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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Worry and Live Longer

Today’s article appeared in the Bottom Line Personal newsletter volume 32, number 16, August 15, 2011. Howard S. Friedman, PhD was the lead researcher of the most extensive study on longevity ever conducted. 1,528 Americans were followed from early childhood until their death. The study began in 1921 and interviews were conducted every 5 to 10 years with researchers looking at nearly 10,000,000 pieces of data including work habits, exercise routines, social relations and personality traits. Some of the findings may surprise you.
Conscientiousness was defined as people who are detail oriented, responsible and organized. By the year 2000, 70% of the men and 51% of the women in the study had died. The majority of deaths occurred among those with low conscientious scores. Conscientious people are more prudent in their personal habits, are less likely to smoke or consume excessive amounts of alcohol, and have healthier, more stable relationships and better work lives than low conscientious individuals. Also, the scientists speculated that conscientious people have higher levels of serotonin and/or other neurotransmitters that curb impulsive and risk-taking behavior. Hopefully, the more you mature the more conscientious you can become. If that is so, you might be able to increase your longevity. So think more about ways in which you can be conscientious.
Researchers also found that as far as worrying goes, they challenged the notion and found that people who worry tend to live longer than those who are described as being cheerful and worry free. Of course neither too much worrying nor too much optimism is a good thing as far as the study goes. You remember the Goldilocks and the three Bears story that it is important to find the right balance as your food can’t be to either too hot or too cold. Well, the researchers came up with a personality trait called “realistic optimism” which is defined as being optimistic at the right time and worrying when appropriate. If you think that you might be too negative then a change in your thinking is in order. See a psychologist if you are unable to do it on your own.
In the 1980s, individuals over the age of 70   were followed over the next 20 years. The results indicated that individuals who stayed productive tend to have healthier habits, had things  to look forward to, and set goals lived much longer than those that took it easy and avoided stress in their lives. Results also indicated that steadily married men tend to live longer than single, remarried , or divorced men. As far as women are concerned, women who were divorced and those that never married lived just about as long as women who were steadily married. And the best social networks are those that involve helping others. This trait can be called generativity as identified by Erikson.
The findings in this study have a positive correlation with prescriptions number 1,2,3,5, and 7 in “It Has Nothing to Do with Age.” The recipe for living a long and healthy life can be found in the stories I tell.  My book should be coming out within the next two weeks, I’m happy to say. It’s been a long process and another journey is to begin.


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