The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27 “. . . . it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Now that doesn’t mean that God has an appointed and set time that each of us will die, but rather that all men (and women) are going to die someday including you and me. Sadly, too many senior citizens are experiencing old age and dying years before they should — or need to.
I have personally just reached the age of 80-1/2, and I feel compelled to share with others, especially other seniors, that you don’t have to lose your youth as you travel into and through those senior years and toward that day when your body will take its last breath and your heart will beat that last beat. Yes, there is a way to prevent senility and old age.
Believe it or not, you can shave 20 years or more off your biological age, keep your mind sharp, your body weight healthy, your body slim, active, and vigorous and it is possible even if you don’t start until you are middle-aged or older. In fact, you can start feeling and acting younger within a very short amount of time if you are willing to make a few changes.
The key to beating senility, preventing old age, and experiencing all the advantages in the above paragraph can be found in two words – (1) Diet and (2) Exercise.
As an octogenarian, I look at others my age and some many years younger than I, and I see so many of them are experiencing old age many years before they should or need to.
In the church where I attend (Turning Point at Calvary in St. Augustine, Florida), we have 25 different Sunday School classes each Sunday morning. Rhonda and I attend what is listed as “Senior Adult Couples (65+)”, with a membership of about 50, which meets in the Chapel. The majority of the class are in their late 60’s, with some in their 70’s, a few in their 80’s and one 90.
The Chapel is located on the second floor of the church, above the entrance to the church. There are two way to reach the second floor Chapel – walk up two flights of stairs or take the elevator. About half of the class takes the elevator while the rest take the stairs. Most of those that take the stairs almost always use the hand rails, especially after class going down the stairs.
Rhonda, who will celebrate her 70th birthday next year and I, now 80, never have used the elevator to go up or down from the Chapel classroom even one time. We use the stairs. And we don’t use or cling to the railing as we ascend or decent the stairs as most do.
Each Sunday, before our Sunday School teacher begins the lesson, he asks for prayer requests. And it is always so upsetting to me to hear the requests for all the physical problems people are experiencing in the church. Last Sunday there were 85 prayer requests for people in the church experiencing cancer, in addition to those suffering with numerous other types of physical and psychological problems.
Just last Friday, we had another funeral for a senior citizen in our church who died after battling cancer for the past year or so. He had gone the medical route with his cancer and still lost the battle after doing everything his doctors told him to do. Sadly this is an all too common ending for most of those that go the medical route with their cancers.
Many of the senior citizens in the church sit in the same area of the auditorium during the Sunday morning worship service. Some of these seniors, rather than stand for the singing, have to sit down.
Why is it, in the group of senior citizens with whom I associate, are so many in such poor health and physical condition?
Again I must emphasize — it’s lack of proper diet and lack of regular exercise.
Diet and Exercise
Lack of proper diet and exercise are not only the primary cause of much of the poor health and poor physical condition among seniors today; they are also the cause of body deterioration as the years pass as we enter and go through what are referred to as the “senior years”.
By the way, the AARP considers age 50 as the beginning of what is today referred to as the “Senior Years”.
Poor Diet: Primary Cause of Physical Decline
We each possess a physical body comprised of over a hundred trillion living cells. Everything in our physical body is comprised of these living cells – whether it be our hair or nails which keep growing, or our skin, muscle, bones, eyes, immune system, etc. Everything our body is comprised of is made of these living cells.
These living cells are constantly in the process of dying and replacing themselves at the rate of some 300,000,000 (300 million) per minute, every minute of every day of our life.
As the old cell dies and is replaced with a new cell, the strength and integrity of the new cell is dependent on the building materials available to it as it dies and replaces.
No truer words were ever spoken than those words of David found in Psalm 139:14:
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and WONDERFULLY MADE: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
The only thing that is quality cell building material for the cells to draw on as they rebuild, is the living plant sourced foods found in fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts as God so clearly told us we should nourish our bodies with, in the Bible, in Genesis 1:29. I refer to this diet given us by God as “God’s Original Diet”. I just wrote a book with that title.
When the body is provided an abundance of these living (raw) plant sourced foods, especially in the form of freshly extracted raw vegetable juices, BarleyMax, and blended raw vegetables, the body has the building materials to produce a stronger and healthier new cell then the cell it is replacing and we slowly rebuild the entire cellular structure of the body.
When the body, rather than being provided living plant nutrients, is provided a predominantly cooked food diet, there is no quality building materials available for the new cell to be nourished with and as a consequence the new cell replacing the old cell is weaker and of poorer quality then the cell it is replacing.
Regardless of how well we nourish our body, the following is the approximate amounts of time it take to replace various parts of our physical body with new cells. There is some controversy on these periods of time, but there is no question that the cells of the various parts of our body do die and are replaced over a period of time:
- BLOOD constantly rebuilding itself on a daily basis.
- STOMACH LINING replaces about every 5 days.
- SKIN the outer layer replaces itself every month.
