If you’re like me, time seems to go by faster and I get less accomplished every day. Slowing down physically and mentally seems to come with the aging process but we can have some effect on the speed of this process by choosing to change how we approach aging.
Aging and health are of vital importance to me. Here’s my approach to aging: picture your lifestyle as a career and the areas that require constant attention or work usually become apparent fairly quickly.
Attitude toward aging
Our approach to aging effects our entire lifestyle as we move into the retirement age. How can we control how we look at growing older? Here’s some tips I’ve found helpful as I walk through this process.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Limit your daily contact with negative personalities. Keep conversations upbeat and positive and it may just rub off on some naysayers in your circle.
- Do some research – many articles have been written on ways to keep your outlook on the aging process positive.
- Volunteering is one of the most rewarding ways to get positive feedback in your life. Find a group that sponsors or needs volunteers in an area your passionate about. It will never feel like work and you will be providing an organization with much-needed help.
Food and the aging process
Growing up for me, on a farm we shared with my grandparents, revolved in many ways around everyday meals. We gathered together for noon or evening meals during the workdays. Not only was this a social time for us to share our day with family members but also a building block for my future food habits.
Aging and health requires me to make changes in my lifetime eating habits which is not easy and is an ongoing effort every day.
- Keep track of your food intake for a week or a month – how long depends on how much data you want to work with
- Take your food log and add in calorie and nutrient values. This give you a basis to launch your changes from.
- Then make a meal plan that focuses on limiting the “unhealthy” foods and replaces them with “healthy” alternatives.
Small changes in your food habits can make big changes in your well-being and usually makes it easier to keep them for life.
Yes – we need to exercise
As we age, we need to change how we view exercise and movement in general. Any amount of time we are active during the day is beneficial to our overall health. Exercise is a vital part of the aging process but it doesn’t have to bring out those depressing thoughts. Take a positive view towards getting more physical exercise every day.
- Find what works best for you – a structured exercise program or your own plan where every day is a new plan – but do make a plan.
- Gyms and health clubs – if this option appeals to you – sign up for a class in your age group. Most classes run for several weeks so this should give you enough time to evaluate its value to your goals. If you look forward to going to the class, that’s a huge positive value – sometimes the best value is in the actual feeling we get by simply going to the class and not in the physical result. Make sure you give both mental and physical value to the class when making your decision to stay or look for something else.
- Include your grandchildren and friends if they live nearby. I know when I am able to spend a couple of days with my grand kids I get plenty of exercise and enjoy every minute of it. Never feels like exercise when I walk to the park or push the swing – higher!
Consistent exercise is not only physically beneficial but can be greatly beneficial for our mental well-being.
How do we keep our brains functioning at full capacity as we age? Lots of research has been done on this topic so there are many different approaches. Use all the resources available to you as knowledge is power here!
- Keep up on new developments and findings in the research of aging.
- Have conversations – speaking stimulates brain functions.
- Share life stories and events with friends and family. Research shows remembering past experiences and new ones use different areas of the brain. We need to keep our brains working every day to their fullest.
With today’s technology, it’s easier to keep in contact with friends and family. It’s also a great way to stretch your mind with brain teasers, puzzles and some games. These are not all for the younger generation, find some that interest you and join in.
The average life span has lengthened due to new medical discoveries and modern technology. Our aging and health is not only big business in our economy it is important business to each one of us. The saying is “you are only as old as you feel” – and I want to continue feeling “young” well into my retirement years. Take a look at your approach to aging and make sure it includes healthy habits.