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Positive News    H5'ed 2/21/22

Don't Let an Old Person Move Into Your Body

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I'm not an expert on aging or fighting aging, but I've learned a few things that I think help keep me younger in body, mind and spirit. And most people guess that I'm in my mid-fifties. (Ok. Maybe they are being kind. Whatever. I feel young.)

My late friend, Jim Donovan, wrote a book with a title I find myself citing more and more as my age in years increases-- Don't Let An Old Person Move Into Your Body.

(Image by Jim Donovan)   Details   DMCA

There are plenty of people in their sixties, even fifties, who have allowed that old person to move into their bodies. when I went to my high school fiftieth reunion in 2018 I couldn't get over how many people described themselves as at the end of their lives. For some, that's true. I just learned last night that a friend had died at age 72. But both my grandfathers lived past 85 and I'm living my life with the expectation that I'll last that long, at the least.

At almost 71, I am fighting letting an old person into my body-- run/walking my 5Ks, playing racquetball, downhill skiing, starting new projects. Many of my friends can't do these things because they didn't keep their health and fitness up as they aged. I think it's a major priority. I never went to the gym until I was 38, but since then, I haven't stopped. When Covid closed the gym, I started slow running and found that I really enjoyed it.

It's never too late to get into a fitness program that can turn around your slide into decrepitude. You can start by just walking a few more steps than you usually do. My friend Les, just under a. year older than me, owns and runs a jewelry store. He uses his fitness watch to track the number of steps he takes and he takes over 18-20,000 steps a day. How does he do it? He walks in circles around his store. When I call him, he's walking and talking. 18-20,000 steps is a lot. All you need to do to up your daily exercise is to start by adding a few hundred extra steps-- a few minutes of walking. I think it's better if. you do it outside, connecting to nature, but anywhere is good. Join a gym. Many medicare plans include Silver Sneakers, which gives you free gym membership. Buy some dumbbells and stretch cords so you can do simple workouts at home.

And since getting old is also a head thing, I think it's important to stay engaged with the world. Start new projects, volunteer, join discussion groups-- face-to-face or on Zoom (the Saturday OEN Zoom meeting, going on for almost two. years now, is great.) Join a spiritual place where they offer engagement and lively ideas. My favorite, though it's pretty far from where I now live, is Pebble Hill Church, in Doylestown, PA, an interfaith community.

Start stretching your envelope. Research and explore new ways to connect with nature, with your community and your long held interests and hobbies. Take risks. Make new friends. Get a pet. I truly believe that pets help keep people alive longer for a lot of reasons, some of them well researched.

Consciously, intentionally, systematically engage in acts of kindness, not just found opportunities. Take extra time to care about others and do things for others, including doing them anonymously.

Start getting involved in some art or craft. That can turn into a vibrant commitment that can add so much to your life. And the Covid situation could actually help you in this regard. I have one friend, who will probably comment here, whose art life has truly blossomed during the Covid pandemic.

Eat healthier. You don't have to get religious about it or make it a full time practice, although that's better. You can start by having one vegetarian or vegan meal a week, or start buying more organic food. Eat fruit for sweetness instead of processed sugary stuff, and start avoiding the middle aisles of the grocery store, which is where they put all the highly processed food. While I've been in Brazil (Jan 17-Feb 21) I've been impressed to see how many people grow their own food. They can do that in the tropics. Part of the morning breakfast ritual is to go outside and pick some fresh fruit. We can't do that in the latitudes most of us live in, but we can invest more in fresh and unprocessed foods.

Turn off the TV. It's highly addicting and I worry about little children, who by the age of two or three can truly operate iPads and smart phones, whose parents use cartoons and these devices as free babysitters. I can't imagine anyone, on their deathbed wising they'd spent more time watching TV.

Spend time with people of different generations. This may not come easily if you don't have kids or grandkids or if you live in an over 55 community. You have to stretch to make it happen.

My author friend Jim, who wrote the Don't Let an Old Person Move Into Your Body book passed last year, in his mid seventies after a long time struggling with a chronic illness. But he lived all of his life thinking young, doing as much of the kinds of things I've described as he was able. The last time I saw him, we got together for lunch, a few months before he passed, he was telling me about all the new projects he was working on. I like the idea of dying with new unfinished projects, new hopes and horizons not met. That seems a lot better than a neatly wrapped up, 'I'm finished and ready to leave' attitude. Who knows. Those new projects, those new connections you make could just add years to your life.

Jim Donovan wrote his book in 2009. I'm certain that he followed its advice the last 12 years of his life and was a happier person for it. I invite you in joining me to do the same, even if you do it in tiny steps.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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