Have you ever been in the company of the old? I’m sure we all have. At one point or the other we’ve had the privilege of being with our grannies. For most of the middle aged today, it’s with our now aging parents. You may have at one time or the other wondered why most of those in their 70s appear frail. If you are fortunate, you might have heard accounts that clear any doubts as to their once youthful energy and ebullient drive in the prime of life. But today these senior citizens appear as shadows of themselves and yes, black does crack.
The men and women of the last century lived strong even till their advanced years but then you may argue that they didn’t enjoy the hall marks of wealth and accomplishment available in these present days. These badges of development and urbanization have subtly improved our quality of life but at the same time, so subtly steals years from right under our noses.
While the World Health Organization recommends we achieve 10,000 steps daily (other recommendations exist such as 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week), most people hardly want to park their cars anywhere more 10 steps from the entrance of the office or mall. We glorify the life of air-conditioned offices, cars and homes. Some folks flick on the car AC switch even on cool mornings as though the outdoor air was toxic.
The irony is that our senior citizens would not really make the cut of the senior category in some of the developed nations, where some 70 year olds compete in walk events and 80 year olds drive freely.
According to World Bank stats in 2014 (PS America is 79), Nigeria has a lower life expectancy of 53. We need to appreciate like I have, that 30 in Nigeria is the new 50. Young men are developing the chronic non communicable diseases (NCD) earlier than expected. Chaps are popping anti-hypertensive pills more than you know. If you’re 35 and above you need to get the basic tests done – weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, lipid profile, BMI, the works. You also have to consider making positive lifestyle changes that will ensure that you still remain healthy as the clock of life winds down. Adopt better dietary choices and exercise regularly to bring down your waistline and body mass index (BMI) to safer levels.
Do so while you can before it becomes mandatory doctor’s orders. Moderation in everything should be the new mantra. Believe me, God on our sides, there is going to be a tomorrow, don’t use up your quota before your golden years.
See you next time.
“Everyone must chose between 2 pains, the pain of discipline today or the pain of regret tomorrow, do chose your pain wisely”. – Jim Rohn