Aging Gracefully is All About Making the Right Choices
Aging is an inevitable part of every human being’s life; it cannot be reversed, only embraced. Whether people choose to age in the comfort of their homes or the secure environment of senior living communities, the effects of this phenomenon extend beyond changes in skin and hair color. Here are a few tips on aging with grace and becoming an inspiration for those who will follow suit in the near or distant future.
Looking Elegant and Staying Healthy as the Years Roll By
How do Helen Mirren, Jimmy Carter and Barbara Bush do it? All three celebrities have shown us that beauty doesn’t fade with age but acquires greater character. But it doesn’t come naturally – you have to work towards it by making intelligent choices.
The basics – sleep well, exercise, eat and drink in moderation and get medical check-ups every year – apply to all adults. Here are some useful tips to stay healthy as you age:
• Aerobic exercise should be part of your workout regimen. About 40 minutes of aerobic exercises three or four times a week will keep your figure lithe, your heart young and your brain active.
• Stick to a Mediterranean diet as much as you can. This means loading up on the veggies and cooking with olive oil instead of butter.
• If you’re a smoker, try to limit lighting up often or give up the habit all together. One drink a day (preferably wine, light beer is okay too) for women and two for women is just about right – avoid over-indulging in hard drinks.
• Try to get at least 6 hours of restful sleep every night – it can work wonders on your mental and physical state.
• Keep stress and worries at bay as much you can. Emotional ups and downs, and depression can work overtime on your brain and destroy your will-power to age gracefully.
• Take care to ensure that your muscle mass is healthy. Eat calcium and vitamin rich foods that protect your bones and joints.
• Dress elegantly in classic outfits that are in keeping with your age and body type. Don’t be scared to experiment with the current styles, but avoid going overboard or opt for clothes, shoes or accessories that your daughter or grand-daughter is more likely to wear. A chic, short haircut for women and a clean-shaven look or well-trimmed moustache/beard for men, will look classy and add gravitas.
Socialize, Participate, Learn and Contribute
Multiple studies have shown that individuals who are social and have a healthy network of friends have a lower risk of suffering dementia and tend to score high on intelligence tests. Keep in touch with friends, plan lunch dates, throw parties and go on fun picnics. You’ll feel refreshed, energized and happy – it’ll keep those wrinkles, worry lines and crow’s feet away!
Mental health experts emphasize the importance that an active brain plays in keeping mental illnesses away or at least slowing their onset. There are many ways to keep your brain active – from word games and Sudoku to learning to play a musical instrument or starting your own painting/arts and crafts project.
Participate in community activities and volunteer programs that keep you busy and give your brain a good workout. If you have any special skills or ideas that you’d like to share, do your bit for a community project or a charity drive.
Set goals and work towards them
In what way do you envision yourself ageing gracefully? Answer this question, set goals and work to accomplish them. Welcome each passing year with dignity, spirit and humor.