No one enjoys talking about aging – it is the proverbial elephant in the room for many of us. And, unfortunately, there is no magic pill or creme that will stop it. It is something we all have to go through, but we don’t have to fall prey to negative thinking and an unhealthy lifestyle. There are so many ways to push away the ill-effects of aging, but you have to start as soon as possible. Though the choice to live a healthier life is a serving one at any age, I believe that the sooner you start these life-giving activities, the more benefit you will reap from them when you get to your golden years.
Eat and Supplement Well
Since food is the primary substance you put into your body, it can serve as a way to improve overall health or it can be the culprit that causes disease. This is one of those things that you need to pay attention to early in your life. The better you eat, the better you will feel as you age. Kick those junk foods to the curb and include fresh fruits and veggies in every meal if you can. Certain foods will help to keep your skin supple, your eyes sharp and your heart healthy. Things like fresh salmon, greens, berries, and a little bit of red wine can all help to keep your heart and digestive tract in good condition. Sweet potatoes and carrots also help to keep your skin firm. Though it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food, you sometimes need to add to your diet with supplements, especially if you have a deficiency. Blood work can tell you and your doctor exactly what you need or may be lacking in.
Drink More Red Wine
This is good news for anyone who loves vino! Drinking red wine in moderation can have positive effects on your health. Red wine helps to protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. It can also help to reduce bad cholesterol. This doesn’t mean that you can neck a whole bottle of red wine each night. As with everything, the benefits are only prevalent when wine is consumed in moderation.
Get Enough Exercise
As you get older, it is only natural for your body to slow down. However, taking care of your body through physical fitness helps you feel younger and stronger period, no matter what your age. Swimming is a great exercise as you get older because it has no impact on your joints and will not stress your body. Organized classes like Pilates or yoga are very beneficial for the aging and young alike. The important thing is to be responsible and talk to your doctor about any fitness programs you start. He or she can even recommend routines that will serve your lifestyle, age, and fitness level. Even better, consult a personal trainer who specializes in keeping the aging body in motion.
Talk To Your Doctor
Your body and mind changes with each year that passes. It is necessary to keep up with regular physicals, eye, dental, and screening tests. Don’t take anything for granted where your health is concerned. Tell you doctor about anything that doesn’t seem right or that you feel needs attention. He or she can also help you to come up with a health plan for the future as you move past middle age and into your senior years.
No matter how much you love your partner, you need to have time to yourself. Meditation, prayer, self-care, and hobbies are all activities that help you to know yourself better and may serve you more if done alone. Try to balance your time spent with others and that which you spend alone. Notice how it makes you feel when you are with people. Does it stress you? Do you get overwhelmed? And, how do you feel when you are alone? Does it give you peace? Experiment with this and go for a balance of both.
Keep Your Memory Sharp
How often do you go into a room and forget why? I do this all the time, and I’m only 49. Like muscles, the mind has to be exercised in order to stay fit and sharp. Continual learning and performing mental exercises will help you to keep your memory at its best. Games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles can help you flex your mind muscles in a fun way. There are also many mental agility programs online like Lumosity that are entertaining as well as beneficial to your brain health. If you feel that your memory is significantly worse than it should be, see your doctor.
Keep Up With Technology
Technology literally changes daily. Though it is nearly impossible for anyone to understand it all, unless you are an tech expert, you can master the basics. Computers, cell phones, social media and video games are all technologies that keep you informed, connected, and entertained. And, there is no reason that you should avoid these things just because of your age. Get your kids or grand-kids to tell you about any of the latest developments. If your children live far away from you, like mine do, Skype is a fantastic tool for staying in touch. You can video call them from anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection.
Plan For The Future
It is really important to put a plan in place for retirement. I recommend that, as soon as you can, start setting money aside where you won’t touch it until retirement. You should also start thinking about where you will live. If you are still living in your family home, you might find it to be too large for you to care for as you age. Can you downsize to a smaller home that is easier and costs less to maintain? Alternatively, consider retirement villages. Some offer social activities, where you can meet other retirees, and, depending on the village, you might have access to a swimming pool, walking trails, or gardens!
Plan To Keep Living!
Think about all the new and exciting things that you can do when you retire. The worst thing you can do is get to retirement and realize you are bored. Take some time to plan ahead. Maybe it is time to take that course you always talked about. Learn a new language or finish your degree. Or take some time to travel the world. Don’t lose your drive to live simply because you are older. The world awaits you!
***The content of this article is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your health care provider. Women’s Life Link, its authors, associates, linked sites, sponsors, and commentators do not claim that any of the content will diagnose or lead to a cure or improvement of any disease or condition.