Although the next best selling “How to” self improvement book is always right around the corner, the basics never change. The only change seems to be in the interpretation.

11 Proven Keys to Live Long and Age Well:

  1. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet
  2. Exercising regularly
  3. Getting adequate sleep
  4. Getting regular fresh air and sunlight
  5. Having social connections
  6. Being a lifelong learner
  7. Reducing Stress
  8. Working towards goals
  9. Being of service to others
  10. Maintaining a spiritual connection
  11. Having stimulating employment

As the saying goes, the “devil is in the details.” There is no lack of books defining a balanced and nutritious diet. Anyone with a sincere interest in improving their health need only go to their local bookstore. The problem comes with those details. Do you have a eating disorder, metabolic problem, thyroid issues, a need to lose weight, gain weight, an alcohol addiction, a need for probiotics, there is a book for your condition.

The list doesn’t seem all that long, just 11 key things to do, it is just so hard getting number 1 right. Maybe the goal should be to focus on getting numbers 2 through 11 right first. And for that pesky number 1 – everyone knows what foods are bad. Just don’t eat those.

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing  


Whether you read a book, article or watch a show on health and fitness, all avenues to wellness include exercise. If the benefits of exercise could be packages in a pill form, the product would sell out. But what if all of those well known benefits could be achieved in an entertaining and virtually pain free way. Mirabai Holland has created such a program with her Moving Free Longevity Solution DVD set.

This program is created for beginners or anyone who has had trouble getting on or staying on a fitness program. Mirabai’s Moving Free system can take you from being a sedentary person to an active one in only 5 minutes at a time. Mirabai has a pleasant personality and uses gentle coaching as she encourages you along the way to better fitness.

The Cardio Dance Level 1 video in this DVD set is especially motivating. Her use of beautiful seaside scenery and engaging music ensure the participant will not become tired of this video any time soon. It begins with the necessary information to make this a safe experience. A brief description of the circulatory system as well as easy to follow directions on taking your heart rate. This video and all of her other videos can be used in small increments, starting slow and building until a person can do the entire program.

Mirabai is a certified health coach and certified exercise physiologist. Her Moving Free approach to exercise is designed to provide a movement experience so pleasant it really doesn’t feel like work. People say of her “Mirabai makes me want to exercise.”

Seniors know that when they now go for their annual Medicare fitness check, they will be asked how often they exercise. How wonderful at any age to be able to say you spend 20 minutes three times a week dancing your way to fitness.

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing


She was just pausing at the entrance of the grocery store, I paused as well to ask if I could be of assistance. She said no, she just needed to stop for a minute for her eyes to adjust to the dim light of the store on this sunny August day. She shared that she was now 86 years old and she had to be more careful. How very fortunate she was, shopping alone, car in the lot, very attractive slack outfit on and gray hair piled on top of her head in a very fetching bun.

As anyone knows who finds themselves sitting with a group of seniors chatting about their health issues, people do not age in the same way at the same rate. Even identical twins will age differently. If we all aged exactly the same everyone would become more and more alike as they get older, and that is not the case.  Older adults vary in the same way younger people do in their attitudes, recreational activities, how they look, and social connections.

But physically there are some similarities:

  1. Vision, as with the lady in the grocery store, aging causes a greater sensitivity to glare. Adapting to changes in light levels is slower and there is greater difficulty seeing in lower light.
  2. Heart, the heart muscle thickens with age and the body’s ability to extract oxygen from blood diminishes.
  3. Arteries, stiffen with age, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood forward through arteries that are less elastic.
  4. Lungs, between the ages of 40 – 70 breathing capacity diminishes about 40%.
  5. Brain, the aging brain loses axons and neurons that connect with each other.
  6. Kidneys, gradually become less efficient in removing waste from the blood.
  7. Bladder, the bladder capacity declines.
  8. Body fat, with aging fat tends to settle more in the deeper organs of the body causing more of a apple shape.
  9. Muscles, without exercise muscle mass will decrease about 23% between the ages of 30 and 70.
  10. Bones, bone mineral is lost and replaced throughout the life time but at the age of 35 you no longer replace as much as is lost.
  11. Hearing, it becomes harder to hear higher pitches with aging, and background noises make hearing more difficult.
  12. Personality, does not change with the aging process. However seniors who experience chronic pain, or a significant loss are at risk for depression.

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing