Health Living Ideas.... For 55+




3 Things You Can Only Learn As You Get Older

There are surprising benefits to getting older

John Mashni


“There is a person, an 80-year old version of yourself, that is rooting hard for you to make good decisions today.”


Most young people don’t appreciate the true advantages of being young.

And most people, as they age, realize that with aging comes new problems and difficulties


Certainly, there are advantages to being young.

But there are also advantages that can come with age.

Some of the most successful, impactful, and powerful people are older than the rest of us.

Not everyone loves the aging process, but there are a few things that we can only learn as we get older and experience some of life’s challenges.


1. Relationships are Invaluable

“You can never replace someone who cares.”


One of the most poignant rules of life is that we often don’t understand the value of something until we lose it.


I remember being cast in the play, You Can’t Take It With You — a play about how people are more important than the “things” which don’t benefit us beyond the end of our lives.

It was a fantastic experience.

But it was also tragic.

One of the cast members — my friend Chris — was killed in a car accident on the way to rehearsal one day.

I even wrote an article about how Chris’s death has had an impact on my life.


It is difficult to value our relationships until those relationships end.


I remember so clearly one relationship that meant so much to me.

I had just moved from being an independent contractor to an employee for a startup.

I was driving over an hour to work each day. I was deemed part of the IT department, even though I mainly did marketing.

I sat next to a man named Dave for the first few years that I worked at this company.

Dave and I connected quickly and became good friends.

Dave was a smart and talented man.

We had a special friendship, as our desks were next to each other for a few years.

We had great conversations and became good friends.

He had even been drafted by a professional baseball team but an injury derailed his ability to pitch professionally.

Dave had made my job much more enjoyable.

I actually looked forward to work! People make all of the difference.

But Dave’s story does not end here, as I will share more about him soon.


Multiple times I have had the unenviable task of laying people off. It is one of the most difficult aspects of managing people.

But it taught me one of the most important lessons about people that I have ever learned: you may be able to form new relationships, but you can never replace someone who cares deeply about an organization, a role, or you.


You can never replace someone who cares.


If we want to purchase something, one of the first things we want to know is the price.

Often, the amount of money we need to buy something is how we gauge the value of that thing. If something costs a lot, it is valuable.

If something costs a little, then it is cheap or low in value.


Creating amazing relationships also has a cost.

But the cost rarely involves money. In fact, I learned something amazing about the cost of relationships in comparison to the cost of anything else:

Anything you can buy with money is worthless.

The true worth of our lives is not calculated with the amount of money or assets that we have acquired. Our true worth is tied to the number of people that we have served and the relationships that we have created.

I wish that I learned this lesson earlier in my life. We need money to live, obviously. But anything we can buy with money is worthless.

Over time, one of the best lessons we can learn is this: relationships are invaluable. Don’t wait until you are older to figure this out. Learn it now.


2. There Are No Ordinary Moments

“Right now counts forever.”

Author and speaker Dan Millman had it right when he wrote, “There are no ordinary moments.”


“No ordinary moments” means that every second count.

It means that we are grateful for every minute that we get to be alive.

It means that there is no such thing as a moment that is worth less than the rest.

When I watch sports, I think about what it feels like to be in a late-game situation, where the last-minute goal or score creates victory or causes defeat.

But when I compare the sporting event to my own life, there is no buzzer-beating shot.

There is no second-half rally.


Every second tick by in the same consistent fashion.


The film director Alfred Hitchcock once said that film is life with all of the boring parts taken out.

But if we start with the premise that there are no ordinary moments, then even the parts that we think are boring can become important.


Every interaction can impact the people around us. In fact, some interactions can impact people far longer than we expect.


For example, I remember one interaction that occurred over 25 years ago more clearly than nearly any other.

In fact, that one brief conversation has impacted every day of my life since that day, and will likely impact every day until I die.

Since that day, I have said “Good morning” as a greeting to nearly every person that I have come across.


That is not entirely unusual or unique, except that I say “Good morning” or just “Morning!” at all times of the day.


Why do I always say “Good morning” as a greeting?

It is because of one interaction.


During high school, I was having a stressful day.

I do not remember what caused the stress.

I arrived at my locker feeling the stress, and the girl with the locker next just looked at me and said “Good morning” in the happiest, bubbly tone.

I am not sure what happened, but the greeting completely changed my mood.

Instead of feeling the physical stress, I suddenly had a smile on my face.

If anyone that could say good morning with that much energy and joy, then I could certainly feel better.

Two words changed my mood.

Right then, I decided to try greeting people with a similar tone.

I started to say “Good morning” at all times of the day.

It morphed into just “Morning!” at times.

And I still say it to this day.


There are no ordinary moments.

Even a few words can have an incredible impact.

Imagine what we could do with more.


Why do we only learn this as we get older?


As we age, we realize that there is an end.

Thinking that there are no ordinary moments comes from recognizing that our time alive is limited. There is an end.

