Major Ager: Unforced Errors
Its Effect: Accidents
Much of aging certainly is about preventing the decrease in quality of life from chronic disease and long-term wear and tear. But the ultimate form of aging is the kind of that bypasses all the details and kills us off immediately: a car crash, a fall from a cliff, or a freak encounter with a rabid antelope. Most of us like to write off accidents as unfortunate circumstances of fate, but many accidents are very preventable and not really the end result of some cosmic master plan of evil. When it comes to accidents and unforced errors, the big picture is this: It’s all about leverage points—tipping life into your favor by doing the things that make your body better equipped to handle the unexpected things that will be hurled your way. It means making sound decisions in life (non-slip mat in the shower, helmet when you’re riding a bike) to stack the odds in your favor. It means knowing where the trouble spots may be, so you can plan to avoid them—and cope with them if you can’t.