Reclaim Your Health at Any Age

Our common humanity is often best expressed through the struggle to maintain or regain our health. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Rose and Bill Glass, as well as an audio recording of our full conversation. Click here to submit your own healing story.

 

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This is Dr. Reed Tuckson at the annual meeting of the AARP. I’m talking with Rose and William of Las Vegas. Rose, I’m just curious, when you think about prevention and living your healthiest life, what’s the best advice that you have? You look very fit, and you look like you’re both enjoying your life immensely.

Yes, well, I have a little philosophy I call my OWNER philosophy. There are some essentials to a healthy life and the OWNER acronym suits it well. The O is for Oxygen. We need good clean air. And we need good clean Water. And we need Nutrition. That’s where the food issue comes in in a big way. And we need Exercise and Rest.

I’m going to start using it.

It struck me as being so profound because it really fits. It’s so simple.

One of the things that we are encouraging is advocacy. How do you exert your passion to the process?

We’ve been married 55 years. For decades she’s been sending out messages, and it has to do with all of these issues in relation to health and the abuse of our environment. She really is an advocate from the standpoint of her writing. She’s a very talented writer. She and I are having a solo show at the Seminole Library here in Las Vegas.

A solo show on?

A solo show on my sculpture and her writing, combined.

How old are you, Bill?

I’m 82.

Eighty-two, and you’re still active in sculpting?

I play tennis a couple times a week and pickleball. It’s a fabulous thing for elderly people to be involved in. In fact, it’s taking off in senior communities around the country.

Do you both encounter many people your age who are not exercising regularly?

Most of them are not.

Why do you think that is?

I don’t know. It’s a shame because we live in a community that has about 3,000 people, and there are probably 100 people out there using the facilities on a regular basis; it’s a surprise.

What got you all to do it? Why are you different? What’s clicking for you?

One of the first things we can take charge of is our health. That’s the only thing we’ve got control of. Really, we don’t have a whole lot of control over a lot of things in life, but we do have control of our bodies. Most people abuse them rather than take care of them.

I think one of the things that’s helpful is to grow up as a child and be encouraged to be involved in some sports activities. My wife grew up on a farm and really didn’t have an opportunity to be involved in athletics. Ten years ago, when she turned 69, I said, “Honey, you’re going to play tennis.” I took her out on a tennis court, she’s an avid tennis player now. She really gets a great deal of pleasure from that, as well as some exercise.

Tell me about your art a little bit. I think this is amazing that you’re still an active artist. The benefits must be great for your mental health and your spiritual health.

Well, it is. You can check my website if you get a chance. I’m a sculptor. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree from Notre Dame University in sculpture and painting. I’m in my retirement years and I’m doing things on a smaller scale, but you can check my website and see some of the work I’m doing.

That website is sculpturebywtglass.com.

My wife finds my work interesting. She writes words related to this work. We’re exhibiting those at the Seminole Library in Las Vegas. It’s a solo show, so my wife has an opportunity to express herself in relation to my work.

If you could give a word of advice to seniors for optimizing their health and well-being, what would it be?

To be engaged in life. Do something you enjoy. Find something that you enjoy. I felt that after we retired and we decided to move here that I was going to recreate myself. I’m doing things that I didn’t have a chance to try before. We raised five children. I worked full time. There was never time for something I wanted to do, so now I’m enjoying tennis.

Finally I’m doing something physical. That has done a lot. And getting out in the sun. I’m a real believer in vitamin D. Coming from Michigan where we had five months of gray, the sunshine here is very exhilarating. I’m feeling better than I ever have. It’s energized me.

That’s terrific.

I feel like I’ve added five years to my life just by getting out in the sun. I walk two miles a day in addition to the tennis.

Bill, what would you say is the secret?

Staying engaged in things that you enjoy doing. I like exercise. I like doing some artwork. That’s essentially it.

Something that’s very, very dear to me and important to me has been to avoid as many toxins as I can.

Sheesh. She reads labels.

I read the labels and try to eat the right kind of food in the right proportions.

That’s good advice.

Can I tell you a little problem I have with this? I used to love rum and Coke, but she doesn’t like Coke. So now I don’t …

It’s toxic.

… like rum. That’s a problem. It’s problematic.

You two are a delight. Thank you for joining me here today. I really appreciate it.

Thanks to our friends Rose and Bill Glass. We appreciate them dropping by.