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Embracing the natural world for longevity

Peter Allison & Peter Bowes

Do we live longer if we live next to green spaces? And what can we learn about longevity from squishy creatures in the sea?
Peter Allison and Peter Bowes – school friends in North East England 50 years ago – discuss the latest science that could help us achieve a longer healthspan.
Photos:  Courtesy, Peter Allison
Topics covered in this conversation include
  • Peter A. shares his goals for the next 15 years, which include scuba diving and hiking.
  • The goal of healthspan over lifespan
  • A discussion of a study on the regrowth abilities of simple organisms in the sea.
  • The study found that these organisms have a high level of cellular plasticity and can regenerate body parts.
  • A connection between senescence (aging) and the healing process in these organisms.
  • The second paper discussed in the podcast explores the impact of living near green spaces on longevity.
  • The study found that living near green spaces can add two and a half years to life due to biological changes.
  • The benefits may come from enhanced social interactions and a sense of peace and relaxation in green spaces.
  • The podcast highlights the importance of mindfulness and avoiding negative behaviors in order to improve healthspan.
Earlier conversations between Peter A. and Peter B.

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TRANSCRIPT – This interview with Peter Allison was recorded on July 6, 2023 and transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.

Peter Allison: Being in woodland or being in places where you can hear the grass moving or being by,I would even say being by the beach and listening to the listening to the surf, it just does bring that level of peace and relaxation.

Peter Bowes: Do we live longer if we can access green spaces? And what could we learn about longevity from squishy creatures that we find in the sea? Hello, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. I’m Peter Bowes and he’s Peter Allison. We have known each other since we went to school 50 years ago and here we are talking again, plotting together how we can get through the next 50 years. Good to see you again, Peter.

Peter Allison: And it’s great to see you as well, Peter.

Peter Bowes: Maybe I’m being overly ambitious. That would make us, what, 111? If we live another 50 years, are you more realistic than perhaps I am?

Peter Allison: I think I’m more focused on having a on healthspan. I mean, we’ve had this conversation before, but I’m more focused on Healthspan rather than lifespan. I think I want to be active as I get older and there’s a whole bunch of things I’ve just recently taken. Semi-retirement and moving into retirement is a little bit like being at school and suddenly going into the school holidays and suddenly thinking, That’s a wow, exciting time, but it’s only a wow, an exciting time. If I can do loads of loads of interesting things. And for that I need my health. So I want a healthy life.

Peter Bowes: Yeah, I’m actually on exactly the same page as you. Healthspan is the focus for me. I talk about living to 110 or 11. It makes a good headline 50 years in the past 50 years in the future, it’s maybe something to aim for, but yes, absolutely. Healthspan is is the real focus. It is. It’s the here and now. It’s today. It’s next month. It’s next year. And how we feel. And with that in mind, we touched last time. We spoke a little bit on goals and what we can do to optimize our health. I thought it might be really good if we could just focus in a little bit more in terms of what your goals are right now, because I know you’re taking a close look at the latest literature and there’s a couple of interesting papers we’ll talk about in a moment. But what are your goals right now as you’re looking forward?

Peter Allison: So if I was looking at my goals for the next 15 years, I’d like to be thinking, well, there’s a whole range of different things, but what sort of activities would I like to be? Would I get pleasure? Would I enjoy doing? One of the things is I, my wife and I really enjoy and my daughter now as well also enjoys. We enjoy scuba diving and that’s that’s a physical activity that requires, it requires a level of health to be able to do that. You don’t see too many divers who are in their late 70s. Just because the diving and going to physical going to those high pressures just does things to your body. So that’s a an issue. So I want to make sure that my body is healthy enough for that. I think other things I’d like to do I quite like would like to go back to doing some proper hiking, the sort of things that I used to enjoy doing 50, 50 years ago, 40 years ago. So I’ve sort of set myself a series of goals and part of that is getting my weight in order. And the weight issue relates tangentially and tangentially to one of these papers, really, because one of the issues of aging is particularly if you get overweight, then as I have been at various points in my life, getting as you get older, then that impacts upon your body spending where you store the fat.

