Each day we are inundated by messages telling us to resist or avoid aging. The anti-aging movement is found in beauty products, foods, beverages, supplements and in information heard every day on television, social media and online.
Less commonly seen and heard is information that supports accepting the aging process as a normal, healthy part of life along with the inspiration to do it proudly and authentically.
Aging is a natural and unavoidable part of life. When the messages received are to avoid it all costs, or we only see examples of the aches, pains, or suffering…we lose sight of the possibilities and positivity of this phase.
Aging gracefully and healthfully requires care and attention. The following suggestions provide an excellent place to begin.
- Eat a diet based on fresh, whole foods such as the Mediterranean diet UNLESS you are managing a health challenge that requires a therapeutic-specific meal plan. Enjoy plenty (aim for 10 servings daily) of fresh fruits, vegetables and dark, leafy greens. Include whole grains, legumes, fish, lean meats, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, dark chocolate, and healthy fats such as olive oil. Avoid all processed foods, refined grains and refined sugars. These nutrient-devoid foods along with excess caffeine, alcohol, and salt contribute to aging and health problems by increasing inflammation in the body and brain. As aging occurs, thirst may diminish so it’s essential to drink ½ your body weight in pure water every day. Check with your nearest naturopath, acupuncturist, doctor, or chiropractor for specific aging well supplement recommendations.
- Move your body every single day for at least 30 minutes. If possible, outside in fresh air and sunshine. Walking, hiking, dancing, swimming, biking, lifting weights and yoga are all activities that support the mind and body. The adage “use it or lose it” is an excellent motto to subscribe to. You can always do something, and something is always better than nothing.
- Get plenty of proper rest. Nothing will age a person more quickly than short-changed sleep. And, nothing causes sleep issues more than an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise or drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed. If every time you sit down, get in a car or on a train you fall asleep consider that you may not be getting enough rest. If this happens even when you are sleeping 7-8 hours each night, it’s time for a trip to the doctor to see if there’s something preventing you from sleeping soundly or if there is an unseen medical issue impacting your energy.
- Find hobbies and activities that you LOVE. Continue setting goals and tapping into lifelong or new passions. Embrace a meaningful purpose for daily life. Volunteering is a fabulous way to increase a sense of gratitude, joy and connection to others.
- Train your brain. Crossword puzzles, word searches, sudoku, and other mind stimulating activities are excellent for keeping the brain in tip top shape. Other possibilities include listening to music, reading and learning a foreign language or new hobby. Focus on a positive mindset and attitude. Spend time considering all that’s going well in your life and the world at large.
Take each day as it comes, engage in habits that support you, and embrace the possibilities and freedom of the wonderful age you are.