Aging is inevitable—if we’re fortunate. We get a little bit older every day, and that’s a good thing. But do you let your age define you? Or do you define your age? Wellness Warriors, you know that I firmly believe that we should live well, and in doing so, I believe we will define our age. In fact, I think we can defy our age and be the best version of ourselves.
But what are the best ways to do that? Every day, I practice several things to be the definer my age. Here are five things you can do to live well, live long, and defy your age.
Stay Young at Heart
Staying young at heart has less to do with your physical heart and more about your mindset and attitude—what you believe, how you act. Do you believe you can take positive steps to stay young? Or is feeling old just natural because you've hit a certain age? Our attitudes about aging play a considerable part in our defining our age.
One thing that will help us maintain a healthy mindset and attitude is to focus on positive things. I know there’s a lot to be negative about right now, but thinking positively, finding the good in the bad, and choosing to speak from a grateful place are all key ways to feeling younger. And let’s face it, smile wrinkles are more attractive than frown wrinkles.
Staying young at heart also has to do with your brain health. While there are numerous ways to keep your brain sharp—and I’ve written about many—here I want to suggest a key to keeping your mind young is constantly engaging your brain in new activities. Playing games such as Scrabble, chess, and Sudoku or doing crossword puzzles will keep your mind sharp. Maybe try something that you’ve always been afraid of, like going up on stage and performing, singing, public speaking, or maybe acting. It will make you feel excited and alive!
Other things you can do include reading, attending live events like lectures, concerts, or the theatre. You can even choose to learn something new or to improve your skills, like learning a new language, taking a cooking course or an art class, or learning to play an instrument. Anything that continually stimulates your mind and keeps you learning is helpful to your brain.
So, keep your brain active and your attitude positive!
Exercise & Movement
Exercise gives us a sense of well-being. As I walk through any of our Aegis Living facilities, I can always tell who among our residents are lifelong exercisers. How? Easy. They stand taller, walk effortlessly, and look 10 years younger than those who don't. They just have a youthful manner that comes with looking and feeling well. These are just a few reasons to include regular exercise in our toolkit of natural age-defiers!
Having a regular workout routine can help you feel 10, 20 or even 30 years younger! I've noted in numerous articles the benefits of regular exercise, but I particularly recommend these to defy the aging process:
Aerobic activities – Getting your body moving and your heart pumping is great for your heart and lungs. It also aids in digestion, helps reduce anxiety and stress, and enhances the quality of our sleep. Great forms of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, cycling, swimming, and aerobics classes.
Strength training – I’m not talking about lifting major weights—although I certainly enjoy weightlifting—but using dumbbells and incorporating squats, lunges, and calf raises will help strengthen your muscles, make you less prone to injuries, and build up your stamina.
Movement activities – If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge proponent of simply moving. Sitting too much is linked to numerous diseases, including both heart disease and obesity. Between our sedentary lifestyles and use of electronics for work and entertainment, we have the unfortunate perfect combination to speed up the aging process, as noted in a recent study published by the University of California, San Diego. So, get moving! Try activities, such as golfing, tennis, gardening, bowling, or ballroom dancing. These involve both physical and mental stimulation, keeping both our bodies and minds young.
Next week, I will share the remaining three things I do to stay young! Until then, Wellness
Warriors, Live Well, Live Long!