Stay Young at Heart

Stay young at heart so you can die young, even when your birthdate might say you’re chronologically old.  In my upcoming book in which I reveal the health secrets of those people who live the longest and strongest of all - I share stores and research revealing how whole-hearted living is a seldom mentioned health measure.

What do Julia Albu (an 80-year old South African) and Ruth  (a 93-year old American) have in common?  At least three things in terms of their ‘ways of BEing”:

  • courage, 
  • a sense of adventure and a 
  • great sense of curiosity.  
Julia albu 80-year old
93-year old sparkly Ruth

And these states of BEing, play through their cells, changing their biology in health-enhancing ways.  It’s as if they are signalling their cells and saying:  “Hey you, I’m still young at heart so don’t think you can go to sleep on me….we still have a LOT of adventuring and a lot of living to do.”  It’s not necessarily that they have an absence of fear - it’s that they feel the fear, but do what most people their age wouldn’t do despite the fear.  They aren’t prepared to stop living, just because they’re getting older.  They aren’t prepared to shut down their lives.  These are all attributes I notice when I study the lives of Centenarians - those extreme survivors - who have healthy longevity beyond the age of 100.

There’s another thing they have in common - their minds don’t reside in what Dr. Mario Martinez refers to as the cultural portal of ‘old age.’  This is a definite way to stay young at heart.  Even within cultures that paint a narrative of old age looking like frailty, increasing dependence, more doctors visits, more pills and more walkers - these two have created a heart and mental space where they reside in a cultural portal much younger than those stories.  And this, it turns out staying young at heart is good for your heart and  tremendously protective of health overall.  This is a powerful way of signaling their cells to stay young!

Ruth has this bubbly spirit and her eyes dance with curiosity….and you’d better be sharp to keep up with her!  While most 93-year olds might be living in their rocking chairs, Ruth is out and about and planning her next adventure whether it’s a road trip into the far reaches of Canada where very few others venture, or whether it’s participating in her next birthday adventure be that zip-lining, or river-rafting.  Ruth said that even with her legs were quaking, and her heart trembling, she took the plunge and loved every minute of it.

Julia on how to stay young at heart

And as for Julia, in June 2017 she took her 20-year old Toyota with it’s almost 400 000Km on the clock who she affectionately calls ‘Tracey” and started her solo road trip on the adventure of a lifetime.  She started in South Africa with her end destination being London and her purpose being to raise money for the Cape Town based Shine Literacy Organization.  Larger than life, her attitude is at 80 is .....what do I have to lose?  Indeed and what does she have to gain?  Well not only memories of a lifetime, but admiration from others she’s inspiring, and adding purpose and meaning to her life as she raises money and does good. If you're inspired by her, you can help here here.

And there’s yet another thing about them both - they don’t listen to all the nay-sayers.  All those people who tell them they’re too old to be doing this, or that at their age it’s dangerous.  They have this quiet determination to take charge of their own destiny and why is this important?  Because they’re helping the rest of us become inspired to write a new story about aging, it’s a story about how to die young as late as possible! 

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