Thursday, February 07, 2013
If you're physically active and sociable, you can expect to add how many years to your life span?
Answer: d. According to a major 2012 study in the British Medical Journal, people 75 or older who "swam, walked, or did gymnastics" (meaning, in Brit speak, they attended stretching and toning classes) and who had a "rich or moderate social network" lived more than five years longer than people who were isolated and sedentary. Even "the oldest old," past age 85, could expect an extra four years of life if they remained active and socially engaged.
This reminded me of a family story that my Dad used to tell. His Great Uncle Dave came to the U.S. when he was five years old from Scotland. He was always very active and even "Curled" into his late 80s. His bedtime ritual was to set out his cereal bowl and spoon for the next morning. One night when he was a mere 97 years old, he set out his bowl and spoon, went to bed, and never woke up again. What a wonderful way to go and what a full and active life he had.