Here is some healthful advice for seniors according to some Chinese senior health advisors:
(1) Do not exercise in the early morning. It is better to exercise in the afternoon and in the evening.
This is because, according to the Chinese senior health advisors, in the morning, the air contains an overabundance of carbon dioxide that came from the breathing cycle of plants, trees and grass overnight. Green plants take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide at night and take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen during the day.
The highest number of cases of fatal cardiovascular disease occurs between 6:00 am and 12:00 noon.
(2) Do not take a walk immediately after dinner. Wait for 2 hours before doing so.
This is because the body is concentrating its energy on digestion, and immediately walking after dinner will detract from the energy needed for digestion and this may lead to incomplete digestion.
(3) Exercises for seniors must be suited to the physical capabilities of the senior person, the health condition of the senior person, and the interest of the senior person. Many senior people have some kind of health problems and the exercise chosen must not in any way aggravate their health problem.
(4) Seniors should get sufficient sleep and sufficient nutrients.
Actually, being a senior myself and according to an 86-year-old friend, many of us only require 4 hours of sleep a night.
(5) “Chi chu”, literally means “to eat vinegar.” A daily intake of vinegar keeps the senior doctor away and the young doctor amazed.
Vinegar can disinfect, it can “prevent disease” according to the Chinese advisors, it can “alleviate fatigue”, it can improve digestion, it can alleviate boils, it can kill fungus, tinea and ringworm on the hands and the feet, it can protect the skin, and it can clean the hair and the pores of the skin of dirt and oil.
I also add here that vinegar cuts cholesterol and fat, and softens bones and tissue. Vinegar is used in cooking as a meat tenderizer. It is a food preservative that preserves pigs feet and I use it to make my own pickled vegetables. I also use it with baking soda to brush my teeth and whiten my teeth every morning.
For senior citizens to stay healthy, like my 86-year-old friend:
(1) Eat garlic at every meal.
(2) Eat at least half an onion at every meal.
(3) Eat ox tail and beet soup twice a week to alleviate pain from gout. I eat canned beets to alleviate arthritic pain without the ox tail and the soup.
(4) Walk, take the bus, and trade in that new dinky foreign car with a low bucket sized driver’s seat for an old gas guzzler with a big square seat. You might save both your life and your back.
All these driver’s side bucket seats that are as big as a bucket will permanently damage your back, and give you severe lower back pain after about 10 to 15 minutes of driving.
(5) Keep physically active by working and exercising, and keep mentally active by playing bridge, majong, by learning to play or by playing a musical instrument, writing a memoir, and turn that idiot box called TV off at least for a few hours a day and spend the time instead in the back yard, take a walk in the garden or do some gardening.
(6) Play with the dog or the cat. They can provide hours of fun and they help seniors exercise. It is much more pleasurable talking and playing with the dog and the cat than to talk with or listen to other people. Dogs and cats do not make hateful and racist remarks, they have no fanatical religious, evil political and hateful racist views and opinions. Dogs can even detect cancer and stay by one’s side when one is incapacitated.
Although we usually think of cats and dogs as ground animals, cats in particular need vertical space. Cats will stay on a window sill and look out the window for hours on end. Cats also like to sit on a high place and look down. In a playful mood, cats will pounce from above on things like rats and toys that move on the ground below.
(7) Lessen or eliminate red meat from the diet. Increase the intake of fish, vegetables, fruits, preferably nonacidic fruits like bananas, papayas, avocado, red grapes, and drink some red wine. It would be good for your health if one does not suffer from alcoholism and if one does not have a weak liver.
A Chinese food market owner drank a lot of beer. Someone suggested that he drink wine instead. So he began drinking a lot of California white wine. Soon his liver began failing him. Now he dares not touch any wine.
Another friend back in the 1980s died of liver failure after many years of getting drunk on California white wine.
(8) Occasionally, supplement a vegetarian diet with vitamin B6 and B12 and folic acid from fruits. These are energy boosters.
(9) For seniors, daily intake of garlic, onion and ginger will tighten the prostate and strengthen urination. They are also energy boosters.
(10) Among many Chinese lay Buddhist seniors, daily recitation of the Medicine Buddha sutra along with the “da li bai” exercises is becoming increasingly popular. The entire practice session takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Many practitioners have cited improved physical health, mental attitude, an improved feeling of inner peace, a reduction of anger and emotional trauma, and less depression. Those who practice Zen for Health also cite such benefits.
Other lay Buddhist seniors like to recite the Sutra of Great Compassion of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
These are personal practices. I suggest those of other faiths to do the same. A daily prayer session reciting passages from the Bible, a daily session reciting good quotes taken from self help books or from famous quotes by famous people, recitation of passages from the Torah like those in front of the Wailing Wall, and prayer sessions reciting the Catholic rosary with prayer beads would all be good practice as a daily routine. Prayer beads are used by Buddhists, Catholics, and Muslims alike.