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Strive realistically and end up old

Preparing for Old Age

Even late in life, potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development.

Traditional definitions of successful aging have emphasised absence of physical and cognitive disabilities." (WP, "Ageing")

In 1935 the swami Yogananda registered his Self-Realization Fellowship Church in California. Among its purposes are: "To teach a religion or preech [!] religion known as "Self-Realization Fellowship" (Yogoda Sat-Sanga), the practical aim of which is to make lasting youth and arrest old age by using the unlimited power of God and Cosmic Energy instead of trying to obtain health only from the use of the physical means of food and exercise [The SRF Church Article 2d, highlighting added]."

The desire to live long was there, but see what happened to Yogananda. He died at 59 during a banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles in 1952. By contrast, a ripe old age is 120 in the Ayurvedic text Sharngadhara from the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Anyway, the main thing to go for is to live well and make good use of one's life. A life well lived may rank higher than a short or long, desultory life.

Ageing is in ordinary cases a cumulative result of several factors. They include atherosclerosis (in which the inside of an artery narrows due to the build-up of plaque); chronic, high stress; changes in hormone balance; smoking and drinking in excess and much else. One by one the factors may be identified and counteracted, if one or several fit remedies are found. But below a generally good way stands out. It is TM:

Ageing

Chronological ageing (how old are you?) is a convenient way of reckoning a person's age. There is also biological ageing - The workings and health of body organs may be measured and compared with that of others. In a comparative perspective, some get a lower biological age than peers, and some are physically older than their age. Guess how many years younger people who learn Transcendental Meditation, TM, get than peers who have not learnt TM. One answer is given:

In a study conducted by the International Journal of Neuroscience, the biological age of practitioners of transcendental meditation was, on average, twelve years younger than their chronological age. Transcendental meditation also has positive effects on age and stress related conditions such as insomnia, high blood pressure, decreased visual acuity, hearing loss and depressed cerebral blood flow. [◦A source] (Highlighting added)

If you learn a fine meditation method, you could improve your standing: live longer and healthier at it too. That is one of the boons of TM.

Biological ageing and chronological ageing may "pace differently": Some look younger than the average, and some older, and some are biologically younger, and others biologically older. And Transcendental Meditation, TM, is capable of slowing down ageing by twelve years [and even more] for long-time meditators. General health and wellness is improved too by TM.

✑ Research: [◦Dr David Orme Johnson]

✑ TM site: [◦Official TM site]

Sound measures

Rowe and Kahn (1987) characterise successful aging as involving three components: a) freedom from disease and disability, b) high cognitive and physical functioning, and c) social and productive engagement."

A yoga mat and yoga postures and gentle breathing methods may assist it also, among many other measures, including making good use of Ayurvedic balancing.

  • Some add chemicals to their bodies, hoping, groping. It could be better to go for natural substances without abuse, at least in theory. (WP, "Ageing > Prevention and reversal")
  • Kind humour helps health and longevity too, as documented by research in Norway. [◦ Professor Sven Svebak's findings]

Looking younger through Meditative Yoga

In aging, there are individual variables and they differ. It means that averages and averages-based findings do not apply equally well in any single case. Through averages-based research findings we get estimates of various odds of success, though.

TM suits very many, and makes many biologically younger than their (chronological) age. TM could work against some forty not so good effects of aging. [◦More TM research]

A decent life well lived could be a good help too, in its way. It could further help to get proficient in one's work, home management and so on, and avoid or reduce stress.

A winner can look like a common man and conformist. The hallmarks of a winner include being genuine. To be a real winner is to be steadily oneself, authentic.

One sees these factors referred to, among others

  • Exercising and eating helpful foods.
  • Caring for your brain
  • Curious and optimistic
  • Soul nurture.
  • Socialising well, if it can be
  • Having purpose
  • Making your home safer as you age
  • Saving smart for life and success
  • Avoid tuna (a mercury warning) (Gitterle 2011)

A little on superfoods

Food fads come and go - Superfood is a marketing term for food with supposed health benefits. Macmillan Dictionary understands it as "a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions", and the Oxford Dictionary defines it as "a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being".

The definitions say that claimed effects of various "superfoods" might not be fully satisfactory. Granted that, some "best superfoods" may be added to a healthy diet if it is documented somehow that they have considerable nutritional value and extra health benefits. For example being low in bad fats and processed sugars. But that last points fits common food too. Besides, much depends on how food is prepared. (WP, "Superfood")

Some superfoods may amount to to keep your immune system strong. Some superfoods are rich in antioxidants, which destroy free radicals ("cell-harmers") in your body, a protection that may amount to ease your aging.

Besides reducing damage to your skin, some superfoods can be good for the heart by reducing inflammation and keeping blood vessels healthy, and keep connective tissue quite strong.

Many superfoods are delicious and can be used in many sorts of recipes.

Quotations

[Quotations on Old Age]

  Contents  


Warming up to old age, aging, ageing well, Yogananda, Literature  

Agin, Brent, and Sharon Perkins. Healthy Aging for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2008.

Ebeling, Catherine, and Mike Geary. The Top 101 Superfoods That Fight Aging: The Best Youth-Enhancing Foods, Spices, Herbs, and Other Tricks to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger, Protect Your Skin, Muscles, Organs and Joints to SLOW Aging. Seattle, WA: Amazon Digital Services, 2014.

Gitterle, Marcus L. Growing Young: A Doctor's Guide to the NEW Anti-Aging. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2011.

Maranan, Julia. The 100 Best Ways to Stop Aging and Stay Young: Scientifically Proven Strategies for Taking Years off Your Body. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2011.

Rosensweig, Jeffrey, and Betty Liu. Age Smart: Discovering the Fountain of Youth at Midlife and Beyond. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson / Prentice Hall, 2006

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