How Much Exercise Should An 80 Year Old Woman Get Healthy Aging – Centenarians and Seniors Can Live Healthy, Active, Fulfilling Lives – And So Can You

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Healthy Aging – Centenarians and Seniors Can Live Healthy, Active, Fulfilling Lives – And So Can You

Studies of centenarians and supercentenarians have taught us more than we previously knew about the aging process and what keeps us alive. Four blue zones have been identified, regions of the world with the oldest inhabitants. These four areas are: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California, and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

o Panchita Castillo, who recently turned 100 years old, lives in Hojancha, Costa Rica, a place with one of the healthiest and oldest populations on the planet. The researchers attribute this longevity to the quality of life in the village. The following are some of the factors that seem to keep these villagers alive.

– They have a strong sense of purpose

– They drink hard water with a high calcium content

– They focus on their family

– They eat a light dinner

– They have social networks

– They continue to work hard

– have regular “smart” sun exposure

– They have strong spiritual connections that keep them stress-free



o Richard Savage, 100, of Chicago, Speedy Iavarone, 100, of Wood Dale, Ill., Marcia Hawkins, 100, of Chicago, and Lucia Klas, 102, of Morton Grove, Ill., were recently treated to a free lunch at the ESPN Zone in Chicago to share their enthusiasm for the Chicago Cubs, despite the team’s 100 years of failure. These centenarians have a great interest in sport, a passion that continues.

Aging in America

The good news is that Americans are living longer, suffering fewer deaths from heart disease and stroke, and improving recovery from cancer and other illnesses. The share of the US population over 65 has increased from 9.5% in 1967 to 12.4% in 2005, to an estimated 20% in 2030, approximately 70 million. In 2011, 76 million American baby boomers will turn 65.

Active Seniors aged 60 to 99

Here are just a few of the many seniors living active and healthy lives from their 60s to their 90s and beyond.

o Nola Ochs, got her bachelor’s degree, at the age of 95, from Fort Hays State University in Kansas

o Michael DeBakey, MD, 97, internationally recognized heart surgeon from Texas and Denham Harman, MD, 89, father of the free radical theory of aging, continue to work and lecture. Dr. Harman suggests taking vitamins and antioxidants to curb the production of free radicals, specifically vitamins C and E and coenzyme Q-10 and beta-carotene.

o Harry Bernstein, 96, became a first-time published author of The Invisible Wall, a memoir of growing up Jewish in the mill town of Stockport, England, during the First World War era.

o Irena Sendler, “a Polish social worker who helped save some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis by taking them out of the Warsaw ghetto and giving them false identities…” died at age 98 on 5/12/08.

o Dorian Paster, MD, 86, happily married for 48 years and director of his surf camp for over 35 years. “This doctor spends an hour and a quarter doing deep breathing squats, flexibility exercises, and some ten-pound barbell work, every morning and prays and converses with the deceased.

or Wifold Bialokur, at the age of 71, runs 6.2 miles in less than 44 minutes, smoothly and with control.

o Sheila Johnson, 60, a retired high school algebra teacher who is the third female player in the USTA’s 60s division, joined the varsity tennis team at Grand Canyon University .

The bad news is that the vast majority of seniors have at least one chronic [physical] illness, and 50% have at least two chronic conditions that limit their basic activities.

Nearly 20% of older Americans also have mental disorders. Many primary care physicians think that psychiatric symptoms are just “normal aging” or chronic physical illness. Almost 90 percent of depressed older patients in primary care receive no or inadequate treatment. Only a very small percentage receive treatment for mental disorders from a mental health specialist as they age.

The National Comorbidity Study found that by age 75, the lifetime risk of having a diagnosed psychiatric disorder is greater than 50%. This study revealed that mental illness begins in the early twenties followed by a gradual increase in additional conditions, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, impulse control disorders, and substance abuse . Psychology Today reported similar findings in its own study, Therapy in America.

The answer to these health problems is being presented to us every day by authorities and experts in wellness, nutrition, diet and exercise, counseling, therapy, spirituality. It is up to each and every one of us to find our own path to health. Information and help is available if we seek it. The next step is to follow the recipes and advice they give us to improve and maintain our own health and emotional well-being.

In a 2005 National Geographic article, “The Secrets of Long Life,” author Dan Buettner identified three “blue zones,” regions of the world with the greatest longevity of their inhabitants. At that time he had identified three of these areas, Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Loma Linda, California. He recently added a fourth Blue Zone, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, where he met and interviewed Panchita Castillo and her 80-year-old son, Tommy.

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