Welcome to Age and Prosper: Relationships and Love
Age and Prosper is a weekly newsletter on aging well and longevity tips.
Welcome to Age and Prosper, a new weekly newsletter about all things aging and longevity.
I am Tom Sanders. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a photographer, author, filmmaker and college professor with a professional focus on seniors (as in people in their 60’s+, not 12th graders). More on me to come. I’ll also occasionally be joined here by my wife, Allison Arbuthnot Sanders, a writer, editor, and health and wellness enthusiast.
Each week, we are going to bring you three relevant, science-backed health stories and trends relevant to aging and longevity in bite-size formats, as well as lifestyle stories on people who are aging well.
Since we’re new here, please allow me to introduce myself. For the last two decades, I have photographed and filmed thousands of people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. In fact, the oldest person I photographed was Merle Phillips, a 110-year-old woman in Chicago who authored her first book at 72-years-old, then went on to write 12 more books by the time she reached 110. Are you inspired yet?
Caption: A photograph from Tom’s series on centenarians
Awesome! Me too! Early in my career, while still in my 20s, I had the opportunity to photograph and interview aging and longevity experts like Dan Buetner, author, producer and creator of the Blue Zones Diet, and Dr. Gary Small, a well known memory, aging and brain expert out of UCLA. Hearing what they have to say while also regularly spending time with seniors at vastly varying levels of mental and physical wellness got me really interested in how and why our brains and bodies age so differently. Now that I’m pushing 40, I’ve leaned into this even more.
Caption: Allison and I on Hilton Head Island. Did you know that spending 10 minutes or more in nature 3 times a week can reduce biological indicators of stress by over 20 percent?
While not everyone wants to live to be 110 like Merle (Allison maintains she isn’t interested), we all (should) want to age in a manner that makes what years we do have productive, comfortable and, hopefully, happy. Healthy longevity is the goal!
Allison and I speak frequently about what a challenge it is to sort through the wealth of information–often conflicting–about how to age well and prosper. Since we spend a lot of time sifting through it already for our own personal curiosities and self-improvement journeys, we decided to go ahead and share the goods we find with you.
So, this newsletter is for anyone who wants tips on how to age well and make the most of the years they’ve got. We’ll do our best to keep it current, accurate, and not, like, totally obvious, like this recent story declaring that french fries are really bad for you.
It does not matter if you are 27 or 70, you can make changes anytime to feel better and increase your longevity. Aging well starts now! So, let’s jump into it!
This week’s theme: Our personal relationships contribute to our longevity.
A recent student from Science Daily states that not only does isolation decrease happiness, but it’s a contributing factor to causing dementia. It can be really hard to put yourself out there and socialize and make friends but it is imperative for your brain and happiness!
Authors Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz just wrote a book titled "The Good Life - Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness," in which they conclude that it is our personal friendships and their support that help us live long meaningful lives.
One of my more popular senior photo series, which I shot for Belmont Village Senior Living, was on couples who had been married for fifty+ years. At the time, Allison and I were newlyweds, and we collected their best advice for long and happy marriages. I noticed that almost all of these tips align with leading relationship expert John Gottman, PHD Psychologist on how to improve your marriage and partnerships. One woman told Allison to hide her credit card receipts. That is not one of Gottman’s tips, but seeking a therapist if you’re feeling inclined to hide your financial transactions from your spouse is. According to Gottman, the average couple waits six years before seeking help for relationship problems. And keep in mind, half of all marriages that end do so in the first seven years.
Thanks for joining me! Please forward this newsletter on to friends, family, strangers, anyone that you think wants to age better and improve their quality of life. See you next week with more news on how to age and prosper.
If you have any suggestions for future newsletter articles as we get going on this, I’d be happy to hear them. You can reach me at email@example.com.
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