Peter Allison: And of course I was storing the fat around my stomach, then that impacts on sort of body inflammation. And as you get older, those body inflammation can be could be associated with all sorts of negative health impacts. So I had to lose the weight. So I have some health goals and I am trying to lose weight without losing muscle, which is a challenge. Um, and I’ve had some success, reasonable amount of success I probably lost. Maybe 20 pounds or so, depending on how you count them. So between 14 and 20 pounds, depending on when I started, my my regime has evolved and changed with time. Um, and so I got some strength goals as well. At the moment my strength is increasing slightly, but I think that’s because I’m also doing the dieting and it’s the dieting that’s more important at the moment. So I’m targeting BMI and my waist measurement as essentially measures of my abdominal fat content. That’s what I’m working on at the moment. And it’s it’s getting there. So I’m within striking distance of getting where I want to be.

Peter Bowes: That’s good. We talked a little bit last week about you were saying how throughout your life your weight has gone up and down. So I suppose that reflects some success. And then for failure, success, failure, that traditional yo yo diet that people experience and it’s very, very common. So I’m curious what you think, you know now that maybe is going to put an end to that and that you’re on more of an even keel and that the kind of regime that you’re following is going to be longer term a successful one rather than just continuing that kind of yo yo relationship with your your weight and different dietary regimes.

Peter Allison: I think what would I consider? Well, I think that the most important thing personally, I think the most important thing for me to tackle my weight is to get my head in a position where I can commit to it. And I think it’s getting all of those things together. It’s trying to get my so I can commit to it. I need a goal. And I think in the past. And you know, I’ll tell you this and see if this resonates with you. I think I can I have to form a habit. I’ve got to get into a practice, into a mode that this is the way I’m going to be. And so I don’t see it as a camp. Well, it is a campaign. I talk about it as weight loss campaigns. But it’s a it’s a it’s a way of life, which I’m trying to adopt. I guess that’s where it has to be. It has to be a way of life rather than rather than something I just do for a period. And I’m comfortable with that now. But I can tell you that what might happen, let’s say I twist my ankle, let’s say I get a bad case of flu and I’m off for two weeks. And then there is that challenge of when I’m waking up in the morning is. Oh, do I really want to go to the gym or do I want to turn over and then go and have some breakfast and just I’ll put it off for tomorrow? What could be wrong with that? That’s so easy. And so I don’t think I think I have to be aware that that temptation of that, you know, just put it off for tomorrow after a two week, three week break or whatever. That’s just so difficult. And I’ve just got to guard against that. I don’t think I’ll ever be free of that. You know, the temptation to change like that. I mean, do you do you does that resonate with you?

Peter Bowes: It resonates totally with me. I have exactly the same weaknesses, if you want to call them weaknesses in terms of of motivation. And I think a big part of this is acknowledging that in ourselves. I think there’s a great temptation by some people embarking on a new exercise regime that they’re going to be faultless and this is going to be the one and that they can’t fail. And I think acknowledging and I think this comes with age, the ability to do that, to acknowledge that you have flaws and weaknesses and perhaps you’re easily distracted or perhaps you can easily use other things happening in your life as an excuse. And I’m absolutely like that. I think I’m like you and that I’m quite determined about things. And equally, I’m on a permanent exercise regime, which constantly changes because I read things that change my mind about things and I’m pursuing that quite rigorously. But there are always going to be occasions when, just like you, I don’t feel like it. And my secret weapon there, and I know this doesn’t work for everyone is the fact that I’ve got two dogs and a I like animals, I love animals, I love dogs. I do a lot with my dogs doing an agility trial with them this coming weekend, which will span the entire weekend. They absolutely love it and it’s a lot of fun for me. But on a daily basis, and these are two border collies. They’re sheepdogs. They’re hugely active dogs every morning without fail, no matter how I’m feeling, no matter what the weather is like, they love the rain. We’ve got to go out. And before speaking to you today, that’s exactly what I did. 7 a.m. for a full hour. Pretty steep hike, three and a half miles back home. Quick breakfast now I’m talking to you. And that’s a daily routine that I acknowledge I wouldn’t do every day if it weren’t for the little four eyes looking at at me as I get out of bed at 6:00 in the morning. So that’s a that’s a tool that I use. And again, not everyone wants to have a couple of dogs in their lives, but maybe there is a way for for all of us to to focus in on what does help us, what does help motivate us.

