10 Secrets to Aging Well With 4 Lessons from Inspirational Locals
Picture this: a life brimming with vitality, purpose, and inspiration...even in the later years!
Inspired by Stedman Graham's keynote speech about purposeful living at the Bella Masters Youth Leadership Luncheon, I realized how easily we succumb to life's routines, losing sight of each day's significance. Graham's message emphasized the power of defining our lives beyond the routines we get stuck in: monotonous cycles of getting up, going to work, eating dinner, and doing it all over again the next day—and history keeps repeating itself.
It reminded me of the bigger goal behind Yummmm!Bar—to support and sustain an active, purposeful, and meaningful life.
I want to share four remarkable individuals with you today—Jerry Schaefer, Tony Kennedy, Kim Quan, and Parker Kennedy. Their impact reshaped my view on life and aging gracefully. These individuals defied norms, living with an unbounded vitality that shattered stereotypes. They embody the secret to aging well, radiating a zest for life that I want more of—and I am confident you will, too.
Jerry, Tony, Kim, and Parker's stories echo the secrets to healthy aging—lessons beyond conventional wisdom. Their narratives offer timeless insights into purpose-driven existence, breaking free from age-defined boundaries. They take life by the horns and remind me that we have the potential to create our life and be whoever we decide to be.
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many incredible people in my lifetime, but these four people stand out to me the most and have made an impact on my life because they do not let the world limit them or define what they should do or how they should do it. Join me in learning from the hindsight of our Yummmm!Bar's inspirational locals, uncovering the secrets to healthy aging and a truly vibrant life.
What Does it Mean to Age Well?
Aging well is about more than just health and longevity. It means continuing to live life fully and joyfully as you get older.
It’s far deeper than the physical aspects of growing older. It delves into the essence of a fulfilling life that encompasses resilience, a reliable community, and a steadfast commitment to living life to its fullest.
The term successful aging was made popular in 1987 by scientists John Wallis Rowe and Robert Kahn. They stated that successful aging involved three main factors: (1) being free of disability or disease, (2) having high cognitive and physical abilities, and (3) interacting with others in meaningful ways (Source: Forbes).
That means that the secret to healthy aging isn't confined to external appearances or the absence of ailments. Instead, it resides in embracing life with an insatiable curiosity and an unyielding spirit.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, aging well involves intentionality and active participation in your health and lifestyle. Aging well can look like feeling well enough to do everything you wanted to do and being happy to get up in the morning, instead of dreading another day of monotony.
This can feel countercultural, which is why I interviewed four inspirations in my life. Their stories echo a sentiment that goes beyond the conventional notion of getting older gracefully. It's about embodying vitality, resilience, and an unshakable zest for life. These individuals redefine the stereotypical markers of aging by living a life that's not hemmed in by societal expectations.
Their narratives became my guideposts toward understanding the true essence of aging well. They underscore the essence of carving our own path, without being constricted by limitations or societal norms. They radiate an energy that transcends age, revealing that the secret to aging well isn't about the number of years lived but the richness of each moment lived to its fullest.
Join me in memorializing the profound lessons from Jerry, Tony, Kim, and Parker —redefining our perception of aging. We will explore the true meaning of healthy aging, a journey filled with wisdom, resilience, and possibilities.
Jerry: “I find life to be very exciting and rewarding”
I first met Jerry Shaefer at the Marine Stadium farmers’ market in Long Beach. He stood out to me because of his passion for traveling the world, hiking, and white-water rafting.
As I got to know him more, I found out shocking and inspiring anecdotes. This 83-year old has:
- Written + Published Books:
- Cruising through the Teens, Easier than it Seems
- Isn't it Kind of Funny
- Women, Down Through the Ages, How Lies Have Shaped Our Lives
- Attended Burning Man for the first time at 82-years old
- Went skydiving with his daughter at 50 years old
- Gotten rejected at least 70 times by TED Talks, yet still strives to do more
How does he do it? In his own words:
“I eat food that my body approves of, if I like it, all the better. I enjoy walking and dancing, I like being around all types of people, especially babies and little kids. I like to have joy in my life and to express it.”
Tony: Fought Sugar Ray, Taught Me More Than Boxing
I met Tony Kennedy - a professional boxer who fought Sugar Ray at the Olympics in 1976 - at the gym during a low time in my life. At age 74, he wanted to teach me boxing and I agreed to it. Within those 3 years of training, he taught me more than boxing; he taught me self-discipline and passion.
He has had more surgeries than anyone I know, but it’s his passion that allows him to continue training others. Every time I am tired from training; his drive and passion pushes me to hit that bag one more time.
Kim: Brightens Up Any Room She Walks In
Kim Quan emigrated from Saigon, Vietnam, raised two daughters, and is always learning something new. I don't know one person that enjoys picking fruit more than she does. She is the most patient and nurturing person I know…she is my 69 year old mom.
Kim lives by the mantra “no guts, no glory.” She enjoys helping others and is constantly learning new things. She is one of those people who can walk in a room and really brighten up everyone in the room.
How does she keep healthy? “Keep moving, exercising, swimming, walking at the park, gardening, picking fruit, and doesn't worry about what people think” she said.
