There are twelve rules to follow for graceful aging to allow graceful grandparenting. We can’t do them all perfectly, but the more these rules are followed, the more likely we are to enjoy our grandparenting years and beyond. Great grandparents, anyone?
1. Develop and maintain a strong social support network of family, friends, and colleagues.
2. Develop a personal exercise program combining aerobics and weight work. Hire a personal trainer to get you started.
3. Take charge of your brain. Make an active commitment to learning and growth. According to research on lifespan development: IF you continue to use your brain and develop your intellect and IF you remain socially connected and active, you can actually increase your IQ scores as you age.
4. Take charge of your financial future. Plan, plan, and plan. If you are single, don’t count on getting married to finance your old age. You are on your own! If you are married, learn what is going on with your finances. If you are female, statistics say you will spend seven to fifteen years or more as a widow, depending upon the age difference between you and your husband. You will probably be on your own for a long time. Plan, plan, plan.
5. Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Learn to live on fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes as much as possible. Plan a few days a week that include no animal products, not even dairy.
6. Stay aware of the latest nutritional information.
7. Don’t fall for fad diets. When something sounds too good to be true such as The Atkins’ Diet, it usually is. When something sounds too good to be true and it is too complicated for you to comprehend easily, such as Sears’ Zone Diet, be doubly wary.
8. Remember that the pharmaceutical industry makes money from selling drugs. Read, study, and form your own opinions about taking cholesterol, blood pressure, estrogen and other "old-age" medicines. Very few long-term studies are available to show the results of these medicines. The industry does extensive advertising to the medical profession pushing these drugs. The industry also does excellent advertising and good PR work with the public in support of these drugs. Your doctor is not a genius. He/she can not possibly keep up with everything and most rely on the pharmaceutical industry for much of their information. It is your responsibility to read, study, and keep up with the truth for yourself.