Getting older

I was not sure if I should post about old-age, because I don't have experience in being old. But: I do see the problems that come along with getting older and I talked to several people who know how it feels to loose mobility, flexibility and tend to forget.

When I look at my recent family history, some members became over 100 years old, another one (even if not got that old) started learning Spanish and how to play the piano when he was already in his sixties). I think I am at risk not making it until 100 - but who knows.

I want to summarize a few essentials to keep in mind:
  • Retain physical fitness and health
    Do some sports and movement (of course do not exaggerate). My father in law (over 70) does a lot walking and he is in good shape. He was used to walk into town center and back nearly every day (now less).

    A few years ago I read an article about interview that have been done with people above 100 and asked them what they do and what their behaviors are - to find out the secrets of staying healthy. Basically they found out that those people did not have much in common. A single thing was: Once a day they all where sweating...

    And then I saw an interview with the oldest Italian (also a few years ago). He was a shepherd - and basically sleeping a lot.
  • Don't focus on yourself too much
    Many people, when getting old, focus on their sufferings, worry much about their health, worry about change, worry about how they will survive with the increasing amount of help they need and so on.

    I can see that those, who (still) focus on serving others, who are interested in (learning new) things, focus on doing (be it sports, literature or handicrafts) etc - stay better.
  • Train your brain
    A big issue can be the memory that cannot hold (especially short-term) information very well any more - people can be physically healthy but the brain slowly gets inflexible and people forget faster.

    It is important to know that your brain is like a forest where you can throw in quite every information and it remains there. The problem is usually to find the information. You need to walk through that forest to create paths to the information stored in your brain. This means: You need to fetch the information. So, if you do much reading or go to the theater etc - basically just consuming - talk with your buddies, friends or even foreigners or make use of the know-how you have in any other form (giving talks or writing also helps).
The worst thing that can happen is to give up yourself. I have also asked friends about their grand-parents - how they become old and what they experienced etc. - even if it is just going out once a day - if you stop activity, you lose. Use it (yourself) or lose it! A rolling stone gathers no moss!

Related posts: One-way ticket, Dynamic activity, The state of mind matters, Take care of you, About drugs, Urging to forge at full speed.