Health Secrets of Living Legends: Don Laughlin Interview Part I
By Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark
The average life expectancy for American men is 75.7 years, for American women 80.8.
Many still alive at this age are not really “living.” Instead, the majority are plagued with chronic illness, pain and disease. Much time is spent shuffling from one doctor to the next, swallowing handfuls of drugs (some just to ease the side effects of other drugs,) and worrying about how to pay for all this “health care” they believe they need.
But not all American seniors live like this. Some not only “survive,” they thrive.
There are a number of Americans who, at age 80+, are more robust and healthy than many people half their age. We call them “Living Legends,” and they put younger Americans to shame in terms of mental and physical health and fitness.
What are their secrets? How do these octogenarians stay healthy and fit? And what can we learn from their example?
Over the next year or so, Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark will attempt to meet and interview a select list of these successful, healthy seniors and bring their health secrets to you, our HealthBeat readers.
Recently, we spoke with our first Living Legend, Mr. Donald J. Laughlin. You’ve probably heard of him even if you don’t know you have.
How many people have a city named for them and are alive, well, and a driving force behind their own thriving business and that of the entire local economy? For that matter, how many octogenarians still fly their own airplane and more impressively, their own helicopter?
Don Laughlin is one such Living Legend. We chatted with him last week in his Riverside hotel and casino in Laughlin, Nevada just after we enjoyed the Nutcracker ballet that he brought in from Anaheim, California to perform.
Don Laughlin is the man for whom the city of Laughlin, Nevada is named. He is the man behind Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Casino in Laughlin. Shucks, the entire idea and major driving force behind this town is Don Laughlin. You can learn more about his founding of Laughlin and his business acumen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Laughlin.
But we wanted to know about his health secrets, not his business secrets. At an age when many Americans are losing their ability to drive their car, Don Laughlin not only holds a FAA Airman Certificate (pilot’s license), he regularly flies his helicopter, his jet airplane, or his light plane, allowing him to keep a busy schedule that would overwhelm many women or men half his age.
At the age of eighty, Don looks, talks and acts like a healthy sixty-something. He is a normal weight and moves with a lightness and grace that bespeaks fitness. His mind is razor-sharp, his voice clear and manner confident. You’d be hard-pressed to guess his real age if we hadn’t just told you.
How does he do it? He revealed a few of his health tips in the chat we had with him.
First, he eats “real food” whenever possible and eats sparingly. That means he only eats when he is hungry and stops eating before he is full.
He enjoys an occasional glass of wine, but says “everything in moderation.” Everything, that is, except perhaps flying and successful business-building!
He exercises 15 minutes every day “like a religion,” and every day means seven days a week. He is not some sort of exercise fiend; he does not do aerobics to exhaustion or run marathons – he does some simple weight and resistance exercises – things like push-ups. Looking at him, you’d be surprised to see what those 15 daily minutes of exercise can accomplish.
Don is a self-confessed workaholic and night-owl, but he makes a point of getting adequate sleep every night, though he admits that this can be a challenge given his busy schedule. “Sometimes it’s just hard to wind down and relax enough to get to sleep” he admits.
Does he take supplements? You betcha! Prescription drugs? Rarely.
His advice for long life? “Don’t do stupid things!” People who talk on the cellphone while driving, step off a curb into traffic without looking, or take dangerous drugs for thrills just make him shake his head in dismay.
Perhaps most importantly, he keeps a sharp mind with his business dealings and a positive outlook – a healthy, active mind is a significant part of his healthy life.
Our chat with Don Laughlin was necessarily brief. It was 10 o’clock in the evening and he was making the rounds of his hotel as he does every night. But he invited us to talk further with him on a return visit to Laughlin. We look forward to doing just that, and we will report back to you – our readers – with more of his health secrets. We hope to grab “Part II” of the Don Laughlin interview – complete with current picture – later this month. We know it will inspire you.
Dr. Myatt and Nurse Mark
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