Peter Allison: I mean, I think and I think I talk about tricks and I’ve had this conversation with you before, so the diving is part of that trick. And so I know there’s quite a few divers who are sort of starting to give up in their 60s because their blood pressure, because of their various health problems. So I don’t have any of those health problems yet. But so in my head, this is something I really enjoy. I mean, for some I came to I came to scuba diving quite late in life, so I feel as though I’ve got lots to catch up on. I’m not one of these people who’s been diving for 40 years. I haven’t been. I’ve been scuba diving for ten years. So I feel as though. So part of that trick for me is I’ve got to think I love it If I want to be loving this in five years time or ten years time, for sure. Then I have to watch my fitness now, because now is the time where it could be just dropping off because it happens to so many people. So that’s where I’ve got. So that’s a that’s one of my tricks. I keep thinking and to be honest and I do find it sometimes if I it’s so helps like you, I get up early, so I, I’m usually walking to the gym. So I walk to the gym. I’ve got a two and a half mile walk there, two and a half mile walk back. It’s along the flat. Mind you, there’s no not much of a climb involved. But I do that and I’m usually walking there any time between 5:15 in the morning, retired, as everyone says, Oh, you’re retiring. You’d be lying in bed. No, no, I’m not. I’m I’m getting up early. Either 5:15 or maybe 7:15. Sometimes I set off just so I can get it done out of the way. But yeah, it’s tricks that we have to use to try and keep ourselves going.

Peter Bowes: Yeah, I think maybe in a future conversation we could just talk about A lot of people do this and I actually find it quite motivating. Just talk about our daily routines, morning routines, not only exercise, but obviously exercise can’t be seen in isolation in terms of our daily activities. So what else we do? Maybe some of those other motivational things. So you mentioned diving. You’ve been diving not all of your life, but a significant part of your adult life. And that is an entirely it’s something I haven’t done, but that’s an entirely new world. Well, it would be a new world to me that you’re privy to. And that is what is in the ocean. What is in is in the sea, which is fascinating. And it does relate to our first paper that we’re going to discuss today. And this study, which is a National Institutes of Health study, it was published in Cell Reports. And essentially it is looking at what we can learn about the regrowth of an entirely healthy body from some of the creatures that exist in the sea. This is your world. You’ve had a look at the paper. What do you think?

Peter Allison: I think well, it’s fascinating, isn’t it? I mean, it’s fascinating in all sorts of levels. I think one of the things that they’re talking about, these are very simple organisms. These are organisms that are cnidarians, which are organisms which are close to the, you know, the bottom of the tree of the bottom of the tree of life. They’re not complex organisms like us. And yet there is tremendous plasticity, cellular plasticity, and they’re able to they So one of the examples, the experiments that they did is they cut the mouth off the top of the organism and it was able to grow a new body from the mouth, which is which is like this tremendous thing. And I guess, you know, we all know about these stories about, you know, animals which can which can which can grow new appendages and things. So these are it’s a tremendous level of plasticity. But with more complicated organisms. You know, complicated organisms have very complicated variety of cells. And that complicated variety of cells needs to be kept in order. So this is a level of plasticity which simple organisms can have but complex organisms guard against. Because if you’re a complex organism with very, very complex cells, your cells have all got to be kept in order. And it’s almost like this is a level of disorder that primitive organisms can have but really complicated organisms can’t have, which is and it’s this level of this, this plasticity which is allowing them to to avoid aging and which is amazing.

