September is Healthy Aging Month, Karen Week from www.Elderwellness.net has gifted us with today's article to age gracefully as we grow wiser! Thanks Karen!
Age is only a number, right? Well, if we’re being honest, age is much more than that. It is
wrinkles. It is arthritis. But it is also perspective and acceptance of life’s ups and downs.
Aging for most means entering the retirement stage, which is like the pot of gold and the end of a life’s labor. This stage can be marked by a carefree attitude, ample time to spend with friends and loved ones, eye-opening travel, and an acceptance of aging which is nothing short of blissful. To maximise this bliss, it is wise for a senior to take on new hobbies to keep their mind sharp as they enjoy the twilight of life. Whether it means gardening, cycling, concert-going, or the countless other hobbies the world has to offer, keeping busy will help provide reward during life’s later years.
It doesn’t matter which stage of life you find yourself in. The first step to staying healthy is maintaining a nutrient-rich diet. The effects of diet on our physical health is well-known. However, as Mental Health Foundation explains, a poor diet can also increase the risk of mental health problems including depression and Alzheimer’s, among other.
Advanced age is already a risk factor for developing physical health issues, and maintaining peak mental acuity is only possible with a strong diet. The National Council on Aging recommends that seniors ingest plenty of fruits and vegetables as a staple of their diet. In addition, lean meats, seafood, eggs, and beans will provide ample protein to fuel the aging body. Lastly, whole grain foods and low-fat dairy products will serve to create a well-balanced diet for anybody, especially those with some tread on their tires.
You know the flip side to diet when it comes to staying healthy at any age: exercise. As the years pass, our bodies impose limits on us when it comes to exercising. We must abide by our bones and joints, so some activities are more suited to the senior exercise circuit than others.
Healthline cites some examples of light aerobic exercises that cater to an older demographic. Tai chi, various forms of dancing, light swimming, and fast-paced walking will get the aging heart pumping without overdoing it. Depending on age and fitness, sports such as tennis and golf may be a more competitive and fun way to stay in shape.
One increasingly popular option for exercise which has also been shown to improve mental clarity is yoga. Mind, Body, Green lists some of the anti-aging effects of regular yoga as enhanced balance, flexibility, strength, breathing, and body awareness. For older demographics, it may just be a way to break a sweat, but they will gain these additional benefits as a result of the occasional downward dogging.
Hobbies, Hobbies, Hobbies
Hobbies are another way for seniors to keep busy, exercising their mind while finding maximum pleasure during their ample downtime. For seniors who have a past plagued by addiction, aging can make them prone to slipping back into old habits. An abundance of hobbies will help ensure that their mind remains occupied by things other than drugs and alcohol.
A Place for Mom lists hobbies which are not too strenuous, including card games, volunteering, and arts and crafts including drawing and painting. For those looking for some higher-energy hobbies, gardening may be the ideal activity, as it promotes both mental and physical health and is downright fun. Finding a routine activity that can be truly enjoyed is just one key to aging gracefully.
The prospect of getting older is daunting for virtually everyone. Losing the cool factor, facing increased risk of health issues, and the decline of our youthful looks often loom larger than the benefits of getting older. However, the perks of aging can be many, and there is much we can do to make old age great again. If one continues to eat right, exercise, and occupy their time with worthwhile hobbies, the older years can easily become the golden years.