”Grey Matters” conference offers tips for keeping the aging mind and body healthy

adult male holding tennis racquet and ballAthletes will drop in on Cleveland this summer for the 2013 National Senior Games, defying widely accepted age limitations on the mind and body.

But growing older doesn’t necessitate breaking down physically and growing stagnant mentally—a lesson Case Western Reserve University’s 20th Annual Florence Cellar Conference will drive home next month with a battery of fitness tips and research.

“Healthy aging is making the most of what your capabilities are,” said aging expert Diana Morris, director of Case Western Reserve’s University Center on Aging at the France Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

The center will present “Grey Matters: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Aging,” from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12, at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.

Research has shown there are several strategies (see tips below) for leading a more active lifestyle—even with physical limitations.

Conference attendees will hear them first-hand from keynote speaker Leonard Poon, Distinguished Research Professor from the University of Georgia and director of the International Centenarian Conference, whose research focuses on people at least 100 years old. He will explain the common threads that allow these individuals to reach the milestone.

Other speakers include: Gay Hanna, director of the National Center for Creative Aging; Ellen Glickman, John Gunstad and Mary Beth Spitznagel, scientists studying the mind-body connections to healthy, vital aging; Ed Bixenstine, a psychologist and world-champion athlete; Woody Coddington, athlete and entrepreneur; and Anne McGovern, educator and athlete.

Two local celebrities join this year’s lineup as examples of vitality:  Luncheon speaker Louis Stokes, a retired U. S. Representative who remains active in his Washington, D.C.-based law firm; and Cleveland television veteran and cookbook author Fred Griffith, who will moderate the afternoon session on “Experiencing Active Aging.”

Attendees also will receive practical advice and information to enhance life and wellbeing through yoga, mediation, exercise and more.

Registration is required.  Fees vary for full- or half-day attendance. Contact Pamela Collins at 216.368.2692 or pxc127@case.edu for information or visit fpb.case.edu/Centers/UCAH/conference.shtm. Student scholarships are available.


Tips for Staying Forever Young

  1. Healthy diets equal healthy aging.
  2. Exercise works for healthy minds, bodies and spirits.
  3. Keep moving and be fit. It is never too late to start.
  4. Be involved; be engaged.
  5. Enjoy people of all ages; the young ones will help you stay healthy and vital.
  6. Stay connected to others and activities—in person and on the web.
  7. Continue to learn and grow.
  8. Learn about your health and preventing disease.
  9. Make appointments for your doctors, health screenings and immunizations routine.
  10. Old dogs can learn new tricks: You can learn new ways to cope and adapt to changes in your life.

Source: Diana Morris, director of Case Western Reserve University’s University Center on Aging at the France Payne Bolton School of Nursing