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I’m Older Than I’ve Ever Been: Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Nine

The skeptical cardiologist may reach the ripe old age of sixty-nine years shortly. It’s not a number I’m particularly comfortable with but one in my opinion that is vastly superior to seventy. And, as many of my patients like to say better than the alternative.

And on that birthday I will likely queue up the delightfully quirky and insightful TMBG song “Older” which I described in detail when I wrote of how we might all become “younger next year.” three years ago. Perhaps, after implementing that plan I can now say that I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

Speaking of which, feast your eyes on Dylan, Roger Mcguinn, Clapton, HarrisonNeil Young and Tom Petty performing Dylan’s “My Back Pages” in this mesmerizing video from 1992’s celebration of Bob Dylan’s amazing 30-year career.

Push-Ups For Preventing Heart Disease

In anticipation of this ghastly birthday milestone, I have been ramping up my push-up numbers (PUN). Long-time readers may remember when I posted the tongue-in-cheek question “Are you doing enough push-ups to save your life?” after encountering news reports that the ability to do 40 push-ups was “the magic number” for preventing heart disease.

Although that study was fairly meaningless, I’ve always liked push-ups and highly recommend them. They require no special equipment or preparation. It’s a quick exercise that builds upper-body muscle strength, adds to core strength, and gets the heart rate up a bit.

Doing them won’t save your life or prevent heart disease but it will contribute to mitigating the weakness and frailty of aging.

The Cooper database shows that if you are a male over 60 years of age and can do 39 push-ups you are in the 99th percentile. Back then I could do 50 push-ups. 

In the last 2 years, I developed a frozen shoulder which limited a lot of my normal upper-body exercises including push-ups. After getting a second opinion (which I highly recommend for this condition in particular and for any major surgery in general) and the correct diagnosis on my shoulder, followed by a combination of steroid injection and stretching,the shoulder improved to the point where I could resume most of my normal exercises.

In the three months since then, I’ve been gradually increasing my PUN with the goal of reaching a PUN equal to my age. I reached that a few weeks ago and hit 74 last week.

Younger Next year

In the last decade, many researchers and authors have declared that we can forestall the inevitable tide of aging. Books, podcasts, and websites abound on the topic and dominate the bestseller and high-popularity lists.

Previously I wrote about “Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond – turn back your biological clock” which suggests that we could achieve the goal of “being younger than that now.”

I agreed with the 7 simple rules in the book. In particular, the immense value of regular aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercise in prolonging one’s healthspan cannot be overemphasized.

My own exercise regimen incorporates elements of yoga along with core, resistance, stretching, and cardio features I have discovered over the years and find useful. I’m putting together a post on the five simple things that I find essential to forestall physical aging and hope to post it soon.

Having enrolled in Medicare recently I discovered that my AARP Medigap program pays for a program similar to Silver Sneakers (Renew Active) that pays for my membership at the Magdalene Ecke YMCA across the street. There, I hope to become an expert pickle baller, ride on a peloton, run on treadmills, ellipiticize on ellipticals, and research what is going on with EGYM.

Apparently, “the EGYM journey includes a comprehensive personal assessment that determines your BioAge, a progressive training plan and unlimited use of the EGYM circuit.” I am intrigued! Perhaps I can make my BioAge get younger next year.

The Four C’s

The last three of Harry’s rules (care, connect, and commit) I am continually working on but I feel unqualified to pontificate on them.

As to eating crap, a fair amount of my writing and researching time goes into trying to determine with certainty what the crap is that we are supposed to not be eating. Believe it or not, there has been a lot of controvery on this topic.

I’m pretty, sure, however, that most authorities in nutrition would be horrified to see me eating the bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream that I will be eating the heck out of the night my chronological age turns sixty-nine. Is there any better ice cream in the world?

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

A fellow Welshman and another Dylan said:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I’ve decided that my version of raging against the dying of the light is to do everything I can to slow down the ravages of age even as I become older than I’ve ever been.

Antisenescently Yours,


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