Parker Kennedy: Surfing at 75
Parker Kennedy is 75 years old and born in Orange, CA at St. Joseph Hospital. His family is his main motivation: his wife Sherry and two children. Once his kids were born, they immediately became their focus. And now he has 4 grandkids to the list of motivators!
Parker stays healthy by exercising and watching what he eats. He loves Yummmm!Bars and he loves to surf consistently. “That is good for my health and happiness,” he said.
The craziest thing he has done is also the proudest thing he has done: to act as CEO of First American Financial. “It was hard work but it was fun, and at times it was completely unpredictable!” said Kennedy. “It’s really great to see how well the current leaders are doing.”
10 Secrets to Aging Well
Discover the 10 secrets to aging well that you can start doing right NOW. We go beyond conventional wisdom and embrace a holistic approach to a fulfilling life.
1. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise regularly to maintain strength and flexibility - try walking, cycling, yoga, Tai Chi, or something new (you might surprise yourself and enjoy it). Care for your mental health and stay socially connected too. Staying active and feeling well sets you up to appreciate your later years. Regular exercise can also be a source of deep solitude or a great way to authentically connect in community.
2. Eat a Balanced and Healthy Diet
Eat a balanced, healthy diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein. Fresh, whole, unprocessed foods renew energy levels with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, while packaged and processed foods tend to make you feel sluggish and heavy (Source: HopkinsMedicine.org).
3. Get Enough Sleep
As we age, the need for quality sleep remains crucial. The recommended amount of 7 to 9 hours per night remains consistent across various age groups. Adequate sleep contributes significantly to overall health, impacting cognitive function, memory retention, and emotional well-being. Prioritize good sleep hygiene by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a restful environment to maintain optimal physical and mental health.
4. Learn New Skills
Never stop learning! Consider taking a course, reading books, or learning a new language. Acquiring new skills also enhances confidence, capacity for joy, and adaptability to change as you age. So embrace being a student for life. Pursuing knowledge and abilities at every age keeps the mind stimulated and expands your horizons.
5. Master the Art of Optimism
Focus on what you can do and appreciate what you have, rather than lamenting losses or limitations. This is one of the reasons that Kim still glows with a warmth and happiness that lifts those around her and Tony still persists in pursuing his passion for boxing with an upbeat, inspired attitude. Emulate these vibrant seniors by focusing on the positive while gracefully accepting what you cannot change.
6. Nurture Important Relationships
Prioritize the people who matter most. Invest time in the family members and friends who nourish and inspire you. Check-in frequently with loved ones, share memories, lend an ear, and provide support. Community is what will ultimately sustain you through hard times.
7. Prioritize Self-care, Fun, and Relaxation
Don't neglect taking good care of your whole self - body, mind, and spirit. Carve out downtime to restore and recharge with soothing activities you enjoy. Whether that is a regular yoga class, taking a walk outside, gardening, or creating art…identify what it is for you and schedule it into your calendar.
8. Remain Engaged and Curious
Continue seeking out new experiences that spark your interest and make you feel alive. Sign up for enriching lectures, workshops or tours. Plan trips near and far, big and small. Explore neighborhoods in your town you've always wondered about. You never know who you’ll meet or how it will impact your life.
9. Find Purpose and Contribute to Causes
What makes life meaningful for you? Pursue it! Giving back adds significance to our days and lifts our spirit. Volunteering to assist in your community, church, or a favorite cause brings enjoyment and provides structure for your week. However you serve others, dedicate time to uplifting purposes bigger than yourself.
10. Look Ahead with Hope
Growing older has its challenges but concentrate on the bright spots each season holds - the blessings and milestones still to come. Share hopes and dreams with trusted confidants.
What do you still wish to witness, accomplish or experience in the years ahead? Hold onto anticipation for the special moments life surely has in store. There are adventures yet to embark upon! Expect the best, believe better days are always before you.
How Yummmm!Bar Can Support an Active and Purposeful Life
Yummmm!Bars are more than just a bar; they are a delicious and purposeful addition to an active and healthy lifestyle, especially as you seek aging well with sustained energy and wholesome nutrition. Crafted with the intent to provide quality nourishment, these bars are power-packed with nutrients designed to support the vitality and vigor required for life's adventures, hobbies, and social engagements.
Whether you're hiking a new trail, attending social events, catching a flight, chasing toddlers, or pursuing hobbies, these bars are designed to fuel your endeavors without causing a weighed-down feeling. Their blend of ingredients, meticulously selected for healthy aging, have benefits that support bone, muscle, joint, and heart health, ensuring that you stay energized for all your activities. Sound like just what you need? Grab your bars today!
One of the remarkable qualities of Yummmm!Bars is their convenience. With no preparation required, these bars are the perfect grab-and-go option, ideal for those busy days when time is of the essence. Whether it's a quick snack between meals or a boost before your next adventure, Yummmm!Bars are readily available, offering a burst of nutrition without compromising on taste or quality.
Moreover, these bars are more than just a quick bite. They are crafted with wholesome ingredients that offer antioxidant benefits, contributing to overall well-being. This carefully curated blend not only curbs hunger effectively but also ensures that you're nourished with the essential nutrients needed for an active and purposeful lifestyle. Order your Yummmm!Bars today to taste and feel the difference.