Profiles in Active Aging – Susan Salenger

Susan Salenger

At age 79, Susan Salenger published an important book about women’s health. She discovered years ago through study and personal experience that women tend to have a hard time keeping up with their own health. Her book is titled Sidelined: How Women Manage & Mismanage Their Health. This book details the cultural and personal biases that work against women getting the healthcare they need and provides tips on how to be assertive so that you can have a better doctor-patient relationship.

Susan’s Early Years

Susan lived in Los Angeles for most of her life. She studied English at UCLA. While taking an anthropology course there, she did some research about women and medicine. This research combined with a difficult medical experience she had later inspired her to write her book.

She worked for 25 years with her husband making corporate training films.

Susan Today

Susan moved from LA to Northern California to be near her kids and grandkids. She spends her time reading, keeping care of her pets, spending time with family, marketing her book, and exercising. She is pretty busy and is trying to decide if she wants to write another book.

Susan considers herself to have a very high quality of life and she credits her interests and exercise for that. She does Pilates, walks her dog, and does weight training exercises.

“I think one of the reasons that I’m doing as well as I am is because I have a great quality of life and I think it’s because I’ve been exercising for like 40 years and it’s never too late to start. But I think that it’s really responsible. I have no pain. I can move, I walk like a younger woman. I think it’s good genes and good luck. But I also think it’s exercise.“

She has osteoporosis. Not only does she not let that get her down, but she also uses this condition to motivate herself to keep active. 

“I have a lot of energy and it would be very hard for me if I broke a hip or something like that. The weight training in particular, and I think Pilates too, helps. My bone density is not good but I hate to think what it might be if I hadn’t exercised. I can’t say that it’s improved. But at least it’s not really deteriorating as fast as I thought it would. “

She credits exercise and general good health habits for keeping her mind and body doing great all these years.

“You gotta exercise, you gotta watch your diet and you gotta stay active. I mean, it really isn’t that tricky. It’s just hard to do, but all of the research says the same thing in different ways. I can’t argue with it. I can only say it’s worked for me.” 

Even if you don’t exercise much now, it’s never too late to start. Susan also keeps following her interests, keeps writing, and spending time with family and pets to keep herself healthy. Check out her book for more information about how women can stay healthy and actively age

SeniorThrive! Is here to support you on your own personal journey of active aging. Let us know how we can help.


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