Praise of Ageing November 21, 2013
Found this article – the books looks good.
“We need to be respected as individuals, have the ability to reinvent ourselves, our work and purpose, and have access to good medical advice.” … Author Patricia Edgar, 76.
IN PRAISE OF AGEING.
Patricia Edgar. Text. 272pp. $40.
A friend of mine retired at 62 and bought a piano on which he intended to learn to play properly. This didn’t happen. Year after year, he looked at the lovely instrument, full of regret but sure it was pointless to start learning. His three siblings and parents had all died early of heart disease, so death was surely keeping a close eye on him as well. When he was 89, he gave the piano away. He died at 93.
Chuck Berry, (guitar, not piano), should be referenced here: ”C’est la vie said the old folks/ It goes to show you never can tell.” Patricia Edgar, in In Praise of Ageing, disagrees with Chuck Berry’s old folk. She believes you CAN tell.
In Praise of Ageing … The truth is that people over 90 are the “fastest growing population group in the country”. Photo: supplied
You can pretty much tell your older age by the way you live your younger years. Or, as Edgar prefers to say, the first half of life. She does not enjoy the term old age, with its implications of burden and helplessness. She has a point; in a youth-worshipping society, getting old is grotesque. Yet the truth is that people over 90 are the ”fastest growing population group in the country”.
Edgar, 76, has turned her vexation at being reshelved as ”old” into an argument about the uses and pleasures of getting old. Her own vigorously lived life has been superbly useful as a sociologist and educator, mother and grandmother. She has joined the lengthening list of people writing a reconsideration of life from the vantage point of the famous long view. Daniel Klein’s excellent, low-key Travels With Epicurus is perhaps the best known. Unlike Edgar, Klein favours acceptance and philosophy, rather than argument. It is puzzling that Edgar doesn’t mention Klein, because she describes academic William Miller’s Losing It as ”blackly funny and erudite”. Is this the same book I found an unreadable mess?
In Praise of Ageing has a short introductory essay, followed by eight brief biographies of those who have reached their late 80s and 90s or more and are able to continue leading admirable lives. Edgar’s essay is full of useful information and will be especially pertinent to those who haven’t read much on the subject and want a neat overview. (Around 60, old age becomes the topic du jour.)
In Praise of Ageing has eight biographies of those who have reached their late ’80s and ’90s or more who lead admirable lives.
Edgar is especially incensed about the economic theories that predict old people will destroy the economy and she makes a case against this presumption. She challenges many other accepted theories as well, some of them surprising and long-held.
The only thing I remember from Year 10 science was the teacher saying ”death is hereditary”. He was wrong: genes account for only 20 to 30 per cent of our possibility of reaching 100; the rest has to do with those identifiable (gorgeous) traits of optimism, resilience, busyness, cheerfulness and (sigh) not smoking, not drinking to excess and keeping a sensible weight throughout the lengthy entertainment. But we know this because we have looked at Christopher Hitchens, drinker dead at 62; Orson Welles, eater dead at 70; and Peter Cook, denier of cheerful, dead at 63, etc. (Musicians age in a parallel universe. Chuck Berry is still here, but he had to be carried off the stage at the last concert.)
The disturbing fact is centenarians all tend to be lovely people, while unlovely neurotics die young(ish). Only the good die young? Pshaw!
These potted biographies illustrate everything that research is discovering about ageing well. They have all led lives actively contributing, rather than passively accepting. Optimism, and – charmless term – positiveness kept them going.
One other thing is remarkable; money never seems to have been a real problem to any of them. This week yet another global study identifies money as the major factor in staying healthy and staying alive.
This book needs more diversity than a study of the author’s friends and relations. Her suggestions to live the later years well are queerly blinkered.
”We need to be respected as individuals, have the ability to reinvent ourselves, our work and purpose, and have access to good medical advice.” Sure. Who’d disagree? Discuss and analyse with your Big Issue seller.
Ageing through the ages: facts and figures
Sunday 3 November 2013.
I spotted this article in the Scottish Times.
LIFE expectancy in Scotland has improved greatly over the past 25 years.
Boys born around 2010 can now expect to live for 76.1 years, while girls can expect to live to 80.6 years.
Men born around 1981 can expect to live to 69.1 years, while life expectancy for women born around that time is 75.3 years.
The number of Scots aged 100 or more has also increased by 57% in just over a decade, with an estimated 800 people in this age group last year, up from 510 in 2001.
However, there is still concern over the vast difference in life expectancy for those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland, which is eight years below the national average.
Life expectancy figures in previous centuries are skewed by a higher number of infant deaths, but in the mid-19th century, a typical male in Scotland would have had a life expectancy of 40.
At the turn of the 20th century, that figure was around 48 across the UK.
In classical Greece and Rome, people lived to around 28. In mediaeval Britain, historians estimate average life expectancy was 30.
It is thought those living in the Bronze Age and Iron Age lived until around 26, while life expectancy in Neolithic times – beginning around 10,000 BC – was only around 20. However, life in the late Stone Age – the Paleolithic era dating back to 50,000 BC – seemed slightly better and stood at around 33.
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Grow Your Own for a Healthy Heart November 8, 2013
Harvest a healthy heart with an allotment
Written byHeart Research UK
I found this article and thought of
Take Heart member ‘Phil the Veg’
All too often allotments are thought of as places that only grow the humble potato or everyday carrot, but in truth they offer a range of delicious treats – from sumptuous summer fruits to a whole host of handy herbs. Growing your own fresh produce has seen a revival in recent years and, with the right choice of crop, can be easy and convenient whatever your space and skills.
Fruit and vegetables are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help keep your heart healthy, so here are some ideas to get your garden growing:
Carrots, onions, rocket and runner beans are perfect low maintenance plants for your first patch.
Try mixing Swiss chard, purple sprouting broccoli, chives and different coloured lettuces into your border to add some edible colour.
Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries look after themselves and make the perfect addition to fruit salads.
Plant potatoes in buckets or black bin liners, and let tomatoes and berries trail from hanging baskets that slugs can’t reach to maximise your space.
Grow some year-round herbs like chives, mint, parsley, coriander, rosemary, tarragon and thyme on the windowsill, in your greenhouse or a small section of your garden. You can then freeze chopped herbs in ice cube trays and drop them into your cooking for a tasty heart-healthy alternative to salt.
If you don’t have an allotment or garden of your own, why not join a local gardening group to get some outdoor exercise and socialise while helping to add some natural colour to your neighbourhood.
Gardening is a satisfying activity, burning excess calories and clocking up those daily steps. You don’t need to be an expert to have a go, so get those green fingers ready and put your heart into cultivating some tasty home-grown ingredients for your dinner table.
For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK on 0113 297 6206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Take Heart our monthly raffle is always enriched with bags of produce from Phil – keep it up!
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Inspirational Seniors #9 October 26, 2013
You are never too old to do something about your disappearing muscle!
Just because statistics suggest muscle is lost with age – you don’t have to sit back and let it happen.
I’m not saying that you go directly to a weight machine and start leg pressing- as this fantastic lady has- she has probably been training for years, and lucky for her has continued her sport and the training that goes with it.
We know that strength training is valuable at any age, I use resistance bands with my Super Seniors. They are easy to use, suit lots of fitness abilities and you can even sit down and get good results. When you are stronger you can progress easily. They are quite cheap, take up no storage space and you can take them with you if you travel.
We’ll be recording some band routines soon to give you some ideas of exactly how easy band exercises are….
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