GRAND Magazine - July/August 2013 - (Page 16-17)

grandparent health The thrill is gone. Not. Photo credIt: ©chrIs crIssMAN Aging doesn’t have to be all downhill By lAureN kessler t he rectangularization of morbidity. It’s not exactly a phrase that glides off one’s tongue, but it’s one that came to me yesterday during an intense pool tabata exercise class. In between huffing and puffing, I found myself singing along to John Cougar Mellancamp’s classic “Jack and Diane,” the refrain of which goes: Oh yeah, life goes on Long after the thrill of living is gone That’s what aging has become in America. It’s about living to 80 or 90 but spending the last 10 (if you’re lucky, more if you’re not) years being frail, incapaci- “ Even modest [fitness] gains in middle age . . . translated into significantly lower incidences of eight major diseases. “ –Counterclockwise 16 GRAND July AuGust 2013 tated, and on multiple medications and feeling worried, useless, joyless, and disconnected. It’s about living long after the thrill of living is gone. I think that’s because our attention has been focused on mitigating the symptoms of illness rather than preventing illness and on the extension of lifespan rather than healthspan. Lifespan is the number of years you live. Healthspan is the number of years you live well. Increasing healthspan is known as the “rectangularization of morbidity.” It’s when our lifeline doesn’t look like a mountain with the physical/mental peak being at 35–40 years, followed by a slow decline until death. Instead, the graph is “rectangularized,” flattened out. We hit our peak and then maintain, as long as we can, a plateau of health and vitality until the end. The end is not 15 years in assisted living; it’s a nice, quick bout of pneumonia. That’s what “turning back the clock” really means: More years lived well. More years lived at the top of your game. More years to huff and puff through pool tabata. “ How and how quickly (or slowly) we age is determined 30 percent by genes and 70 percent by choices within our control. “ –Counterclockwise lauren kessler is director of the multimedia narrative journalism masters program at university of oregon and the author of five books, including Counterclockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging. Excerpted with permission from the Counterclockwise blog. July AuGust 2013 GRAND 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - July/August 2013

GRAND Magazine - July/August 2013
Transforming Retirement
The Thrill Is Gone. Not.
Falling in Lust Again
Nana-to-Be Showers
Is Baby’s Wee Bed Safe?
When Harry Meets Baby
10 Steps to a Child-Proof House
Confessions of a Slightly Controlling, Madly in Love Nana
All About Baby!
Smart Ways to Save for Your Grandchildren’s College
The Low-Down on Five Stand-Out Vehicles
Let the Games Begin!
Hot Toys for Cool Kids!
Picking Berries with Granddad
Fun in the Sun!
Picking Up Where We Left Off
A Bond So Deep

GRAND Magazine - July/August 2013