Senior Life — Youthful Lifestyle
As the publisher of Irvine Community News & Views, I am pleased to introduce a new ICNV feature entitled Senior Life — Youthful Lifestyle, that will appear monthly in our traditional “hold-it-in-your-hands” print format, as well as online. This new feature was conceived by Harvey H. Liss, who holds a Ph.D. in engineering, gives lectures on science-based approaches to healthful living, and is also editor of ICNV’s Science and Technology page.
Dr. Liss is a 75-year-old Irvine resident, who first moved to Irvine in 1976. He was part of the pioneering team that designed, engineered and built Irvine’s iconic Village of Woodbridge.
Let me begin with full disclosure: My purpose in writing this feature column is to “push my agenda.” And what “agenda” is that? I am on a two-fold mission: Personally, I intend to live to 100 (and beyond) in good health; and, second, I want to help other Irvine seniors not only live longer, but to experience the best quality of life possible for themselves and their families and friends. In this and future columns, I am dedicated to informing Irvine seniors of the City’s many remarkable programs, facilities and services that make it easier to live longer in good health.
So, let’s get started. You may not know it, but as a resident of Irvine, you have joined a veritable country club — not only because of the City’s dozens of parks and walking trails, but also because of the astonishing array of opportunities and services that the City provides for seniors. My perspective is that of someone who has lived 75 years in excellent health, more than half of those years right here in Irvine. I was fortunate to come to Irvine in the 1970s, where I was part of the engineering team building this amazing City; later, I started my own computer software business; and, recently, I have found a number of ways to serve the Irvine community, including as an Irvine Planning Commissioner.
So, how did I come to lead an active, productive life, enjoying good health along the way? Some of it was, no doubt, good genes and good luck, but a special kind of good luck. As a young child growing up in New York City, I was lucky to get a good introduction to a healthful lifestyle. I had a particularly enlightened aunt who persuaded my mother (her sister) to prepare wholesome meals for our family, prohibit us from eating fast foods, and eliminate soda pop from our daily diets. These are good lessons for healthful living — at any age.
Later on, I learned about the importance of exercise as a determinant of good health. Specifically, as a graduate student doing research in physiology and optimizing broken-bone healing, it became clear to me that both aerobic and weight-bearing exercise — at any age — were not just helpful, but essential for maintaining excellent health. I’m pleased that my insights more than 50 years ago have since been confirmed by many clinical studies.
I promise you this: Whatever I write about and whatever advice I offer to help you maintain a more youthful lifestyle, you can be sure that it is supported by evidence and by my own personal, confirming experience.
In future columns, I’ll be writing a lot more about the importance of good food and good exercise. But for now, let me leave you with a couple of thoughts. Regarding exercise, walking at a brisk pace for a half-hour every day — whether alone or with others, outside or indoors (on a treadmill)— will do wonders for your health and your outlook on life. Note: Irvine’s state-of-the-art Senior Centers offer an array of equipment, courses and instructors for your use and benefit.
Next Time: More about good food, good exercise and Irvine’s remarkable Senior Centers. (See Directory, below.)