“Use it or lose it!” You’ve heard this cliché all your life, right?  That’s because it is absolutely correct.  You could buy a brand new car, park it in a brand new garage and protect it from all the elements, but if you don’t crank it up regularly and go for a ride, it will fall apart.

The disintegration process is sometimes called “entropy,” which refers to the errors in a system that causes it to fall apart because the object is not being used properly, if at all.  It is when something — like your body, for instance — that gradually declines into disorder. It’s a fact of life. “Entropy” happens as we age unless we continue to properly use the system that God has given us.

Exercise your muscles or they will disappear.  Move your joints or they will become arthritic.  Eat properly or suffer energy loss or stoke.  Use your brain or become senile. Learn to relax or have a heart attack.  You get the message.

You Can Prevent Senility

Let’s zero in on senility.  Studies have shown that some people in their 70s, 80s, 90s and above, have high levels of Alzheimer’s disease in their brains, but somehow manage to retain normal cognition.  Why is that?  Have they simply not lived long enough for the disease to manifest itself?  Or have they used their brain efficiently to ward off the effects?

The later appears to be correct.  Lots of people in the twilight of their lives pass away with normal cognition.  They are as sharp mentally as they were when they were 50 years old or so younger.  The obvious answer is:  They never quit exercising their brains.  They socialized, read, worked crossword puzzles, stayed active in their work or avocation, and learned how to rest their minds through proper rest and quiet meditation.

Wheel of Health

So, it is very important to not only to nourish our physical bodies, exercise them properly and rest them with at least 8 hours of sleep daily, the same sort of cycle applies to our brains.  Eat food low in saturated fats, keep hypertension and cholesterol in proper balance, learn how to meditate instead of sitting around or sleeping throughout the day, read more books and watch less television, interact with people, stay busy and remain productive.  It’s like riding on a giant wheel of wheel of health.  All you really need to do is keep pedaling.

Also note that, while it’s harmful to be overweight when you’re young, carrying the proper amount as you age is critical as you enter into your 60s, 70s, and 80s.  Being too thin can kill you too!

Here are some other interesting findings:

— People who live longer drink two to three cups of coffee a day.

— People who exercise live longer than those who don’t, even if it’s only 15 minutes of walking a day.  The ideal is 30 minutes and constant motion, and 45 minutes is even better.  But check with your doctor first about what’s best for you.

— People who do something — including meditation — rather than just sitting around and wasting time, live longer, as do those who continue to engage socially, go to church or other place of worship, remain active politically and read, write, play bridge and solve problems that require using their brains.

In other words, maintain a healthy lifestyle from “head to toe” in order to live a full, conscious life.  Strive to use every part of your body as you age.  It won’t be the same as when you were younger, but that’s natural.  And this applies especially to your brain.  Right?

Submitted by Lisa Burbage, Wellness Beyond Fifty, LLC