Peter Bowes: And I think what’s interesting is that they’ve noticed a connection between senescence, which you could simply describe as the aging process in terms of how our cells age. They’ve noticed a connection between that and the healing process. So you would think senescence is going off in one direction. Healing is is quite opposite and it’s a more positive growth scenario. But the two actually could be linked.

Peter Allison: Yeah, I mean, I did find that fascinating. I did find that fascinating and it’s related to aging. So they’ve got so they looked at the genetic code for this animal and then they compared that with human genes and they found three genes that were quite similar. And what they’re able to do is if they switch off one of the one of these three genes in this critter, then it isn’t able to do this magic thing. So it isn’t able to do it. It isn’t able to, you know, it isn’t able to regrow or reheal itself. So these are genes that are very similar to our genes. But again, this boils down to the fact that we are very, very complicated animals and this is a very, very simple animal and we need to have our cells more under control. This is one of the points that’s made in the paper that maybe this is something that really very simple organisms can do, but really, really complicated organisms can’t do.

Peter Bowes: Yeah. And I guess it’s worth taking note of because I think what is commonly accepted is that the, the processes within our bodies or indeed a wide range of organisms in terms of aging, there are striking similarities from the very simplest of of organisms to to complex bodies like ourselves as human beings. And that’s why it’s interesting.

Peter Allison: Yeah. I mean, so this, this idea of the senescence or when these these old these cells as they become older, as they senesce they they they don’t die. So these so these, the Hydractinia, these Cnidarian creatures, they, these animals are able to expel the, the senescent cells. They can actually just get rid of the senescent cells and that they’re able to repurpose their cells as stem cells and then just regenerate the the, the cell types that they’ve got rid of. And that process of senescence is in us is what generates all of the inflammation factors that causes all of the illnesses that we get with old age. And you know like the the inflammation factors coming back to the earlier comment that we made about carrying a lot of weight around your middle, that’s one of the things that causes this inflammation factor. So yeah, it really is it is fascinating. But it was I still come back to I was drawn to this sort of this line between the difference between complex organisms and and simple organisms. I mean, I mentioned briefly in an email there was a paper published a while back about lobster longevity. I mean, did you is that right? Yeah, Yeah.

Peter Bowes: Yes interesting.

Peter Allison: The interesting deal with lobsters is that as they reproduce and get bigger and bigger and bigger, they don’t seem to suffer any sort of problems associated with old age, except that the bigger they are, the longer the period that they have to go between shedding their outer skeletons because they’ve got an exoskeleton skeleton on the outside, they shed that skeleton when they get to be really, really, really big and old, they carry those skeletons for a long time and it’s just critters that land on them and bore holes through them and live. They’re they’re not parasitic necessarily. They’re just living there. But eventually some of them start puncturing the outer skeleton and the microbes get in. So it’s not actually they do die. You could say they die of old age because their shells have been worn through, but their soft tissues in the inside are all nice and young. But the high irony is they’ve just got this shell that’s that bumps them off because it starts to fail. So there’s this little, little control factor that says, Yeah, that’s it. But that’s going to get you, though. The shell is going to get you. So something gets you.

Peter Bowes: Yeah. Peter, I’m just curious, the the world, the underwater world that you know and you’re privileged to. Be able to see and understand in terms of your general observations about what you see. Living organisms in the ocean, in the sea. Relating that to the rest of your life and everyday life for most of us. What could we learn? Or what have you learned about the relationship between different organisms? The way that often a symbiotic relationship between organisms that perhaps could benefit us with a different kind of insight as we go through our regular lives?

