As I see our children enter and transit their fifties it has encouraged me to look back to the time when I was doing likewise and my diary tells me – ‘I was 60 years old on 28th November 1984 and the next day – Thursday – I did my two mile jog in the early morning as I had done two days previously, on the day before my birthday and so, sandwiching, without meaning to, My last jog of the fifties with the first in my sixties. For me, the expression, ‘the fabulous fifties,’ rang very true and I think it has been the most pleasant decade of my life.’ Apart from that hindsight revelation there was a surprise waiting in store for me when I began to ‘take stock.’ For many years I had come to the conclusion that my genetic inheritance has carried me forward, with the occasional major or minor mishaps until now. This Capital can be either built on or squandered, but from the sixties on-wards our life-style takes over as the prime motive force for the rest of our lives. Where did I stand in this regard?

Because of the advance of medical science and the improvement in infrastructure and public hygiene my generation and subsequent generations are living longer. In past generations with average life spans of between fifty and seventy the importance of adhering to a healthy life style after the age of sixty was little known. Death was the next step. With a potential life span of eighty to ninety the matter assumes a different aspect, one requiring more consideration; both for ourselves and the society we live in. Naturally we wish those years to be as healthy as possible.

The advantages mentioned as reasons for this new longevity are, unfortunately counteracted by a parallel debasement of our diet and our environment. These influences on our health are slow to take effect and are often denied through the subtle propaganda of the commercial interests that have caused them and profit from them.

The genetic inheritance can either have been built up or expended but usually, by the age of sixty the majority of us probably think that we are in a tolerably good state of health – maybe we need to shed a few kilos – otherwise, not bad at all, whereas, in most cases we are more likely to be ticking bombs of toxicity. Our denial in what we do not want to face is one of our human attributes, perhaps useful in some situations but definitely not in the case of our health. Our consumption of alcohol has perhaps not been of the most prudent, taking it regularly and not occasionally – our intake of caffeine has more likely been even more regular than alcohol instead of being an occasional treat, and the dangers of fizzy drinks, either with sugar or sugar substitutes has possibly been unwise from our earlier age. All these mentioned drinks do varying degrees of harm to the human body if not taken moderately; they inhibit the vital trace Minerals and the Vitamins that are needed to protect our Immune Systems and enable it to defend our good health. By undermining the health balances the result is cumulative and we will pay the price in our later years with health problems. They trick us into affording short term pleasure and even well-being while their impact on our long-term health is slow to take effect.

In addition to our diet there are other influences on our health that we need to be aware of and they are ones over which we have less control than over what we eat and drink and what other drugs we take; we have allowed our society, or the leaders we elect, to permit commercial interests to debase the environment we live in; the pollution of the air we breathe, the deterioration of the cleanliness of our rivers and beaches; the contamination of our very farmland by the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, many of which have not been tested for long term damage to human or animal health or environmental degradation; we have also allowed farming methods to become industrialised so that animal husbandry can be cruel to the animals reared for our consumption whilst producing meat that contains elements inimical to a healthy human diet.

The results of all this on our health means that there is a fork in the road during the fifties where we can either put denial behind us and resolve to take control of a situation in which we were drifting through a combination of a less than healthy diet and an inattention to the environmental impact on our health and, in so doing, give ourselves a better chance for living a brighter and healthier next third of our lives. Or we can ignore the health problem built up and carry on as before giving our bodies more and more problems to deal with and accept the consequences as a price worth paying. There are some who will elect to continue with a poor diet yet believe they are acting to their advantage by taking regular exercise while others may do the contrary, by having a healthy diet without any exercise This does not work – you cannot be half fit anymore than a woman can be half pregnant. We are in the, ‘last chance saloon,’ in our fifties and the choice is ours – and a wake up call for us to start de-toxifying our bodies by taking the right fork which will ensure very worthwhile results. Good luck

27 MAY 2017