19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, November 7, 1914: <<no entry>>
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Another silent day for the dairy, but I came across an article in the March, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal by Charles Eliot, the retired president, of Harvard that I thought you might enjoy. He had lots of advice about how to stay healthy. Here’s a few quotes:
How I Have Kept My Health and Working Power Till 80
My experience does not furnish short, explicit prescription for keeping health and working power til eighty years of age, probably because many and various causes have contributed to the result; but I feel safe in affirming that anyone who desires to have a like experience will do well to eat moderately, to sleep at least seven hours a night with windows open, to take regular exercise in the open air every day, to use no stimulants, to enjoy all the natural delights without excess in any, and to keep under all circumstances as serene a spirit as his nature permits. This is the way to win from life the maximum of real joy and satisfaction.
From the time I became a tutor, at the age of twenty onward, I think that I have done per day an unusual amount of mental work, much of which, however, has had a routine or repetitive character, as in all teaching and administration.
That I have borne much labor and responsibility without ever suffering even a temporary breakdown seems to be to be due—after the inheritance of a sound constitution—to my possessing a good muscular and nervous system, preserved by open-air exercise and the habit of moderate eating.
One result of the balance between my bodily and mental powers has been that I have always been able to sleep well at night, and since I was seventy, briefly in the daytime also.
I am aware of two mental or moral conditions which have contributed to my safe endurance of physical and mental strains. The first is the result of a combination of this temperament with a deliberate practices of avoiding alike anticipation of disappointment and vain regrets. When necessarily involved in contests or critical undertakings I tied first to do my best in the actual struggle, and then not to concern myself too much about the issue.
When blocked or defeated in an enterprise I had much at heart I always turned immediately to another field of work where progress looked possible, biding my time for a change to resume the obstructed road. An administrator can thus avoid waste of energy and a chronic state of disappointment and worry.
My own experience has led me to think that strenuous work, done with interest and zeal, usually promotes health and vigor, and is seldom injurious if kept within the limits set by bodily fatigue.
13 thoughts on “Staying Healthy to 80”
Wise words… 🙂
Don’t overdo it and take a nap during the day once you get past 70. Sounds good to me.
“…balance between bodily and mental powers,” wow! She was very thoughtful and insightful. This must make you very proud.
I’m sure that reaching the age of 80 didn’t happen too often 100 years ago!
My, doesn’t he sound like fun😉
The last paragraph sums it up nicely.
Sheryl, I read somewhere that back in the day IF you weren’t killed off by one of the childhood diseases and made it into adulthood, you were just as likely to reach 80-plus as we are. I have nothing to back this up…..just remembering reading…..
I remember reading this too and was going to say so until I read your comment.
Well, good, then it must be true, right?
That’s pretty much what my doctor says – – “Move!” Good article even today but maybe change the lifetime date to 104.
Good advice for today too 🙂
That open air exercise sounds good. That is one thing I am missing these days.
Good to follow this advice now as well as then!