Peter Allison: Well, so one of the observations I would make is about fear, I think. And I think if I look at the way so if you if I go and have a walk in the woods and I see birds and rabbits or any other animals, they keep well away from me because they’ve had hundreds and thousands of years to learn that people who look like us are going to try and throw rocks at them or stick pointy things at them or shoot them. So for good reasons, they’ve learned to be frightened and that’s fine. You understand that. But in the sea, the animals that we have hunted in the sea have never associated the hunting with us. They associate they they may respond. I don’t even know if they respond to hooks. I don’t think they do. But they don’t see us as being the source of threat. So fish can swim really close to human beings and you can get really close. So there’s a thing about there’s a lesson about learn fear and the response of fish to humans about whether or not they’re going to be a threat is largely based on our size. So if they see I think a fish is sort of like looks at it looks at a diver and thinks, um, you know, is the fish of the right size to be preyed upon by this diver. And so you often see small fish are really quite comfortable getting very close to divers because the small fish will sit there and think, oh, he’s never going to eat me. But the things he might eat are the things that will eat me. So I’m going to swim close to him. So there’s a thing about how things perceive fear about how fear and threat. And I think the other thing is, is I mean, I guess I mean, you’re the same age. You know, you’re near the same age as me. Did you do you remember seeing Jaws?

Peter Bowes: Oh, yes.

Peter Allison: And did that give you a sense of fear about the sharks and the sea and stuff like that? Uh.

Peter Bowes: I don’t know. I think Jaws as a film was, you know, farcical in some senses. I don’t know whether for me watching it, it was that relatable to the real world. I mean, clearly it was it was a dramatic film in the way that the storyline progressed, but I don’t know whether that changed my perception of of what is. I mean, clearly everyone’s afraid. Everyone’s afraid of sharks. I do have one just before you come in. I do have one story. It’s not really a shark story. I used to do triathlons and I was training one Sunday morning with a couple of friends in the ocean, the Pacific Ocean, just off Malibu here in California. And it was pretty quiet. The beach was empty. It was very early in the morning and we were swimming away, not too far away from the shoreline. And all of a sudden I noticed this huge fin probably about two meters away from me. Now I’m colorblind. So to me it looked like a gray fin, a fairly dark gray fin. I clearly couldn’t see what was underneath the fin. But the first thought that comes to mind is and we do have sharks off California, the first thought was that’s a shark. And so got the attention of the other two guys who noticed it. And then we we headed off back very quickly, back to the shore, kind of hyperventilating as we swam. And we didn’t see it anymore. But by that time, the lifeguard had arrived on the beach and we mentioned it to him and he kind of laughed and he said, well, yes, it was probably a dolphin because we have dolphins here as as well. But my the point of this, my initial instinct was that’s a shark. And that’s going to be terrifying.

Peter Allison: I remember shortly after watching Jaws, like within a year or 18 months of watching Jaws, I was on holiday with my parents swimming in the north west of Scotland off the mull of Kintyre in cold water. But you know, a 12, 13 or something like that. So I swam out probably about 500m or something off the shore. So quite a way off and we’re getting up to a bit of kelp and we’re going to swim through the kelp and something banged my leg. It was probably a piece of kelp, but I said to the person I was swimming with who just treading water and I asked him what it was and his response was, Durdham and I, we both bolted. We swam back full pelt until we got to the shore. And then we sat back laughing at what, you know, what silly things we were. But basically it was that all he had to do was that dumb and that just got the heart beating right. And then he’d just panic sets in. And yet. So I think I spent quite a while being sort of frightened of sharks and. And I’d been in the water with sharks, you know, several dive trips. And really, they’re just such fascinating creatures and that, you know, I’ve seen some really big sharks. I’ve been diving, I’ve seen tiger sharks and I’ve seen oceanic whitetips. And they’re really just a little bit curious. They swim around you once or twice, maybe as a diver? They do. I think if I was on the surface, splashing, splashing around, I might think differently. But just I think they’re just fascinating creatures. They just seem to be mildly interested and then they just go away. And so I’ve learned I think I’ve learned a lot about fears and phobias as well.

