An apple a day leads to years


My wife and I are both in our seventies, in relatively good health, and active, for our age. I play golf once a week, and my wife gardens in our yard, plus she belongs to a group of other women who also take pride and effort into their gardens/yards/homes.

My wife, Judy, also takes a local dance lesson once per week, and does strength training twice per week. I can tell you that while I look all of my years, my wife looks at least twenty years younger. My wife thinks her youthful appearance is due to her efforts to take care of her health, weight, and frequent checkups with her medical provider.

This has caused an issue for us, as she believes that my increased weight, loss of energy and increasing health problems are directly related to my lack of taking care of myself and preventative care. I believe this is just natural progression and genetics. Her family genetics appear to be better than mine, period.

Now that I have, recently, been diagnosed with congestive heart failure my wife insists that I increase my visits to my health care provider, and that I lose weight. This is causing arguments, which leads to me telling my wife that her nagging me, and my increased blood pressure from our disagreements is leading to my condition being worsened. This is a circular argument that is not getting any better as it continues.

Violet, please help me explain to my wife that all men get heavier and have more health problems as they age, this is not due to my lack of effort. I love her, but she is wrong!

Healthy but naturally elderly partner

Dear elderly,

First, I can not tell your wife that she is wrong, because I don’t believe that she is, from what you, yourself, have written. First, I do believe that genetics play a big part in how youthful we do or do not look, naturally, and that it also plays a role in how our health progresses/declines, as we become more elderly.

However any medical provider will tell you that regular exercise, especially strength training and flexibility (such as with dance lessons), as well as taking in less calories as we age, lends itself to a healthier condition. This, in turn, leads, often times, to a more youthful look, relatively. In other words what you do is how you appear and feel, more times than not.

Your wife is working very consistently in an effort to have a longer life, and more years to spend with you, which is why she wants the same from you so you remain there with her, otherwise what’s the point? If she did not love you so deeply she might just say well, when he is gone, I shall replace him, c’est la vie (that’s life).

Your wife is working very hard, and probably even turning down chocolate and wine (say it isn’t so Judy!) to ensure she is healthy in order to be there to share a life with you, whom she loves. If you want to be there with your wife, to enjoy a life not only extended in years, but filled with the best health possible, please consider listening to your wife. She appears to have your best interest at heart.

In hopes for your health,


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