- LIVER rebuilds itself in 6 weeks.
- DNA renews itself every 2 months.
- BONES replace entire skeletal in about a year.
- BRAIN rebuilds itself in about a year.
In other words, our diet determines whether our cell structure progressively gets stronger or weaker as we age.
A good example is our bone structure. So many seniors find their bones getting weaker and more brittle and easily broken as they age when a simple fall can result in a fractured hip or the breaking of other bones.
This could have been prevented by a predominantly living foods plant based diet and weight bearing exercises. (More about exercise later)
Also, living plant sourced foods, especially raw vegetable juices, are loaded with oxygen, which is destroyed when a food has been cooked. We will talk more about oxygen at a later time.
By the way, I have been on a predominantly living foods diet, with an abundance of raw vegetable juices and blended raw vegetables daily for almost 40 years. To me, a basically living foods diet is half of the equation to maintaining our youth into our senior years.
Now let’s turn to the second cause of premature aging…
Exercise: A Necessity in Preventing Physical Decline
Sadly, the majority of people entering their senior years slowly reduce their physical activities, if they ever were physically active ever before in their life!
This lack of physical activity has a devastating effect upon the body! Some of you older folks can relate to what I am about to share:
Remember when a person used to go to the hospital for surgery or to give birth? After the surgery or birth, what did they do with that person? Did they not give them bed rest for a period of time? And what was the result? They started to lose muscle mass and muscle tone, and the ability to perform simple tasks such as even walking.
Today, what do they do after a person has surgery or delivers a baby? Do they not get them up and moving just as soon as they can? Why do they do this? Because they have learned that if a body doesn’t move, the muscles start to waste away. Well the same thing is true as we age – if we don’t use those muscles – we lose them.
Poor diet and lack of daily exercise are the two primary reasons our bodies start to get old long before they should. And proper diet and abundant daily exercise are the way to put off old age. If done faithfully each and every day, exercise can prevent old age almost until that last breath or last heartbeat.
When I talk about exercise I am not talking about exhaustive workouts and running triathlons. You don’t have to do that sort of vigorous exercise to stay in shape. But you have to do some forms of stretching, resistance and oxygenating exercises almost every day in order to get the benefits.
Let me give you what I do almost every day except Sunday,
- First thing upon arising – a serving of BarleyMax
- A little later – I have a Green Smoothie
- After the Green Smoothie I work out for 5-minutes with my Fit 10 exercise equipment
The Fit 10 is a simple system of ropes and a bungee cord that in just 10 minutes can give a person an excellent workout anywhere there is a door (the Fit 10 is a portable system that attaches to any door).
The first 5 minutes of the workout consist of resistance and stretching exercises using a rope over the top of the door while you control the resistance. The second 5 minutes consist of an aerobic workout using a bungee cord around the door knob and running in place. I only do the first minute resistance and stretching part of the exercise and then do at least 4 miles of power walking later in the day for my aerobic workout, in place of the last 5 minutes of the Fit 10.
- Around 11:00 a.m. or right after lunch I go to the beach which is only about 3 miles away from home for a 2 mile power walk along the seashore, barefoot.
- Before both lunch and supper I have another serving of BarleyMax.
- After supper I go for another 2 mile power walk on the sidewalk in the development where we live.
- I try to be in bed by 10:00 pm.
Resistance exercises, which are the primary part of the Fit 10 workout, are often referred to as “strength training”. Strengthening your muscles through resistance exercises has many benefits, from losing excess fat to maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing muscle loss as we age.
Strength training produces a number of beneficial changes at the molecular, enzymatic, hormonal, and chemical levels of the body, helping to slow down and even reverse aging and many of the diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
How long will I live after being on the Hallelujah Diet for 38 years and for the past 38 years having a daily exercise routine? I have no idea! One thing I know for sure is that I will truly live until I die. And I know that physical death is not the end, for I have a home in heaven with Jesus awaiting me because 57 years ago I became a Christian.
In school preparing for the ministry and as a pastor for many years, I visited enough retirement homes to know that I don’t want to end up in a nursing home all drugged up, rocking myself till death, full of all kinds of drugs and physical ailments. I enjoy life too much for that – I love LIFE! And thus I am taking steps to prevent that from happening.
At 80+ years of age I still am excited about LIFE and living each day to the fullest. But I know that in order to continue to enjoy life and being able to live each day the fullest – it is up to me! It is not up to the doctor or some drugs or even God how I spend my last years – it is up to me! (See Romans 12:1-2.)
And dear friend, if you want to enjoy life into and through those senior years, it is up to YOU!
You have to choose to make the effort to eat right and exercise daily if you want the reward of maintaining your youth into your senior years.
And let’s not forget what the Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7 regarding “It is up to me and it is up to you”:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN (or woman) SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE (or she) ALSO REAP.”
Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creek doesn’t rise too high, we will return with another exciting issue of the Hallelujah Health Tip. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.