A forensic pathologist tells us how to live to a good old age

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Adapted from Medscape August 31 2022 Would you like to live to a ripe old age? George D Lundberg MD

Do

Choose ancestors who did not die of natural causes in young adulthood or middle age (oophs…too late!)

Maintain a body mass index within the healthy range using a variety of tools

Maintain blood pressure within a normal range with or without medications

Maintain a low resting heart rate

Do eat whole grains including bran

Consume above ground leafy vegetables, some root vegetables, tree nuts, peanuts and berries

Ingest supplemental fibre such as psyllium husks

Ingest supplemental magnesium and possibly vitamins K2, C and D

Enjoy eating animal and vegetable fats including milk, cheese, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs in moderation.

Eat two full meals a day

Do drink alcohol after 5pm

Sleep 6-8 hours a night

Walk up and downstairs and use handrails if necessary

Continue to be active physically, mentally, socially and sexually

Study and enjoy birds, bees, trees, plants, flowers and wildlife

Value your family life and participate actively while encouraging individuals to live their own lives

Read great books, fiction or non fiction a little every day

Actively engage in person or electronically with younger people

Stay informed about current world affairs and care about what you can change

Be passionate about culture such as performing and visual arts and sport

Recognise the value of spirituality and religion and feel free to live otherwise if you choose

Do your best to earn and retain as much money as needed to control your environment into old age

Take charge of your own health

Listen to your body

Maintain a long term relationship with a reliable and conservative primary care physician and certain specialists that fit the needs of older people.

Promote good vision in any way you can

Use hearing aids if you need them to retain brain function

See your dentist every 6 to 12 months and practice good oral hygiene. There is a strong correlation between the number of original teeth and length of life

Keep up to date with vaccinations

Maintain a safe distance and use mask if you may be around infective people

Take as few medications as necessary

Have as few diagnostic tests and surgical procedures as possible especially on the back and the knees

Use acupuncture and massage appropriately

Apply moisturising skin lotion especially after sun exposure

Use saline mist often to prevent nosebleeds

Walk at least 2 miles every day

If you can, swim every day

Practice yoga particularly the standing side bend, prone baby cobra, forward plank and windshield-wiper

Eat a protein rich diet and deliberately weight train or lift heavy objects to reduce sarcopenia

stand on one foot to improve balance

Use wearable exercise monitors if you find them useful

If you retire from work do some part time or volunteer jobs

Have something productive and fulfilling to do each day

Don’t

Inhale tobacco smoke

Consume sugar or sugar in anything in home cooked or restaurant meals, in soft drinks, fruit juices, pastries, desserts or processed foods

Use street drugs

Use natural or synthetic opioids except for short term relief of severe pain or the relief of pain from advanced cancer: then use all you need

Use sleep medication

Drink more than moderately or binge drink

Drive a vehicle after drinking or taking certain psychoactive drugs

Keep firearms in your home or workplace

Fret about things in your personal life or world affairs that you cannot change

Completely retire and have nothing useful to do

My comments: Dr Lundberg has a pretty long list of sensible suggestions. To these I would add, get some daily sunshine if you can and enjoy your pets. Have things to look forward to. Keep in touch with your friends and make contact with old ones who you value but don’t see often. Learn new things. What other suggestions do you have?

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