As someone now on Medicare and collecting Social Security I am a true Senior Citizen. And like others I have grown sick of reading articles giving advice to seniors and even sicker of all those TV commercials aimed straight at us, trying to sell us an endless array of services and products. All they want is our money. Even AARP has become nothing but a nuisance, with their machine gun commercials and junk mailings, as if all we want to do is give them our money.
Yet for a healthy body and mind, what I have learned is that the two most critical actions do not involve spending and consumption. And every bit of scientific evidence you can find backs up the wisdom of these two practices.
First, for a healthy body there is one essential action: keep physically active! Walking is the most sensible, easy and enjoyable regular physical activity to prevent illness and bodily degeneration. All kinds of walking work. Go outside if the weather is reasonable and take a walk for pleasure. If you can, go walk somewhere to accomplish something, rather than use your car. Most days of the week I walk along nearby paths and park trails for about 75 minutes, and often I walk to my bank. Inside your home you should get up frequently from whatever you are doing and walk to look out some windows or whatever. Keep moving and you will keep living healthier and longer. Yes, it is that simple. There is nothing worse than a sedentary lifestyle, and there really is something called Sedentary Death Syndrome, basically a set of conditions that produces illness and premature death – all from being physically inactive.
Second, for a healthy mind there is one supreme guiding principle – keep thinking! Use your mind and you will stay more alert and smarter. You will ward off all kinds of debilitating mental illnesses, especially dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And this means really using your mind, not sitting stupidly watching television or just staring into space, or even superficially reading the newspaper or magazines. Even just surfing the Internet can be mind numbing rather than mind stretching. Thinking is the objective. The great opportunity for seniors is to WRITE!
No matter what your background or interests, seniors have an infinite amount of things to say that all kinds of people may appreciate. Too many people praise the Internet for providing shopping and entertainment opportunities. For seniors, however, the “golden” opportunity is to take advantage of unlimited opportunities to write – and I don’t mean creating your own blog and just vomiting words that no one else should care about. No, I mean real writing – writing about topics, issues, questions, conditions associated with your observations about life, your community, your region, your state, your nation or global things. Getting old enough to be a senior means the accumulation of life experiences that shape opinions. Find websites that welcome article submissions or comments on published articles. Sure, you can be an old-timer and write letters to the editor you send in to your local newspaper. That’s fine. But the reality is that there is little chance of getting published in big city newspaper – but if real good for smaller ones. On the other hand, with a little experimentation and effort you will discover that YOU can get published on all kinds of Internet publications.
And what is great about the infinite cyberspace is that no matter your political orientation, hobbies, and other personal interests, you will be able to find an incredible number of websites to write articles or comments. Okay, maybe you want some ideas. Well I have them, because for the last couple of years I have been writing like nuts for a large number of websites. And so I speak from experience when I tell that after I stopped working on a real job I have a new career as a writer and I regularly publish on well over fifty websites. Trust me, my mind has never been more active, and I feel terrific about being published all the time. A side benefit is that I have formed many new relationships with people, mainly because they have contacted me because of my published materials, or I have contacted them because of what they have written.
About those ideas for getting published on the Internet, here are some websites that offer considerable opportunities:
AssociatedContent.com not only offers you the opportunity to write on just about anything you can think of, it also will pay you something – not a lot, but enough to make you feel good.
Opednews.com is a news and commentary publication; here you can write about politics, government, the environment, global issues and you can comment on a huge array of articles.
Care2.com is very large and diverse site, and you can submit news articles and commentary to reach a wide audience.
There are also many, many forums and boards that you can join without cost, and where you can publish opinion articles. Just roam around the Internet and you will keep finding places to publish.
What I really like about keeping physically active and writing is that they remind me of my counterculture days in the 1960s. By that I mean these two truly healthy activities allow me to stay away from the prevalent compulsive consumption that plagues American society. They are both free and fun. Think about this on your next walk.