Lloyd Khan on "deep old age:" "Old people get weak more from lack of activity than from ticking of the clock"


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/26/lloyd-khan-on-deep-old-age.html


“You never hear anyone saying, ‘I’m sorry I just worked out.’”

Roger That!


Somebody that would say that would not work-out in the first place.


on the other hand, this is an 82 year old who doesn’t recognize how lucky he’s been and kind of fuck him a bit for making such a blanket suggestion.


I’m always skeptical about advice from the outliers. Sure, work out and all that if you like but don’t think that exercise is going to trump genetics. Some people are long lived and some people aren’t.
James Fixx author of The Complete Book of Running died at age 52… while running. George Burns who famously smoked up to 4 cheap El Producto cigars a day and whose exercise consisted of stretching and walking died at 100 from complications resulting from a slip in the tub head injury and the flu wrote “If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”


That definitely reflects my observations of my late paternal grandparents. My grandmother made it into her early eighties before the onset of Alzheimer’s meant she could no longer get out and about, and thus began to decline in both mind and body.

My grandfather made it to his early nineties before he also had the keys taken away and they were both moved into assisted living. Nobody was happy with that, but neither my dad, or aunt and uncles had the time to look after them in their house or space to move them in. He similarly began to go down hill when he could no longer tinker around the house or teach people harmonica. He passed away some years after my grandmother.

My hopes for the future aren’t really to drastically extend lifespan but to ensure much greater health and quality of life beyond ~70-80. What good is it to live to 120 if that’s just another few decades bedridden?


This is obviously true. Just like all people live to 84.


My job is working with over-65s (mental health). I’ve seen hundreds. Some are dealt a cruel blow: stroke, dementia, aortic aneurysm, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and more severe mental health problems. It’s hard for those people to remain physically and mentally active.

I have also seen many people who could do more exercise and who choose not to, as with all age groups. They suffer more because they are older and have increased muscle mass loss. The old adage “move it or lose it” is fundamentally true. But some people have more freedom than others to make this decision.


George Burns cracked the century mark on a diet that consisted primarily of gin and cigars.


Hey, you can’t argue with results.


Undiagnosed heart problems, strokes and other sudden death situations aside, it’s usually only the last few years of life when you have ill health. This tends to be true whether you die at 70 or 120. Personally I would rather be active in my 110s than bedridden in my late 60s.

Personal anecdote: My godmother is into her triple figures and still getting the bus into the middle of Carlisle regularly.


Yeah. There’s probably some truth to lack of activity hasting decline, but not everyone has the option of remaining active. My mother was dealt kind of a shitty hand in this regard: by the time she was in her mid 50s, her ability to just go and do stuff- the list of things she had to avoid - would have made you think she was 70. And it did make her weaker, but it’s really hard to do activity when you’ve developed a rare type of arthritis in your spine that may paralyze you if you fall wrong, or are recovering from back surgery for same, or you break your ankle and complications from that make it hard to walk, and you gain weight which makes exercise even harder on your body.


Now that’s a workout


Remembered I had this: Mark showing off a long board to Lloyd Khan at a maker faire.

Yes, it is in 3D. Get out your silly glasses.


Premature aging is like being buried alive… buried alive…


My grandfather fit this mold. At 82 people often assumed he was in his 60’s. He was still actively working as a mechanic. I watched him, while in his 70’s, catch the front end of a large American sedan when his jack and chocks gave up on him. He let it down slowly and climbed out from underneath. He’s probably the fittest healthiest person I ever met. (Meanwhile he subsists mostly on coffee, bacon, butter, black pudding and Entenmann’s cakes.)

He hit his late 80’s and started to slow down a bit. He hit 90 and he blew out a hip. At 91 it was a shoulder. At 92 his back went, he apparently simply wore through all of the cartilage in his lower back. And his bottom 7 vertebrae are now fused with multiple metal rods. Because he was bone on bone for so long its the only thing they could do. The number of benign skin cancers he’s had removed from his face arms and chest was lost track of long ago.

He’s still getting around. And he still works as a mechanic. Just hit 95. But time comes for everyone. And all that working out. Eventually just wears out your joints. Everything else can be working fine but your anatomy was never built to deal with that level of physical stress for damn near 100 years.


Also, people become better looking by being successful and getting higher salaries.


It’s another one of those reverse causality situations where we have no idea which direction the effect is. Do people get old because they are active, or are they active because they got old and didn’t die of something else previously? We want to believe old age is caused by activity and clean living, but we have no way to prove that it is. We also have no way to disprove it and show they aren’t positively and temporally correlated. Until we have a better grasp on the genetics of aging, the only thing we can do is keep on believin’.


Some of us work at work that is work, as opposed to having hobbies that emulate it.


mostly because one argues with interpretations. :wink: