Aging with Grace
Getting older isn’t getting any easier. Every day there is a new pandemic to face or a new commercial for medication that looks more like an advertisement for a weekend retreat than a health service. Either way, aging is something that we all try to do gracefully, though there may be some stumbling blocks along the way - the wrong pillow or trying to do that high school cartwheel. Whatever that hurdle is, there are some simple tasks that you can do each day to help ward off the aches and pains of getting older.
This may get harder as mobility decreases, but trying to stay active is paramount for a healthier life in your “golden years”. Depending on your ability, simple activities such as a brisk walk or seated leg raises can get your heart pumping, blood flowing, and your energy rising. As you get older, it is important to continue to speak with your health care provider about what exercise program is appropriate.
Continually speaking with your health care provider is extremely important, no matter your age but even more important as you get older. Make sure you schedule a yearly or bi-yearly check-up, depending on the advice of your doctor, and make sure you do not ignore any symptoms or irregularities.
Not only should you keep your body active but your mind as well. As we get older, it is just as important to continually exercise your brain - crossword puzzles are obvious, try taking a class at the local recreation center or community college. Keeping your mind engaged and learning new skills helps to keep your brain functioning at peak performance.
As we get older, it becomes harder and harder to spend time together; however, fight the urge to stay inside. Make that phone call or send that text message - reach out to friends and family. Schedule a weekly video call with your good friend or a bi-weekly dinner date. As everyone gets older, it is harder and harder to make time to see friends and family. It may be difficult but it is worth it - every hug, every smile, every laugh - time with loved ones is irreplaceable.
Probably one of the hardest things to do on this list is to stay positive. No matter what life may throw your way, staying positive not only helps your mind but your body as well. Many people think that negativity affects your health just as much as it affects your mind, causing illness and pain. Choosing to remain positive can reshape your mind no matter your age. Choose to laugh often and smile daily - even getting a calendar of daily positive/ inspirational quotes or affirmations can help direct your day in a positive way. If it seems a little harder, try meditation and create a designated area that becomes known as your “happy place”.
As much as we want, we can’t stop time but we can stop the effects it has on our minds and body. While again is inevitable and going to happen whether we like it or not, we can take control as long as we stay active, informed, curious, connected, and most of all, positive.