The Body Owner’s Manual

I’m sure you’ve heard at some point or another that much like fine wine, we only get better with age. If only our bodies were so simple. In reality, our bodies age much more like a classic car: more maintenance is necessary, premium fuel is not optional, and movement becomes essential for life. And like it or not, if you don’t keep up with those three pillars, you’ll find yourself in the fast lane to the junkyard. Fortunately, we’ve come up with a few easy steps to keep your engine running smoothly for many years to come:

  1. Fuel : A classic car needs premium fuel, not unleaded. That means limiting foods high in saturated fats (such as fast food, pizza, fried food, and salty snacks). These will kick you to the curb but you can replace foods containing high amounts of saturated fat like butter and heavy cream with healthful alternatives like “0 trans fat” margarine and nut-based creams (Silk Dairy-free Heavy Whipping Cream is a favorite). Fiber from fruits and vegetables will keep you regular, so fill your plate with them – a 3:1 ratio of fruits and veggies to meat. Finally, eat a wide variety from the different food groups: fiber-full grains; colorful fruits and vegetables; dairy and/or alternatives; and lastly lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes.
  2. Liquids
    Drink plenty of water – shoot for eight cups per day, and (I know you saw this one coming) drink no more than two standard drinks a day. Is this fair? No. Is this better than no drinks a day? Yes.
  3. Battery
    Social isolation can result in symptoms of depression, cognitive decline and disease. By contrast, a full social life can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, a longer lifespan, a whole slew of physical and cognitive benefits
  4. Go out for regular rides
    What damages cars (and your body) is sitting still. Get yourself up and moving for at least half an hour every day. You wouldn’t keep a classic in the garage, would you? This could be a walk around the neighborhood, a round of golf, or a game of pickleball.
  5. Regular Checkups
    Any classic car owner knows to take it in for checkups by a qualified mechanic at least once a year, ideally twice. As we age, it becomes doubly important to maintain regular checkups with our primary care physicians. This is probably the single most effective preventative measure for staying healthy and strong.

For more information on proper nutrition as you age, example meals, and health and wellness guidelines set forth by the National Institute of Health, take a look at the below links: