Skip to Content

Aging: Getting older ain’t for wimps

Getting older ain’t for wimps

 

My Father, Ulysses, died of liver cancer at the age of 70. It was 5 months between diagnosis and death and I never saw him out of pain during that time. It was a horrible death to witness. My Mother, Ruby, died at the age of 78 of a stroke first, then a presumed heart attack 5 weeks later. She had high blood pressure and was symptomatic Atrial fibrillation for decades prior. I remember her talking about how doctors had prescribed over 30 different blood pressure medications, none worked. Most she would stop taking because they made her feel so bad.

 

As a black man in America, well past the half century mark, frankly, I feel blessed to still be here. Hypertension, high blood pressure, which I have, diabetes, (as a kid, I can remember my older relatives saying “he got that sugar” which meant diabetes, very confusing for a kid without explanation), and obesity are some of the gifts brought on by the pressures of society survival to Blacks in America and many other marginalized ethnicities as well.  Gut health and getting enough sleep have been issues I struggle with and I know I’m not alone. I’ve tried a million different things to no avail and it seems like it worsens with age.

 

Australian biologist, Dr. David Sinclair, who is a professor of Genetics at Harvard University, was a guest on the comedy podcast, Smartless, in February and talked very frankly about reversing the cells in the aging process that enable your body to continue fighting off disease that is already in us but weakened with age and lifestyle. I’ll put the link below that is chock full of information, some of which I’ve gleaned and applied.

https://smartless.simplecast.com/episodes/david-sinclair

Intermittent fasting: A very trendy weight-loss method in Hollywood, but, the benefits far outweigh the trend. Fasting promotes several things in your body: Cellular repair, changes in hormone levels and gene expression. Dr. Sinclair talked about the need to be hungry to trigger the function of genes that are related to longevity and protection against disease. The three methods of intermittent fasting: 16/8 method, which is skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1-9pm, is the one I use, except I’m on 11a-7p. The Eat-stop-Eat, is fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, example from dinner to dinner, seemed harder, and the 5:2 diet, consuming only 500-600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5, also seemed tough. The 16/8 has been most effective for me and only took a couple of weeks to adapt to.

“Sleep will make you live longer.” Dr. Sinclair talks about the need to get the heart rate up at least 4 times a week. Exercise is key and when I’m on a regular exercise schedule, I do sleep better. Stretching before bed nightly has helped with back stiffness and other rusty joints in the morning. Eating plant-based foods and trying not to overload the body with proteins are new incorporations to my lifestyle, difficult for this meat-eater/lover. Resveratrol, the compound most prevalent in red wine, is a recommendation from Dr. Sinclair I’ve happily taken to heart, but, the intermittent fasting had yielded the most noticeable results, especially with my gut. I also use the natural calm magnesium supplement as a sleep aid.

https://amzn.to/3tJfPxJ

Conclusion

1. Intermittent fasting

2. Exercise at least every other day for 30mins

3. Plant-based foods, don’t overload the body with proteins

4. Knowing your DNA makeup and avoiding/adjusting genetic risk factors

5. For those that can, Red Wine! Resveratrol also available in supplements https://amzn.to/3n9LaqW

Getting up every morning is both a blessing and a time of discovery. Some days seem to bring a new or missing body part that cause me to look under the bed in hopes of finding it there. Maybe a spare? “Listen to your body!” Something I’ve heard my entire life, but, taken to heart more and more seriously with age. “You’re not 16 anymore!” my mother used to constantly remind my father whenever he’d attempt a new household project. I hear that in my head all the time as I remember the words of Dr. Sinclair, who, by the way, is not my guru or anything, when he said that you are only 20% genetics and 80% how you live your life, giving me hope that I don’t have to go out with something horrible like my parents. There are absolutely no guarantees, but doing the best one can to be proactive gives satisfaction and positive results. Mine is a rented body, it’d be nice to return it in decent condition when called because don’t we all want to get at least part of our deposit back? 

 

What are your aging tips?

 

 

 

 

 

Michele Lamar Richards

Friday 23rd of April 2021

Thank you all for the loving thread of health! My tips are; breathing and water and minerals and joy. There is nothing on God's green earth that can't be cured with air and water. That's what my grandmother told me and she is right. I swear by deep breathing and enemas. Also with food grade hydrogen peroxide, alkaline drops and zeolite liquid I can pretty much cure anything. Practice prevention of course. There is goldenseal root, zinc and elderberry but for high blood pressure Hawthorne berries are king. I've never been on any processed medicine due to using herbs and making my own tinctures. And foreplay folks! Slow loving touches can cure just about anything.

CB

Saturday 24th of April 2021

Another great list of tips! Well done, thanks Miche!

Brian Ann

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Loved reading all of that, including the comments. The fasting is a wonder when I'm successful. I will add music and laughter to necessities of a better life. Isn't it amazing that each day brings to mind another body part that I had completely forgotten about demanding attention? And then POOF! It's fine.

CB

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Thanks BA. I gotta tell ya, any time my body goes POOF these days, it's never fine and rarely works out well. 😁

Laura Boccaletti

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Ah, now you're talking my language! Thanks for this piece. Three more things to add to your list: water, time spent out in nature, and a positive attitude. Also letting go of regrets and resentments via forgiveness exercises does wonders for the health in general. Stay healthy my friend!

CB

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Best tips EVER! Thank you Laura

Michael Thors

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Thanks Chris! Great info and tips. I've tried the intermittent fasting a few times and really should go back. It really works when you stick to it! I know you're probably thinking "Ricks skinny little brother needs to diet???" It's true. I've developed a belly. You know it's bad when you find lint there, dust bunnies and, occasionally, a dryer sheet. :). Thanks Chris for your blog. Love reading it!

CB

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

Hilarious Michael. I’ve never found a dryer sheet, but, I have found several meals in there from time to time. Not complaining, it beats having to cook!