Wow, my Grandmother just turned 100 years old. I was lucky enough to travel home to Wisconsin to help her celebrate. She dressed in a new blouse, wore a cute new hairdo, and mingled around the birthday party filled with friends and family. Everyone remarked how unbelievable it was, not only that she was 100 but that she was in such good health.
Over the weekend I had an opportunity to talk with my Grandma about her outlook on health and wellness throughout her life. She attributes her health to three things.
Community/Connection— Without hesitation she noted that friendships play an important role in her health. As a child her father worked for General Motors which required her to move frequently. My Grandmother said that wherever she was she just had to jump in and make friends. Even after she and my Grandfather settled in Janesville, WI to raise a family, she continued to prioritize socialization and community. She is lucky to have many dear friends in her life.
Moving—My Grandmother also reflected on the fact that she moves everyday. Her activities have changed over the years. In her younger years she would walk, swim, cross-country ski, play tennis, golf, or do silver sneakers classes. Currently, she does pilates in her bed every morning before she gets up.
3. Vegetables—The last thing my Grandmother attributes to her health is having vegetables. She reports that she has always cooked some variation of vegetables and meat.
There are probably some good genetics as well, but Community/Connection, Moving Everyday, and Eating Vegetables are all a part of aging well. I am so happy that she is a part of my life.