How to Age Well: Growing Old Gracefully; Diminishing sight, loss of hearing, and frailty are just a few experiences some older people are faced with. However, apart from natural degenerative physical conditions which accompany growing old, there are also a number of lifestyle choices that can assist with slowing down what some people may experience as a rapid aging process.
The key to aging well, is to look after yourself throughout your life, both physically and mentally. In doing so, not only will you age gracefully, but due to your preserved health, you will be in a position to enjoy the benefits that start at the pension age (including your free bus pass; the loss of your work alarm clock; and the fact that your children and grandchildren are hopefully fending for themselves, giving you the freedom to once again do as you please).
However, looking after yourself is easier said than done. At a young age you may have never envisaged growing old, or may have taken life for granted, simply living for the moment. The fact that life is so unpredictable, and that you are unsure as to how long you will be here, who could blame you. However, if you are fortunate enough to reach the mature stage of your life, which would you prefer, enjoying it with or without good health?
Minimise Stress – Growing Old Gracefully
The key to aging well is to minimise the amount of stress you face throughout your life. Although there is no way to limit all stress, and the fact that some stress is actually good for you, it would be naïve to think that you could experience life without it. However there are certain things that people do stress about, when in fact they have no control over the outcome whether or not they had taken this stress onboard.
The key here is to enjoy life, work hard, play hard, and rest harder. The human body needs rest for recovery. Sleep is a key to this, and getting consecutive good nights’ sleep will assist with the aging process.
Another key to minimising the stress on your body is relaxation. Go abroad; get a holiday, and take in some sun. Not only will you be able to experience different cultures, and enjoy favourable weather, but by going away, you are taking yourself away from your ‘normal’ everyday stresses of life.
Plenty of Exercise – Growing Old Gracefully
Exercise can not only alleviate stress, and help with your mental health through the release of endorphins, it will also keep you in good physical shape upon entering, and during your mature/ golden stage of life.
As a guide, The American College of Sports Medicine provides guidance to include 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week of moderately intense cardio, or 20 minutes, 3 days a week of vigorously intense cardio. You can consult your sports medicine doctor for an exercise or fitness program that would best suit you.
A key part of exercise and fitness includes diet, therefore be kind as to what enters your body. Go easy on alcohol, cigarettes and fatty foods, try to avoid other drugs and things that may harm your body and have a lasting effect, and as stated above be sure to get plenty of rest. The general rule is that the more you exercise the more rest you should take.