Peter Bowes: So talking of being in nature and being close to nature, let’s talk about this second paper, which is a study about the effect on us biologically living close to green spaces. And this is a long running study. It’s published in the journal Science Advances. And they essentially concluded that living near to green spaces could add to two and a half years to our lives. And this is based on biological changes to a group of people that were studied over a long period of time. Now, my initial response and initial logic is, well, yes, it’s great, isn’t it? It just for your your mind and soul living near green spaces that you’re generally calmer. Maybe your blood pressure is a little bit lower, but this goes a lot more deeply than that. And it’s all about epigenetics and how our environment can actually impact our gene expression in terms of the genes that we are born with. But as we all know, the environment has a quite a key impact on how those genes are expressed during our lifetimes and that impacts our health.

Peter Allison: Yeah. So I mean, so it’s a 20 year study, which is, you know, I mean, these long term studies are just so valuable. And what they’re doing is they’re looking at these epigenetic markers. So they’re looking at markers of aging, which is fascinating. You know, it’s a it’s a fascinating tool in its own right. I mean, one of the interesting things is looking at it’s about long term exposure to green spaces. Has the benefits. And so they talk about the reasons why that might be the case. And it just could be for the fact that if you’ve got the access to the green space, then it becomes a place where you can you might have enhanced social interactions. And so it may not necessarily be something magical about the fact it’s a green space, but it’s the fact that it encourages all sorts of positive interactions with other human beings associated with that green space that are there. You know, if you’ve got a park, then you go for a walk in the park, you have you meet other people or you sit there and you go and have a relaxed. So it’s encourages you to deal with other things.

Peter Allison: And yeah, we do both know, don’t we? I mean, I’m sure we both agree that there is there’s just something about being out in, you know, in open spaces, being in woodland or being in places where you can hear the grass moving or being by, I would even say being by the beach and listening to listening to the surf. It just does bring that level of peace and relaxation. So yeah, so I mean, the papers do that. And then the paper also touches on the issues of social deprivation and how if you how not everybody has equal access to green spaces and that leads to different different levels of aging essentially associate based upon social deprivation. And I mean, I mean, this is a sort of like an echo of some of the discussions that were had around about the time certainly in the UK and I’m sure I’m sure in the US as well, around when we had the Covid pandemic because there were certain, you know, there were certain ethnic groups who were more, you know, more susceptible to negative outcomes. Yeah. So that’s just sort of like a a sort of a sobering thought, isn’t it?

Peter Bowes: Yeah. And I think the interesting thing about this kind of research is and always at the back of my mind is when I hear or read headlines that a certain activity can add a certain number of years to your life. I think, Well, hang on a minute. There are other things that we do in our lives that are going to affect, and it’s very simplistic to say that it’s going to add a certain number of years because, you know what? If you live next to a green field, but you have a really bad diet and you don’t exercise in that green space. So lots of complicated factors. But that said, I think there’s a lot in what your analysis and your interpretation in terms of and it is fairly obvious to me, maybe purely from a blood pressure perspective, that if you’re relaxing in a beautiful woodland environment or you’re on the beach and you’re listening to nature, that does have a very calming effect. And if you can lower your blood pressure, well, that’s probably going to be good for your longer term health. But I think just delving into the detail of this study, this is probably a little bit more to it than that. And knowing that and every. Either. I read, has the final line. More research is needed and clearly more research is needed on this. But what is a challenge to me is how we can use this kind of information to benefit ourselves. And especially, I would say, for those people, those socio economic groups that are not lucky enough to live next to green spaces or parks, inner city community. What can be done with this kind of knowledge to make life better? Does it mean having more plants in your tiny little bit of yard that you might have at home just to try to create a green space? Could that potentially be beneficial? I know people that don’t have gardens that have huge sort of gardening interest and they’ve got a green wall and gain a lot from that.

