My own aging, along with that of my parents, siblings, and friends, has challenged me to become a student of what experts are calling "healthy aging." Using myself as both lab rat and lab attendant, I've been browsing, digging, reading, listening, and reacting. I've also been toning my triceps, filling up on fiber, ohm-ing at yoga, and banging the strings around my fingers against my head, asking, where has all the gray matter gone?
So what am I learning? Here's my personal short course:
Healthy aging isn't just about living a long life (though that's part of it). It's about living in good health as long as possible. Let's face it: if we're sick, disabled, or depressed in old age, we may not want a long life.
Healthy aging can be summed up with two interchangeable phrases - being well and well-being. Being well means we are healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Well-being means that these three are integrated and in balance.
Elementary, right? But how, exactly, do we stay or become well? How do we sustain or regain our well-being?