In Smart Aging for Women, Elizabeth Rigley tells it like it is! With her straight shooting style, she dissects and debunks many of the common beliefs and attitudes surrounding the aging process. As she clearly states in her opening chapter … how long you live is more about how you live your life each day and less about how your parents died.
Being a health and wellness advocate myself, I was very excited to read Smart Aging for Women and thrilled to attend Elizabeth’s book launch in Ottawa, where she resides. Elizabeth Rigley is a registered nurse and has worked for many years in acute care hospitals as a front-line nurse and more recently as a health care manager improving quality of care for elderly patients in long-term care facilities across Canada.
Listening to Elizabeth speak about her book, it was obvious that she is a passionate advocate for healthy living and that she truly believes that we all have the possibility to age well. Both her personal and professional experiences have given her a first-hand look at how chronic disease can impact aging and quality of life. I think we can all agree that nobody wants to be old and sick!
I have to admit … when I started the book I was expecting some revolutionary new research on aging, some cutting-edge scientific discoveries and a diet and exercise plan that would somehow miraculously have us all looking and feeling younger in no time. No way … Elizabeth reminds us that healthy aging is hard work, but not any harder than living with a chronic health condition! What is refreshing, is the positive spin she infuses into the simple healthy living rules we all know, or should by now. Smart aging is just that … being smart. We need to stop making excuses for our bad habits and lax attitudes. We need to stop blaming external forces and unleash the forces within to inspire our own change.
Elizabeth explains how taking responsibility for our own health empowers women to feel, act, live and age more confidently. The book covers not only diet and exercise but also the importance of personal grooming with tips on styling, fashion choices and smart shopping. I loved the chapters on lifelong learning, technology, being socially engaged as well as menopause and even sex. Elizabeth’s down to earth style and sense of humor helps readers take a more lighthearted approach to some very personal subjects.
Mental health is another, often overlooked, aspect of healthy aging. Science has long proven that diet, exercise and strong relationships help to combat depression and anxiety. Elizabeth covers that too and encourages women to combat isolation by getting involved with their communities, families and friends. Volunteering, joining a club of like minded individuals, or perhaps killing two birds with one stone … join a running or walking group where you will benefit from social interaction and stay fit. That’s smart!
For those that can afford it, surgical and minimally invasive anti-aging procedures are also briefly discussed and although we often think that interventions such as Botox are out of reach, just ask yourself how much you spend yearly on trivial purchases. It may seem superficial and vain to some, but ironing out a few wrinkles could inspire some women to take a more pro-active approach to their overall physical health. When you’re looking good, you feel good!
After reading the first few chapters, I started my 30 minutes a day of vigorous exercise at the gym as well as keeping a food diary. Most of us need a push, a nudge, a dose of reality and some inspiration to get us back on track. Smart Aging for Women does just that!
Elizabeth is a firm believer that it is never too late to start. Every day that you laugh, eat right and exercise is a good day and contributes to living a long happy life. A glass of red wine helps too and Elizabeth agrees!