We may not know when or how our lives end.

But we do know that they will.

And if there is an end, then we are limited in what we can do.


There is a deadline, with no extensions.

We can’t collectively cram and get everything done the night before the due date, either.


There are no ordinary moments.

And right now can count forever.


3. Some Holes Cannot Be Filled

Asking for forgiveness is admirable, but it also does not heal all wounds.


Forgiveness provides a path for us to move forward in peace.

But forgiveness does not always make things how they were.

And sometimes, you can never go back to how things were.


I once heard a story that illustrates this lesson.


A young boy struggled with his temper.

The boy’s father decided to teach his son about anger and how to handle it without losing control. Every time the boy felt ready to explode with anger, the father told the boy to pound a nail into a wooden fence in their backyard.

The fence had dozens of nails in a few days.

But as time passed, fewer nails were added to the fence.

Eventually, the boy learned to control his temper and went a single day without any nails added to the fence.

The boy’s father then told the boy that he could remove a nail for each day that he did not get angry. Over time, the boy removed all of the nails in the fence.

He was so excited and proud.

The boy had learned a great lesson — how to control his temper.


The father then told the boy the lesson: “Look at this fence. You have resolved your anger, but all of the holes remain. Even though you are healed, the fence will never be the same. When you get angry or make a mistake, people may forgive you. But you will still leave holes. You may never be able to make things how they were.”


I have countless stories to share about this lesson.

But I will share just one.


Years ago, my co-worker and friend Dave who I mentioned above, was struck by nerve disease.

Over time, the nerve disease crippled my friend.

This was a man who had previously been drafted by a professional baseball team.

He threw so hard that I could barely catch a football that he threw right at me.

And this disease made it so he could not even lift up a fork or spoon.

He was bedridden.

Dave’s wife cared for him, and she sent an email asking his friends to visit him, as he would cherish those moments.

I remember so clearly thinking that I should go visit him and say hello.

But I kept putting it off.

I was busy.

I had so much to do.

I was building a career.

I was trying to start a family.

And then one day, I told myself that excuses are useless.

If he was my friend, I had to make time to see him.

That’s what friends do, right?

I emailed Dave’s wife to schedule a time to see my old friend.

I was so excited that I was finally taking the time to spend some time with Dave.

And here is when I learned one of the most painful lessons of my life.

Not long after I sent my email, I saw a note posted on Dave’s wife’s blog.

Dave had died recently.

He fought hard but was gone.

I waited too long.

Even though I eventually overcame my excuses, “eventually” was not enough.

Some holes cannot be filled.

Some lessons you can only learn by living through them.


If You Learn These Lessons, Your Age Is Valuable

“There is a person, a 80-year old version of yourself, that is rooting hard for you to make good decisions today.”


Some things you can only learn as you get older.


If I could communicate backward, I would love to give myself advice.

I would love to point out mistakes.

And I would love to make slight course corrections to move towards certain milestones faster.

But in the end, I can’t do any of those things.

I can’t change anything behind me, for better or worse.


But I can write about what I have learned.

And I can share some of the memories — and the pain.


Some things you can only learn as you get older.

But reading about them might help you learn them a little younger than when I did.


If you enjoyed this article, learn more about me (and stay in touch) at


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Brain Changes for Aging Adults

Our brains change as we age.

There’s a bit of good news and a bit of bad news for aging adults when it comes to mental work. Let’s start with the bad. After your 30s, your ability to process information usually declines. So does your capacity to remember things. Maybe there’s some truth to the old saying that “the first thing to go is your memory.” Your brain also becomes more “set” as you age, particularly after age 70, making it harder to produce novel ideas. If all of this seems depressing, keep in mind that for a healthy adult, these changes are small on average.

There is an upside to aging, however, when it comes to your brain. Older people get better and better at a variety of tasks that psychologists lump into a category called crystallized intelligence. Crystallized intelligence refers to the accumulation of knowledge, skills, and abilities that have been practiced again and again. Your vocabulary resists decline, and continues to improve at least through middle age. Other well-practiced skills such as arithmetic improve through middle age as well, and are also unlikely to decline as you grow older.


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The degree to which you open up to and embrace the life energy that you use as raw material for your thoughts and feelings.


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Five healthy habits net more healthy years

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Are healthy habits worth cultivating? A recent study suggests healthy habits may help people tack on years of life and sidestep serious illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer. After all, if you’re going to gain an extra decade of life on this earth, you want to enjoy it!

Learn more »

Get your copy of Living Better, Living Longer
Living Better, Living Longer
With this Special Health Report, Living Better, Living Longer, you will learn the protective steps doctors recommend for keeping your mind and body fit for an active and rewarding life. You’ll get tips for diet and exercise, preventive screenings, reducing the risk of coronary disease, strengthening bones, lessening joint aches, and assuring that your sight, hearing, and memory all stay sharp. Plus, you’ll get authoritative guidance to help you stretch your health care dollar, select a health plan that meets your needs, prepare a health care proxy, and more.

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Harvard Health Publications Harvard Health Publications

Earn the lasting dividends of good health!

Find out how men — at age 50, 60, 70, 80 — are defying age-related illnesses,
staying stronger, and living longer!

Men's Health: Fifty and Forward

The Men's Health: Fifty and Forward Special Health Report includes:

Ways to reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and dementia
The latest treatments for prostate diseases
10 steps to a longer, healthier life
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Tips for managing health conditions unique to men
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Dear Reader,

As a man, you know that by age 50, you should be doing some “retirement planning.” And we don't just mean protecting your finances. There's something more important: protecting your health.

Good health is essential to be able to do all you want to do in the years and decades ahead. Declining health can dim and darken a man’s future. But you can keep yours bright!

41 things you can do to feel younger, stay healthy, and add years to your life

Doctors now know that factors you can control can affect your health just as much as — and sometimes more than — the factors you can’t control. You can cut your risk of serious illness. You can have greater physical, mental, and sexual energy. And you can enjoy years of active living.

The good news is that you don’t have to train for a marathon or eat an exotic macrobiotic diet to achieve those goals. Whether you want to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke or boost your stamina and staying power, this Special Health Report will show you the simple steps and strategies that can make a lasting difference.

Prepared by Harvard Medical School doctors, Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward offers straightforward guidance that puts you ahead of the curve. You’ll discover a small mealtime change that can help lower your chances of colon cancer by up to 30%, an exercise routine that can help cut the risk of dementia in half, and four steps that can reduce your risk of prostate cancer — and increase your survival odds.

You'll also learn six ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, four ways to lower your blood pressure without drugs, two ways to screen for colorectal cancer without a colonoscopy, and one often overlooked way to protect yourself against Alzheimer’s disease.

Plus, Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward will help you avoid those ailments that affect your quality of life. You’ll read about the one lifestyle change that can lead to better erections. You’ll get tips for preventing arthritis pain. And you’ll discover the best exercises to keep you strong and limber.

Like all planning, the sooner you start, the better. Invest in your health. Order your copy of Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward today.


Healthy Seniors Slideshows

The Recipe Includes 3 Of Nature’s Most Powerful Soothing ‘Super’ Organics:

Maximum Strength Turmeric

It’s been used for over 4,000 years. Ancient India and even China recognized turmeric as a powerful restorative root. Today, over 2,000 peer reviewed studies suggest turmeric’s power. Here, we’ve included a full clinically tested dose. Plus, our unique, proprietary harvesting method makes each dose 4 times BETTER!



This you’ve heard. Ginger is the “swiss army knife” of superfoods. It’s revered as the #1 alternative restorative plant in hundreds of countries. It’s used the world over for digestion7, flus, colds8, achy muscles9 and other illnesses. It’s also another tool in your toolbox for a healthy response to discomfort. 1


Reishi Mushroom

It’s called “The King of Mushrooms.” It was brewed into an “immortal youth tea” in ancient Japan. Even more modern studies praise it’s impact on longevity. Reishi has also been used as a natural form of muscle relaxation in modern Chinese medicine.10


With ONE Sleep Enhancing Herb You MUST Take:

Lemon Balm

It’s known as “The Calming Herb.” In the 1600s, nuns near Mt. Carmel created a “relaxation tea” with these fragrant smelling leaves.11 The recipe has spread all through Europe since. Nowadays, lemon balm is a major ingredient in natural sleep supporting drinks and essential oils.


And The Greatest Discovery For Immunity In History:

Turkey Tail Mushroom

It looks exactly how it sounds. Turkey Tail is a restorative mushroom which resembles a turkey’s tail. It’s restorative effects on human immunity are spell-binding. It was revered as a secret “magical cure-all” among Native American cultures for centuries. Then scientists caught on. In 2013, The National Institute Of Health was so impressed. They invested 5.4 million dollars into Turkey Tale research!


And Finally, Our Secret Combination That Made Restorative Herbs Even MORE Absorbable!

Black Pepper Piperine

The powerful phytochemical within black pepper we discussed above! It’s powerful restorative qualities impact your whole body FAST. (Sometimes 20 times stronger)


Coconut Milk

Coconut gives us a trustworthy saturated fat. See, some vitamins are fat soluble. Without some fat, these vitamins just pass through your body. So here we include some good fats. This way, the vitamins are “snuck” into the bloodstream by latching onto a fat carrier cell.



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Acacia Fiber Prebiotic

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Today, I hope you will have another inspired day, that you will dream boldly and dangerously, that you will make some progress that didn’t exist before you took action, that you will love and be loved in return, and that you will find the strength to accept and grow from the troubles you can’t change. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and wisdom in this crazy world), that you will, when you must, be wise with your decisions, and that you will always be extra kind to yourself and others.




featured Sexual Problems As We Age Normal aging causes physical changes that may affect ability to have and enjoy sex. But you can have an active sex life.