13 April 2020

Is being over 70 a COVID-19 death sentence? By a 70 year old - with 7 reliable steps to reverse ageing and boost immunity…

Consider this. I have one leg, one lung, probably one functional kidney and am over 70. Bloody miracle I am even alive, let alone COVID-19 free! And yes, I am taking isolation seriously (and loving it, especially as I get to share it with Ruth), but no, I am not fearful - or cocky.

Why? Because there is a difference between chronological age and physiological age, and while the former is a given, the latter we can all influence very directly and immediately. I may be 70 years old in chronological years, but physiologically - more like in young to middle age!

So this week, how to maintain good anti-viral health and immunity by reducing our physiological age - and enjoying it, but first

     Thought for the day  

  At the core of all forms of addiction
  There is a psycho-spiritual emptiness,
  An alienation from meaning, connection and   belonging.

                       Dr Gabor Mate

It is a sad fact that the majority of those dying with COVID-19, and yes, not all, but most, seem to be those with pre- existing health issues - mostly chronic degenerative disease, and mostly brought on by physiological ageing.

So here is the thing : there is chronological age - how many years have passed since your birth - and there is physiological age - how much your body has actually aged through wear and tear. The 2 are often confused.

This is like 2 new cars of the same make when one is purchased and driven by the proverbial little old lady (do not give me a hard time for political incorrectness, you know what I mean); the other by a young hoon.

After 5 years, one remains in as new condition, the other is just about ready for the scrap heap.

When all too many teenagers develop atherosclerosis and yet some 80 year olds can run marathons, the difference in people is easy to see. Problem is, the human body being the wonderful instrument that it is, most can get away with treating it indifferently up until around 50. From there, two groups begin to emerge - those heading for chronic degenerative disease, and those not.

Lifestyle choices really begin to show by 60 with the health and vitality of those looking after themselves standing in contrast with the multiple ailments of those not.

Consider this damning statistic : 50 per cent of those aged over 65 years are on five or more medications.

By 70 the contrast is becoming even more stark, by 80, extreme.

So yes, thankfully chronological age is not the same as physiological age and happily while one is irreversible the other is not. We can do nought to change our chronological age - except lie. However, while physiological age is ideally conserved from a young age, it is never too late to address it.

It is claimed that regular meditation can drop physiological age by an average of 15 years. This makes some sense of the extensive literature demonstrating meditation to be a powerful preventative for all chronic degenerative diseases. How meditation has this positive effect is two-fold.

First there is the direct physiological effect. Most people these days have a pretty good inkling of the multiple ways meditation changes bio-chemistry and fosters good health in this direct way.

However, what meditation also does is to improve our mental state bringing more clarity and confidence. Therefore, one of its greatest benefits is it does lead to positive behavioural change. I have long contended, one of main reasons meditation has so many proven health benefits is due to its flow on effects.

By this I mean that when we have more clarity and confidence, we see things better; we become more aware and we make better decisions.

We start to notice what foods make us feel better, what worse; and because we are in a better state of mind, rather than eating junk to fill some emotional hole or neurotic need, we are content to eat what does agree with us and feels good.

Same with exercise.

We go for a walk, feel the benefit and go again.

Personal discipline, which for those with confused and troubled minds can be so hard, suddenly with the clarity and confidence meditation brings, becomes much easier.

And as we gravitate almost effortlessly to a healthier lifestyle, we reverse our chronological age; our health and vitality steadily builds.

In this time of a global pandemic, it is never too late to start. Good for you if you have been doing this for years. Nice to know you can influence your own health so powerfully and positively. But if this is new to you, what to do?

Seven simple steps to build good immune function and good general health.
Seven steps to avoid chronic degenerative disease.
Seven steps to significantly reduce physiological ageing…

1. Meditate daily for 20 minutes. If you cannot manage this, then do it twice daily - your need is clearly greater!

2. Eat well - a plant-based, whole food vegetarian or even better vegan diet.

3. Exercise for 30 - 60 minutes daily. If you miss a day or two per week, that will be OK, but aim for daily.

4. Get regular, sensible sunlight exposure. Vit D is crucial for good immune function.

5. Maintain a good social network. Start with a good relationship with your self. You are the most important relationship you have. Be kind to yourself. Generous. Then pay it forward to others.

6. Be creative. Creativity is highly under-valued but is a powerful force for good health.

7. Finally, practice gratitude. This single emotion has multiple and profound benefits. Start easy… wake up and be grateful you did not die in the night! Then at the end of the day, think of what you can be grateful for - from the simple to the profound.

Do all this and enjoy chronic good health!

1. Meditation - my new book Blue Sky Mind, and downloads of all the exercises therein guided by Ruth and myself - available by Clicking Here 

2. Dietary guidelines - best go direct to a recipe book compiled by the Gawler Foundation catering team : Eat Well, Be Well 

3. Exercise - just do it!

4. Sunlight exposure - check this excellent guide from my friends at Overcoming MS - Click here

5. Healthy relationships - lots of great books to consider, but here are 2 that are old but very good : Getting the Love you Want by Harville Hendrix and Love is Letting go of Fear by Jerry Jampolski.

6. Creativity - try this… Go into an art store - or look on-line - and pick up and feel blank drawing books. Personally, I like A4 size, but you may find a small one speaks to you, or maybe a bigger one. Take home the one you like the feel of. Same with pencils or crayons, pens or watercolours. Feel around and select what asks to accompany you.

Then try this; each day create an image on the right hand side of your book. Maybe something abstract, maybe something literal. Do your best to let go of thinking and allow the image to develop as spontaneously as possible. When it feels complete. Stand back a little, reflect for a moment, and without labouring things, write a title or very short piece on the left hand page. Add the date - and smile. Do this daily and enjoy…

7. Practice gratitude. Simple really - just do it whenever you think of it. Make it a habit and enjoy the warm feeling it steadily builds within. And a tip - as you become more grateful for the easy things - those things you find it easy to be grateful for, start to be grateful for the tough stuff too. Then the benefits will start to really flow…



  1. Thank you Ian, love reading your Newsletter - always find something practical and heartfelt that I can apply and pass on, love to both you and Ruth and family xoxoxo

  2. Thank you Ian, I fully agree.
    Great practical points! Love it!

  3. Ian, I really think your points are great. Just to focus on the "sunshine" point. As you know we are coming into winter and Vit D levels always drop in winter. I'm recommending 5,000-10,000 IU Vit D by capsule or oral spray every day, at least though the pandemic winter. And all the oldies in Aged Care facilities should be given the Vit D routinely!

  4. I find your blog inspiring and I slowly take baby steps practicing meditation following your CDs.My goal is now to visit Australia and follow your meditation course.