Cheating on your age is good for your health

Quitarse los años

Last week my oldest aunt turned 63 and when I called her to say happy birthday she said to me, “I still can’t believe I have all those years!” Honestly, I couldn’t either, because that meant that I am reaching the fourth floor.

When I was in my twenties, I remember mocking people who lied about their real age. The desperation of men covering their balding heads with hair pieces that looked like road kill, and mature women shopping at Forever 21, looked ridiculous to me. However, it seems that this selective type of denial could actually have a powerful effect on an individual’s longevity.

For more than eight years, Doctors Isla Rippon and Andrew Steptoe, fellows of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University College London, in London, England, evaluated almost 6,500 men and women with an average age of 65.8 years old. The results where published in 2015 in the article Feeling Old vs Being Old and the conclusion was nothing but interesting.

After 99 months of observation, the crude mortality rate of the individuals who felt older than their chronological age was 24.6%. Those who felt their actual age had a 18.5% rate, and those who felt younger, 14.3%.

According to the authors of the study, once they adjusted all variables such as baseline health, physical disability, and health behavior “there remained a 41% greater mortality hazard in people who felt older than their actual age compared with those who felt younger than their actual age.”

In other words, cheating on your age is good for your health. There is a popular saying, “Age is in your head.” Although I am not saying that one’s mind has the power to stop the passing of time or curing terminal diseases, I believe that living life to the fullest and staying active regardless of retirement, for example, it could improve our golden years.

Humorous birthday cards for 50 and up always have some hint of doom like “going down hill”. Nonetheless, there has been a cultural shift worldwide in the last decade, and its efforts have focused on fighting sedentary habits and promoting healthy eating and lifestyle.

This wave has contributed to the fact that men and women over 90 are the fastest growing segment of the US population to date. More than ever, mature individuals and seniors run in marathons, extreme sports and other activities that keep them avant-garde their children and even grandchildren.

I look to the future and I am happy to see that today I am more active than I was a decade ago. And I know that felling young, regardless of my physical impediments, will guarantee that I can blow up more candles on my birthday cake each year.

So, the 60s are the new 50s, the 50s are the new 40s, and the 40s are the new 30s. Having said that,  I guess I am just getting to the third floor!

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Xiomara Spadafora

This column was sponsored by Zellner Insurance Agency. Many things in life don’t have insurance. For everything else call Zellner (888) 208-8119



Are there hurricanes in South America?


Hurrricane Irma
NBC 6 South Florida

Since September 4th, the name Irma stole the thunder, literally. Considered the most powerful Category 5 hurricane recorded in the history of the North Atlantic Ocean–with sustained winds of 187 mph–Irma crossed the islands of the Caribbean and the state of Florida as if it were a lawn mower leaving in its path nothing but destruction and heartbreak.

The aftermath of the hurricane was catastrophic. More than 50 victims, 15 million people without electricity and billions of dollars in property damage. Continue reading “Are there hurricanes in South America?”

The Power of Faith

El Poder de la Fe.jpeg

Yesterday, while I wrote this blog, two important events were about to happen in my home country.  First, the Colombian qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup in Russia against Brazil, and the second, the arrival of Pope Francis. Nothing like religion and soccer to collapse the country of the Sacred Heart.

While I watched the game, I scared my son several times with my gut retching screams every time the Colombian and Brazilian players shot their cannons at the opponent’s goalies. I even had to take an acid reducer pill to control my gastritis. Continue reading “The Power of Faith”

Corruption: Colombia’s endless eclipse

Last Monday, August 21st, two historical events took place. My mother’s birthday and the total sun eclipse that crossed 14 states in the US–from coast to coast–driving people crazy. In my city, the only effect that the astronomical event brought was torrential rain that overcast the sky leaving millions of fanatics with their $40 special sunglasses unpacked.

Out of all the images that circled social media in the last couple of days, the one that caught my attention was this Colombian cartoon by Matador, published on the newspaper El Tiempo. Corrupción means Corruption.

Caricatura Matador.jpeg
Matador, EL TIEMPO August 21,  2017

Continue reading “Corruption: Colombia’s endless eclipse”

Dangerous Treats


Last week, one of my best friends returned from a two-week trip to Alaska and Canada. Besides talking about the majestic views, she told me about the surprise she got with the normalized use of marijuana compared to five years ago, the last time she visited. Her and her husband had to improvise in front of their 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter every time the unmistakable smell surrounded them.

Alaska is one of the eight states in the US where cannabis is completely legal. Initially, these states approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, but as expected, the legislation became the Trojan Horse to progressively turn it loose for recreational use. Continue reading “Dangerous Treats”

Is Neymar’s transfer price to PSG immoral?


Last Saturday August 5th, the Paris St Germain’s fans were let down. The star that cost them 263 million euros couldn’t shine at the Parc de Princes Stadium against the Amiens, because the CTI (International Transfer Certificate) was not registered the eve before the game to finalize the transfer process.

After reading sports articles of American, Colombian, British and Spanish magazines, the majority highlighted in their headlines the “immorality” of Neymar’s price tag. Nonetheless, what morality in terms of money can be expected from Qatar, the richest country in the world and owner of the PSG? According to data from the 2017 Forbes report, the GDP of the Persian Golf state is $130,000 a year.

Continue reading “Is Neymar’s transfer price to PSG immoral?”

An island named Venezuela

Xiomara Spadafora Venezuela

Last Thursday, July 27th, I was left in anguish after I read the order issued by the State Department for the diplomatic corp stationed in the American Embassy in Caracas. In a few words, the instructions were to get their families out of Venezuelan territory and join them if they wished so.

That same day, Avianca–the emblematic Colombian airline–joined the growing list of airlines that stopped servicing the Caribbean country in the last months, and flew the routes from Bogota and Lima to Caracas for the last time ending decades of operations with the neighbor nation. Continue reading “An island named Venezuela”