April 29, 2014

Choices That Serve Us Better

Choice, not chance, determines our destiny.  ~Aristotle

This week's post is written by gum surgeon Dr. Cheryl Townsend Winter, who was featured on Lines of Beauty a few years ago, when she was in the middle of writing her book. The book is now complete and chock full of very helpful guidance for the journey of aging.:

I like to think of life as a piece of art of which we are the artist. That life is a composition piece; a unique woven tapestry of the choices we make.  Dorothy Sander said: “We are all artists. We just create on our own unique kind of canvas.” I say, we are all artists and we create our own lives. 

One choice we make is attitude: we can see ourselves aging gracefully, and beautifully, with longevity. Not at all surprisingly, having a positive attitude contributes to longevity. Research by Becky Levy proves that having a positive outlook on aging can add seven and a half years to one's life.

But there is more to this story than just attitude. Genetics accounts for 1/3 of the factors that lead to a long life so there is the other 2/3 which is the composition of all of the choices we make each moment of every day: what we eat or drink; what we do or don't do; whether we smoke or not; what time we go to bed and get up, etc. We can decide to live healthier and enjoy feeling good as we move along the longevity pathway. To give you a few ideas of choices that serve us well, here are some examples from my book, The Aging Gracefully Pathway: A Toolkit for the Journey. Some of them may surprise or intrigue you:

Longevity Quick Tips: 

 -Drink water to be healthy, think clearly, and even lose weight. 

    -Play in the dirt a little (gardening is so good for us in so many ways) to help win the aging battle (strengthens immunity).

    -Prevent gum disease: Floss your teeth - adds six years to your life.

    -From RealAge.com: Two 20 minute walks per day can take five years off your biologic age.

    -Shedding pounds can add 3-4 years to your life. 

    -Appreciate the magnificent equipment the body is, listening to what it has to say, and acting as its steward.

  Thank you Doctor.  

  Dr. Cheryl Townsend Winter's book is available at Amazon