The 91-year-old grandmother exercises daily, including squats. See her tips on longevity
My grandmother, Kathleen, was born in England in 1932. After marrying a Royal Marine commando and having two little girls, she immigrated to the United States when she was 28, where she added a little boy to her brood.
She is a cancer survivor, retired cardiopulmonary technician, and a real person. She loves shopping, at everything from thrift stores to upscale boutiques in San Francisco, and she curses more than the average grandpa, but quietly and with an English accent, which often makes most people smile.
Kathleen believes in the health benefits of daily movement and strong female friendships, and she’s also an absolute romantic.
I have heard her, on multiple occasions, refer to other people her age as “old people” because she feels much younger than her age. She recently told me, “It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re still the same person. Sure, you can’t do some of the same things. You don’t get made fun of anymore, which is a big plus, but you’re still the same person inside.”
Here are her lifestyle tips for not only a long life but a happy life as well.
“If you don’t use it, you lose it.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard my grandmother say this. Following her own advice, Kathleen wakes up every morning “stiff as a board” and stretches to move gracefully. Then she moves on to her exercises, which include squats and working with light weights. In total, her morning routine takes about 20 minutes.
Daily movement helps Kathleen feel more youthful, and it looks like she’s on to something, as research suggests that exercise may slow cell aging.
Create strong female friendships
My grandmother, talkative, warm, and funny, made friends wherever she went. From her life companions in England to the new friends she has made in the United States, she values each and every one of them.
She specifically values her friendships with women because of the connections created by shared experiences. Over the years, she and her friends raised children together, helped each other through illness and grief, and spent afternoons shopping, laughing, and sipping white wine. Kathleen will never forget one particular adventure in 1949 when she and a few of her friends cycled from Euston Station in London to Windsor Castle and back. It’s no easy feat, as the trip is about 30 miles each way.
These strong female friendships benefit Kathleen in more ways than one. Studies show that friendships aren’t just for fun; It is also beneficial for your health.
Although it can be difficult to make friends as adults, Kathleen says it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think — and others are looking for friends, too. “You just have to connect with people. Before you know it, you’ll have more friends,” she said. A sense of humor helps, too.
It is quite clear that my grandmother Likes love. She has been married three times, and now has a boyfriend. He is also 91 years old. She never let the end of a marriage or the loss of a spouse stop her from finding happiness again, and my grandmother and her boyfriend shared many adventures together, such as road trips from California to both Florida and Idaho. They love going to the movies, trying new restaurants, and watching British crime TV shows on BritBox.
Romantic relationships can improve physical and mental health by lowering stress levels, preventing depression, leading to a longer lifespan, and much more. Plus, dinner dates are always fun!
Always prepare for the day
I’ll admit, this is a tip I probably need to incorporate into my daily routine. My grandmother often works out in sweatpants and a comfy sweater, always ready for the day. Although I often spend the day at work in sweatpants and a comfy sweater, my grandmother always gets ready for the day, no matter what she’s doing. She styles her hair, wears nice clothes, and doesn’t forget her jewelry. Getting dressed makes Kathleen feel good. “When you go out, you wear nice clothes. Period,” she said.
For days when you wake up not feeling energetic, Kathleen has a tip that works for her: “Go take a shower and wash your hair. You’ll feel like a million bucks.”
Read read read
Fortunately for book lovers like my grandmother, Reading has many health benefits, including preventing cognitive decline as we age. Plus it’s fun. There’s nothing like losing yourself in a good book. Allow yourself to escape to new places, meet new people, and learn about different cultures.
Kathleen reads every night before going to bed. She also loves reading outside in her colorful backyard, believing that fresh air can do wonders for your mood. She enjoys various literary genres and authors, but some of her favorites are Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher.
Find things that excite you
Although family is very important to my grandmother, she believes that you should make time for yourself, away from children and important people. She has always made time to volunteer, starting at the age of 10 in England, where she offered her time to the St John Ambulance Brigade. Her duties included wrapping bandages, and once, when she was 15, she rode in an ambulance with a patient.
Over the years, Kathleen’s passion for volunteerism has included raising money for St. Jude and Volunteer Firefighters, among many other charities. She’s also the first person to help a friend, send a care package, or pick up the phone for a chat when she needs it most.
Above all, be kind
Of all of Kathleen’s tips for a long, happy life, this one is perhaps the simplest: “The most important thing to be is to be kind. It’s very easy to be kind.”
Not only does it benefit those you meet, Experts She suggests that kindness can benefit your physical and mental health by improving mood, reducing stress, and possibly leading to a longer life.
So, follow Kathleen’s lead and practice a little kindness when you can. You never know who might need it.