October 7, 2015

Essential Tips for How to Age Well

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We are not victims of aging, sickness and death. These are part of scenery, not the seer, who is immune to any form of change. This seer is the spirit, the expression of eternal being.

-Deepak Chopra

One of the greatest complements someone can give me is, “it seem like you’re just getting younger and younger the older you get.”  I love it.  3 years ago I was fat, unhappy and my health was in trouble, but getting old before my time was of no concern to me.  I ate and drank unhealthily like there was no tomorrow.  Looking back now, especially at photos, I cannot believe how nutrition and lifestyle can affect your “age.”  Here I am 3 years ago at my heaviest (115kg / 253 Lbs),

Gids

and here’s a photo of me earlier this year (2015)

Gideon Matapouri

Getting older is a part of life and takes a toll on the body, mind, and spirit.  No doubt about it.  However, you can age well and stay happy by following some simple advice from “experts” and people who are actually aging well themselves.  I completely believe the idea that for every result you want to create, someone else has already done it.  All you need to do is learn what they did (are doing) and replicate it for you own results.  So in this post I will share with you some Essential Tips for How to Age Well. 

1. Reduce the stress. Stress can sap your energy and affect your mood. Stress releases the hormone cortisol which is an emergency type hormone and isn’t supposed to be in your system for extended periods of time.  Living with stress will keep cortisol levels high which can age you before your time.  Experts recommend reducing the stress in your life by analysing the causes and doing something about them.

• What are the biggest causes of stress in your life? Is it an annoying relative or a difficult coworker? You may want to examine your life and look for the sources of stress. Once you find them, you can work on eliminating them or reducing contact with the people or things that create stress.

• Stress can affect you on a cellular level and age you.

2. Keep your mind active. One of the key factors to aging well is to have an active mind. From doing crossword puzzles, playing chess, to reading new books, you can keep your brain cells active.  Avoid the belief, I’m too old.” In fact, avoid people who talk like that, whether they’re 30 or 80 years old. They’re bad for your health!

• Try new activities that work your mind. This is an essential way to avoid boredom and find new experiences to share with others. For example, try learning a new language or cooking a different type of cuisine.

3. Exercise and stay in shape. Exercise is an essential part of aging well. It keeps your body healthy and helps the mind.  This includes and assumes eating and drinking healthily, and staying away from crap like cigarettes or too much caffeine.

• Exercise has multiple benefits including increased flexibility, improved circulation, and better muscle tone. Researchers have found that exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic health issues that make aging a difficult process.

4. Explore the world around you. As you age, it’s important to stay curious and involved in the world around you. Avoid boredom and depression by being involved.

• Travel is a popular hobby for retirees, but it’s not the only way to explore the world. If you’re on a limited budget and can’t travel, then consider taking a class about a different country. You can also read books, visit local community centers, and interact with immigrants from various countries.  Join some sports club and get involved with Masters competitors.  I had a guy take up sprinting (track and field) at age 55 recently. I’m coaching him before he competes and also prove the point that age is not a factor … unless you make it one.

5. Stay socially engaged. Isolation is one of the biggest issues of aging. As you get older, you may interact less with friends and family.

• Isolation is dangerous because it can have a negative impact on your health and lead to depression and anxiety.

• It’s important to stay involved in your community and social circle. Attend parties with friends, throw family reunions, or visit others. Your social network will help you stay engaged and happy.  I know people happy and healthy in their 90’s and they’re also quite incidentally some of the most social and involved people I know.

6. View aging from a different perspective. Your thoughts about aging can affect the quality of your life. Although aging involves changes, it also presents opportunities for growth and learning.  My uncle taught me many years ago that silver hair is a sign of wisdom and should be something to aspire to, not avoid or scoff at.

• Researchers note that senior citizens who have positive attitudes toward aging are less likely to have chronic health issues. Your attitude can affect your mind and your body, so pay attention to your thoughts.  Like I said earlier, people who complain about being too old are bad for you health … literally!

• Aging can bring the loss of loved ones, retirement from work, and other life transformations. However, the way you view these changes can have a great impact on your life. Instead of accepting limitations, you can search for ways to overcome them or get past them.

Aging doesn’t have to mean the end for fun or happiness in your life. You can age happily and successfully with a few adjustments, starting with you mind and habits.  This is your time to get out there and live the life you desire.  Why wait?  No one’s coming to get you. You need to step up and step out.  Stop using excuses and start creating results.  What can you do today to get off the couch and get back in the game?  I ask you whether you’re 30, 40 or 90 years old.  Remember, somewhere out there, there is someone just like you living the life and doing the stuff you’re only dreaming or talking about.  This is your time.  Make it happen.

Please leave your comments and questions below and I will personally respond to them.



Tags

how to age, how to age gracefully, how to age well


About the author
Gideon

Gideon is the creator of The Relationship Guy – a Top Marriage Coaching and Relationship Advice Blog that helps married couples create happier relationships. He is a trained professional counsellor and one of New Zealand’s top relationship bloggers. He’s been happily married for over fifteen years and is a dad of two.​ He also holds Bachelor and Master degrees in the field of Theology and is currently studying Psychology at Massey University.

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