Gloria Diaz on being a senior: “I’m aware I’m not immortal”
It’s rude to ask a woman her age but in Gloria Diaz’s case, she didn’t seem to take offense. Instead she answered the question regally as a beauty queen would. After all, she’s the first-ever Filipina to be crowned Miss Universe, is she not?
Or perhaps, Diaz is just proud to be 65 and not feel or look it.
This was the scenario at the recently concluded Philippine Expo on Aging Well where Diaz was in the panel with sportsman turned actor turned politician Freddie Webb. The event served as the launch pad of AgeWell Club, a new group in United Laboratories, Inc. (UNILAB) that supports and encourages seniors to live a healthy, happy, and active life. The program is a collaboration of Unilab’s trusted brands such as Enervon Prime, Skelan, and Neurogen-E of which Gloria Diaz is an ambassador.
“Many people don’t know what it is. My children don’t understand why I take it,” tells Diaz referring to the vitamin product she endorses. She then gave a rundown of her physical activities, “I play tennis about four times a week. I run on the treadmill. I also do boxing and weights. I do a lot of things that’s why I need it.”
Neurogen-E is a vitamin product that combines Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin E in one tablet. It helps in management of various neuromuscular disorders like nerve pains that is very common in the aging population. “I try to take it the same time every day. In cases I forget like when I go abroad, when I start to feel a few aches here and there, I just go back to taking it and then after a few days, the pain goes away. It just has to be consistent.”
When Diaz recalls of her younger years, she remembers eating junk food, a lot of them. “As you age, you realize that what you eat plays an important factor in your life. That you can no longer eat as much lechon as you used to, or stay up late because you have so many things to attend to the following day. There is the awareness that you are not immortal.”
Along with this realization, she advises people her age to move their body. “More than anything you have to be active. You can’t just lie on the couch all day, guarding the TV remote, and wait for lunch or dinner. Or wait for something to happen. You have to move, it doesn’t matter if you’re single or with someone. You have to get up in the morning, dress up, or cook, or shop, be with friends, just be active whether with your children or with your grandchildren.”
Another observation Diaz shared during the panel is how people change priorities as they age. “When we were younger, our main focus is ourselves. Whatever we’re doing, it’s about us, our clothes, our shoes, where we are going. But as you get older, your focus shifts to your kids. And then it moves to your grandchildren. And then your partner. You become the last priority of yourself. All of a sudden you realize your own mortality. You know that you have to eat well, sleep well, and you need fewer things.”
What about the perks of getting old? Diaz gamely answers: “When you get to my age, you’re more relaxed. Before I would wear high heels, girdles, now I don’t have to. These days, I enjoy wearing rubber shoes or “step-in.” Also now, I only do projects that I really like to do unlike before na kayod marino.”
Diaz enumerates a few things she’s learned to apply in her own life as she takes on the journey to aging.
“Experts say that to age well, you need the right food and exercise.”
She then adds having a relationship with the Lord and committing to just one person is among the secrets to successful aging.
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