Aging well is something you can start doing right now. Don’t let a number define you! Look at age as an invitation to complete a long-held desire or start a new adventure. You have unique skills, talents, and gifts. So don’t wait another minute: celebrate your place in the universe!
Tips for aging well
Harvard Health reports that regular exercise helps people age more slowly and live healthier, more vigorous, and longer lives. This is because physical activity can reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and even Alzheimer’s disease. Start slow, check with your physician, and get a friend to join you for a walk or a fun fitness class.
Find your “flock”… people who support and believe in you. Surround yourself with positive, interesting people and engage with them as often as possible. Having friends keeps you mentally sharp, motivated, and in better health than if you withdrew from the world. Your brain works better, your risk of disease is lower, and your mood is lighter—all vital for aging well.
Have a purpose
Many times, an older adult has spent a lifetime with very clear goals, such as raising a family or achieving success in a career. Then retirement comes along and that same person is struggling with the concept of having a purpose in life. Yet, this is the time when having a purpose and setting goals is very important for sound physical and mental health and key to aging well.
The secret is to realize you can have more than one purpose. For example, you might decide to finally write that memoir. Or put together a scrapbook of all your travels for your grandchildren.. It also could be something like boosting your relationships. Or enjoying each day to the fullest. Think of it as an engine within you that revs up every morning and gets you moving with gusto, giving you something to aim for as you greet those around you.
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Work your brain
Aging well means you never stop learning new things, such as a foreign language. The piano. Salsa dancing. A video game. Pick something that will be a challenge and jump right in. Do the crossword puzzle and brain teasers. Write your grocery list with your less-dominant hand. Tell yourself this is the year you read a book a week.
And remember, a healthy brain depends on a healthy body. That means maintaining a healthy diet, socializing, exercising, avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, and maintaining good cardiovascular health.
Sure, things change as the years go by. Maybe you can’t skydive or water-ski anymore (though we certainly aren’t limiting you!). But think of all the things you have done, the friends you have made and still have, the impact you have had on others’ lives. You’ve reached an exciting phase of life where you can reflect, mentor, create and discover new adventures.
Being grateful not only feels good, studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity, and that’s just for starters. Consider keeping a gratitude journal you can add to each day.
The New York Times reports that even just making small changes in your eating habits can lower your risk for many of the diseases associated with aging. These include losing a small amount of weight. Avoiding processed meat. Eating darkly colored fruits and vegetables (blueberries, blackberries, cherries, spinach, kale. Skipping packaged foods (but not nuts, eggs, olive oil or milk).
Awaken your zest for life and be open to what lies ahead. Now’s the time to embrace your creativity and see where the path ahead takes you. Be curious. Be enthusiastic. Be bold!
Choose senior living that is focused on your wellbeing
Choosing St. Mark Village gives you access to a full continuum of care: independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and in-patient rehabilitation. So no matter where you reside in our community, you benefit from the support, focus on total wellness, and strong social network that can lead to increased longevity. Plus, you have a plan that offers seamless access to future care options, something both you and your family can appreciate.