I read where Meadowlark Lemon, the “Crown Prince of Basketball” and great Harlem Globetrotter of years ago, recently passed away at age 83.
I remember the day my dad came home from work and told me he bought tickets for us to attend a Harlem Globetrotters game. I had watched the Globetrotters on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports” and could whistle the team’s famous tune, “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Seeing Mr. Lemon in person on the basketball court was a dream come true for this 13-year old boy from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Lemon was the captivating figure on the team and never disappointed his fans. When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, he said, “My destiny was to make people happy.”
Last weekend, we were visiting my in-laws for Christmas, and we were talking about the years that have gone by. My father-in-law is also 83 years of age, and I am now as old as he was when I first met him. I remarked that I don’t feel that much older than I did some 28 years ago, but the years can have a way of catching up with you if you let them.
I recently came across an article titled, “10 Things That Make You Feel Old — And What To Do About Them,” based on the book “Live Young, Think Young, Be Young … at Any Age.” The truth is that age is just a number, and there are steps one can take to curb the aging process. But too few take the time or expend the energy necessary to slow down aging.
Here are some great tips to do just that:
• Add more physical activity to your day. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get some exercise. Take the stairs, walk more briskly, buy fitness bands that you can use at home to strengthen your muscles. You need to challenge your heart, lungs and muscles at least every other day for 30 minutes or more. And be sure to rehydrate yourself throughout the day. Water is better than soda or tea.
• Turn off the TV and turn on to a book, puzzle or game that will stimulate your brain. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Enough said!
• Eat slower and include more foods that are in their whole, natural state. Eating a tomato is much better for you than eating tomato soup. Get the picture?
• We all have stress; the key is to manage it in healthy ways. The world is a nonstop, loud place nowadays. Plan some quiet time for yourself each day, even if it is only 15 minutes. You will be amazed what this time can do for your overall health.
• Think positive. Change your world by changing your words. Use the gift of speech that God gave you to bless people, not blast them.
• The remaining five are no-brainers. Drink alcohol in moderation, if you drink at all. Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Use caution and care around cleaning products. Stop popping so many pills for all your ailments (my guess is you will have fewer ailments if you try the above recommendations). And last but not least, get the right amount of sleep each night. If you are adding exercise to your daily regimen, you will sleep better for sure.
Happy 2016, my friends!
DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. Call him at 912-531-7867 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.