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Aging Well
Diet & Nutrition

Alma Bond: Her 90-Plus Health Secrets

They key to having a healthy body, a sharp mind and a thriving career for nearly a century? Pursue your true-life passion after 60! That’s exactly what acclaimed author Dr. Alma Bond did. At 92 years old, she has written 22 books in the last 25 years, including her latest, Hillary Rodham Clinton: On The Couch. This former psychoanalyst turned full-time writer follows a simple daily plan to stay health: get moving, eat right, find time to relax and make sure to have a daily treat.

Third Age took a few minutes from Bond’s busy schedule to get priceless tips on her healthy secrets, her passion for writing and how she really feels about her latest book subject matter.

At what age did you retire to become a full-time writer?

I retired at 68, and I’ve written 22 books since then, one a year, pretty much.

Nothing makes me feel better than I’ve written something that I like and it’s good.

What inspired you to launch a second career in your late sixties?

My sister was an artist, and I used to ask her “Why?” She said it gave her something to get up for in the morning. I guess I feel that way about writing. I can’t wait to get to the computer and continue what I’m doing.

You exercise daily. What’s your routine?

I swim, and I have for 40 years. I think that, more than anything else, is responsible for my good health. And for many years now — about 25 — I get up in the morning and do a series of exercises based on yoga to prevent a bad back and to keep my balance. Many people my age die of falls. I’m determined I’m going to stay on my feet.

You basically started your fitness regimen at 50. What kick-started your program?

I was in full-time practice as a psychoanalyst, and I have twins. They went away to college, which gave me a little free time. I joined the Paris Pool in New York City and since then I’ve been swimming about four times a week, 30 minutes a day. I was a runner when I was younger, so on the weekends I also try to run a little bit. I’m sticking around a while.

How do you feel when you’ve worked out?

An interesting thing happens when I swim. I get into an almost unconscious mode, and sometimes I get marvelous ideas for the book I’m writing. I’ll sometimes put pen and paper outside the pool and stop and jot down what I thought of while I was in the water.  It serves me creatively as well as physically.

What are some of your other secrets to staying healthy and ageless, like diet and nutrition?

That’s very important. My daughter is a very well known nutritionist and she has guided me for many years. I’m mostly careful about what I eat, lots of fruits and vegetables every day. I eat very small pieces of meat for protein, like the size of a deck of cards. And I allow myself one treat a day. At night before I go to sleep I eat ice cream. When I was younger, I had an aunt who was very beautiful. She weighed 120 lbs. I thought, when I grow up, I want to weigh 120 lbs. And guess what I weigh? (chuckles)

Do you meditate?

I do relaxation exercises every night before I go to sleep. Strangely enough, I was tense when I was a girl. I went to a doctor who assigned me a book on how to relax. I was 18, it cost me $2 in those days, and I would say it’s the best two dollars I ever spent. Been doing them ever since. In the book, he doesn’t say relax, he says, “Let go.” You start with every part of your body, I start with my back and stomach and then you add in your arms and legs and other body parts. Often by then I’m asleep.

You’ve written Hillary Rodham Clinton: On The Couch, your personal analysis of the presidential candidate. What advice would you give her to stay healthy and balanced on the campaign trail?

I love Hillary Clinton, and I believe if she were elected, she would change the history of humanity. But I think she needs to get some help staying healthy. She goes without eating and then puts on weight, and she doesn’t sleep. I want to write about book about how to stay healthy into your nineties, so I would tell her to take better care of her health.

What advice do you give people about starting a second career in the golden stage of their life?

I was in a terrible accident; I was hit by a car, broke several bones and was in a coma. When I came out of the coma I realized life is very short, you never know if you’re going to be alive. I always wanted to write full-time, so better to just do it. I moved to Key West, Fla. and wrote my first book there.

How will you celebrate your 100th birthday?

By writing a new book!

Celebrity reporter Delaina Dixon delivers it with sass and class every weekday morning on VH1’s celebrity entertainment news show The Gossip Table (http://www.vh1.com/shows/the_gossip_table/ ).She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of DivaGalsDaily.com (http://divagalsdaily.com/), Life & Style for the Multicultural Woman. An avid enthusiast of fitness at every age, she is a certified group fitness instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

To learn more about Alma Bond’s On the Couch series of books, visit http://almabondauthor.com/on-the-couch-series/. Her latest book in the series, on Hillary Clinton, is available for pre-order on Amazon; click here.