Growing older has its perks for sure... we tend to feel more grounded and appreciate the smaller things in life. If we are lucky enough, watch our grandchildren grow up and flourish and have enough money to enjoy retirement. But the big elephant in the room is the nagging changes that we start to experience as we age—sending us to the doctor on a more frequent basis and the worry of losing our mobility and independence, hence requiring a change of attitude from the days of our youth and even middle age. No longer are we invincible and immortal! Mindset is definitely one of the chief components to staying young at heart in mind and body... we just need to put it into a more realistic context and expectations.
Exercising the Body: Your body will age faster if you do not exercise! Living a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to your health—studies show that 'sitting is the new smoking.' A strong body can help to overcome some of the physical challenges that we face as we age. Weight training is considered to be vital in maintaining one's muscle mass, strength and endurance. Be sure to discuss a healthy workout plan with your doctor.
Exercising the Mind: Don't let your mind become inactive! Your mind needs nourishment just like your body. Especially as we get older, participating in mind engaging activities, such as puzzles (crossword or jigsaw), card games, listening to music, reading or writing will help keep the mind active. Consider writing a memoir—it's a great way to take a trip down memory lane. And if your mind is active, you will not likely focus as much on the some of the difficulties you may be experiencing, both physically and mentally.
Finding New Hobbies: Why not try something new? Much like keeping your mind active with reading, games, puzzles, etc., engaging in a new hobby, such as gardening or taking an art class, can stimulate different areas of the brain that may otherwise lay dormant. Whether you still live independently or live in an assisted living community, starting a new hobby can be quite exciting.
Traveling: Want to go on trip? Why not! Traveling doesn't necessarily mean you have to take a plane trip to a far away place. There are several travel companies that plan daily or multiple day trips where you can see and experience things outside your immediate world. Most are sensitive to those with physical limitations, such as getting on and off a bus or walking for any distances, making it possible for most to take a trip. In addition, these outings are great for socializing, staying active and feeling young at heart!
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