Peter Allison: Yeah, I think so. I mean, the paper does talk about how they define green spaces. And so for me, I mean, I’m sitting just opposite a very large park and so that’s my definition of a green space. But that’s not the paper’s definition of a green space. So they talk about much smaller green spaces as well. So they talk and they talk about community projects. And I suppose, I mean, they just hint as to what is the cause of this in the paper. And so they they don’t take that much. They don’t go beyond that hint. And they say it’s probably down to possibly down to enhanced human interactions. Fundamentally, I suppose one of the maybe I’m just putting my interpretation on this is it’s really talking about some sort of mindfulness and that the green spaces are leading to a development of some form of enhanced mindfulness, whether you’re experiencing them with others. If you’re having a community garden, as you say, if you’re having a community garden project, you’re just talking with and if you’ve got older people who are spending time just talking with other human beings and focused on projects, you know, growing projects, growing plants, that is developing mindfulness strategies, isn’t it really? And the extent to which those start having positive health health outcomes.

Peter Bowes: Yeah, I think I think that’s very important. I think the word mindfulness gets a bad rap in some quarters, but I think it is hugely important. It’s it’s a very descriptive word. I think we all understand what it means. But equally, I think some people are still skeptical. They think it’s a little woo woo to to to focus on mindfulness. But from my experience, I think it’s incredibly valuable to to focus on that kind that aspect of our lives.

Peter Allison: Yeah, well, I think, I mean, I. Well, okay. I mean, I’m. I have a blood pressure monitor. I check my blood pressure periodically. I mean, I’m a scientist and I get to see numbers, you know, what’s not to like about that? Right? So but, you know, and I can. I did an experiment the other day and I started to I started a train of thought and I elevated my blood pressure with a train of thought. I started running through a conflict in my mind and dwelling on a past conflict. And I dwelled on that past conflict. My blood pressure started going up. And I think for me, the mindfulness about that is to think that those sorts of behaviors can have a negative health outcome. So I should be practicing not doing that. And so that’s part of my definition of mindfulness, I guess, is to think about things which can be not even remotely helpful. And so here’s the question How many older people do you know who you suspect have fallen into that trap of reliving? I mean, I, I, I know people, older people who’ve fallen into that trap of dwelling on past conflicts and becoming very bitter. And that’s I suspect it’s a it’s a very negative. You know, it’s a negative route to go to. That’s a that’s not a good place to go. And I think it’s worthwhile avoiding that.

Peter Bowes: Yeah. And equally, I know older people who might have moved into some kind of sheltered accommodation that they are being cared for for the first time in their lives, that they don’t have to worry about cooking every meal. They don’t have to worry about paying the bills because they’re in a system that makes that possible. And that group of people actually express that their worries of disappeared, that they are feeling more positive about life because they don’t have those stresses of working life, of family life to some extent to to worry about anymore.

Peter Allison: Yeah. I think there’s I’ve and equally I know older people who’ve gone through tremendous. You are tremendously stressful points in their life. I’ve got a few minutes. I mean, I’ve just some tremendously uplifting people that I’ve learned from. And I was there was a lady I was talking to and she was a very a very open, loving, forgiving woman, always looking for the positive in things. And I was just having a chat to her about something that was on television. There was a there was a TV program on about Kristallnacht. And when I mentioned it to this lady and she said, Oh, yes, she said, that was terrible. I remember that my parents were rushing me through the streets to avoid the crowds. And I said, Oh, you were there then? And she said, Yes, I was. We had to hide for four years during World War Two. And I sat there and thought, Oh. You know, and she was I she just mentioned it in passing. She had no bitterness in her. She was forgiven everyone. She was moving on with her life and seeing joy in everything. And I thought I was such a beacon of inspiration in that way. I thought.

Peter Bowes: I agree. It’s a nice story. The two studies that we’ve talked about today, if you are interested in following up reading a little bit more deeply, I’ll put a link to them in the show notes for this episode. Peter will catch up very soon.

Peter Allison: Okay. Thank you.

The Live Long and Master Aging (LLAMA) podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.
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