Want to Stay Forever Young?

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May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift,
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

-- Copyright 1973, 2001 Ram's Horn Music

When Bob Dylan first sang this over 40 years ago, who thought the words would mean anything? I mean, we WERE young and were going to stay that way. Who ever thought we'd be 65-years-old? And yet, for most of my high school class of 1966, that's exactly how old we are.

Well, cosmeceuticals, anti-aging skin-care, "glycans," spas, "clinically proven ingredients," teas and plastic surgery haven't done it. Perhaps if we followed Dylan's recipe, we'd all be fit, happy and enjoying optimal health. Fortunately, many of us are.

May you always do for others
And let others do for you,
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young...

May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you,
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young...

Dylan was on to something. I was recently asked to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Aging, an honor bestowed on me by Colin Milner, the organization's founder and CEO.

We at the ICAA know that people who are active and fully engaged in life, embrace life's dimensions of wellness, who are busy, who see the roses on the thorn bushes instead of the thorns on the rose bushes in life, whose hearts sing, who do for others, never stop building and growing, and stand upright and remain strong...stay forever young.

Whether you are an athlete who exercises or participates in sports daily, or works at a physically demanding job, and you want to maintain or improve your fitness level; or someone who works out a couple of times a week and want to manage your weight or control your diabetes or osteoarthritis; or someone who's in need of a bit of help to regain strength and balance and improve your mobility and functional abilities; or, perhaps, you are just trying to do some activities of daily life and need ongoing assistance -- physical activity and exercise are the most powerful illness prevention strategies and health promotion techniques we have.

This means daily routine activities that simply expend energy, and physical exercise that includes cardio and functional/resistance training to promote agility, coordination, endurance, strength and balance.

Along with the physical, are the emotional and cognitive lenses through which you look at life. Staying actively involved in work or volunteer activities, cultivating and enjoying meaningful social interactions, living in a natural, healthy environment, round out the ICAA "Seven Dimensions of Wellness."

You can assess your "forever young health age" here using this well-established, researched and non-commercial health age calculator that I discussed in a recent interview.

May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.