Have you just turned 40 and started feeling like you’ve gone “over the hill”? Have you hit 62, retired and struggled with how to fill your time? Maybe you’re 70 and you want some simple ideas to help you feel better every day. Congratulations, welcome to active aging.
Coming to terms with your own aging is not an easy task, especially in a society that values young beauty so much. After all, billions of dollars are spent each year on personal products and procedures to maintain youthful appearances. It’s time to stop the vanity and start aging gracefully!
Aging gracefully means you accept who you are and learn to love your body. The best way to feel good at any age is to to embrace the idea of “active aging,” which means you keep your mind and body busy with things you enjoy doing. This can have a wonderful overall effect on your health, wellness and quality of life.
Here are three components of healthful active aging:
Exercise: Regular low-impact exercise is important as you age. Swimming is one example of a low-impact, full-body workout. Trampoline workouts for seniors are another example. Using a rebounder (mini-trampoline) encourages gentle, forgiving movements that eliminate joint and muscle stress. Start with just 5 minutes a day and increase as you build confidence. It’s so much fun, you might not even realizing you’re working out!
Mind: The mind needs exercise to stay healthy just as much as the body does. Simple daily activities like reading the paper or a book are great for working the mind. Thinking puzzles like crosswords, word jumbles and online mind exercise games are other great options. Playing music is also fantastic for engaging the mind, so maybe it’s time to rekindle your love for the piano or guitar!
Social: Personal interaction is part of what makes us human and it’s important to maintain social relationships to boost your overall wellness and happiness. Join a book, card or golf club. Create a knitting or painting group. Organize a weekly breakfast or dinner gathering at a local restaurant. Join a local gym and do swim aerobics! The sky is the limit for opportunities to get old and new friends together for social activities.
The important thing to remember is that even though your body might be feeling older, you are keeping the ‘active’ in active aging.