Let’s have an honest conversation about aging and growing old. I think it’s easy to have tunnel vision when it comes this topic. We have the tendency to limit aging to focus more on the next phase in our life instead of the overall big picture. So for us growing older means hitting common social norms such as finding a partner, establishing career, having children, enrolling the kids in school, sending kids off to college, making career advances, enjoying an empty nest, traveling and then finally retiring and joining the senior sect. Those are all landmarks on the road to becoming an older adult and it’s imperative that we stay engaged in setting ourselves up for a healthy and active future while we live through all of it.
I’m the first to admit that it’s not only overwhelming to think about but also a little bit scary. But the truth is that what you do today makes an impact on your future self. Here are some facts from getold.com:
– More than 10,000 people are expected to turn 65 every day through 2030
– By 2025, nearly half the U.S. adult population is expected to have at least one chronic condition
– Chronic diseases are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and many could be prevented or delayed through simple lifestyle changes
So I ask you this…when you turn 65 how do you want to look and feel? One of my favorite analogies is to think of your body like a car. You want to give it premium fuel so that it runs efficiently every day, regular tune ups so that it maintains its integrity over time and major overhauls and parts replacements when something needs to change to ensure the future life of the car. You can drive your car really hard, not bring it into the shop and have it break down at 75,000 miles or you can baby that thing and do all of the necessary upkeep and maintenance and drive it until it has hundreds of thousands of miles on it. It’s up to you. What do you do for your car to make sure that it stays on the road?
Here are five ways that I am taking care of myself now to promote graceful and healthy aging.
1. A Regular Yoga Practice
I practice yoga to maintain flexibility in my joints and in my mind. I love the quote, “Blessed are those who are flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” My yoga practice is something that sustains my body and mind. It has helped me in so many ways from dealing with injuries to reducing stress to improving my communication with others.
2. A Strong Skincare Regimen
If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you have read about my struggles with finding a skin care routine that works for me. Well, I finally did this year and I’m happy to report that in addition to wearing sunscreen daily, I am also using products that prevent and treat fine lines, lighten, tone and moisturize. I’m so happy with the appearance of my skin and to finally be on a regimen that works for me.
3. Cardiovascular Exercise and Lifting Weights
My grandmother is 82 years old and goes to the wellness center three times per week to workout. There is so much data out there that supports that working out and lifting weights supports the muscles and bone structure in meaningful ways.
“Exercise can partially reverse the effects of the aging process on physiological functions and preserve functional reserve in the elderly. Numerous studies have shown that maintaining a minimum quantity and quality of exercise decreases the risk of death, prevents the development of certain cancers, lowers the risk of osteoporosis and increases longevity.”
Yoga, weights and cardio for life!
4. A Healthy and Diverse Diet
In the last year I feel like I have finally really figured out how to fuel my body. I eat a diet heavy in lean proteins, healthy grains, fruits, veggies and dairy while enjoying the occasional splurge. I have never felt better…my digestion and gut health seem good and the foods I eat satisfy and sustain me through long days. Whenever possible I shop at the farmers market to stock up on local meats and produce. I also try to buy organic when possible.
5. Strong Connections with Friends and Family
I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for my relationships with family and friends. I am so blessed to have the sweetest and most supportive parents ever, a grandmother who has known just the right thing to say for the last 30 years and friends who truly, authentically care about me and my happiness and growth. Life is not always easy but those hard times are so much easier to tackle with an army of support behind you. What are you doing today to age gracefully and healthfully?
- Get Old is an initiative developed by Pfizer to challenge people of all ages to rethink what it means to Get Old and take a more active role in their health and quality of life at every age. Whether it’s through watching what you eat, physical exercise, spending time with family and friends or participating in an activity you’re passionate about — each of us has the power to decide for ourselves how we want to Get Old. It’s not just about living longer, but living better.
- What are you doing to Get Old well? Tells us at GetOld.com and join the conversation on Twitter.com/GetOld and Facebook.com/GetOld.
I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Pfizer and Get Old. I received compensation for this post. All opinions stated are my own.