The quote “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” is usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin. It is certainly true that death is one of the two major things you can be sure of. Firstly, that in time we will all die. Secondly we all have to face the problems of getting older. However how aging affects your life often depends on how you approach it. Here are some things about the aging process that will help you understand what it will mean for you.
Don’t focus on how aging affects your life negatively
As curious as it sounds, one of the best things you can do is to stop worrying about it. Let your doctor monitor your age, weight and height at your regular health checkups. That is their job. If you spend your time worrying about a couple of extra pounds then you will make yourself miserable. Also there are bound to be things that are harder as you get older but there are a lot of benefits also. If you approach aging with a positive attitude and make small changes you will have the best chance of aging well.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t give up on looking after your health. You may even want to increase the time and effort you dedicate to your exercise routine. When the body ages, you want to stay active so your body remains strong. You may need to change your activities.
Walking is often overlooked but a thirty-minute walk is a very good way to stay fit. You can definitely walk yourself to fitness. Try to walk at a fast pace. You should be able to talk but not sing. If you walk at least 5 days a week you will feel the benefits.
Walking will help your aerobic fitness but you need to do some strength exercises as well, preferably twice per week. If you don’t have weights at home, you can improvise and use some cans of food or water bottles.
This combination of walking and strength exercises will help you maintain a strong healthy body and keep you feeling young.
One of the risks of aging is that we sometimes can find ourselves alone. Children may have grown up and left home, and partners and friends may have died. You are never too old to make new friends. New friends can brighten your life especially if you combine it with trying new things. Take up a new hobby and you will keep your mind active and meet new people.
Once your children leave the house, and you retire, you should consider picking up an old hobby that you used to really enjoy. Alternatively there may be something you always wanted to try but never had time for prior to retirement. Having hobbies keep you motivated and active and also get you out of your home.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping is important at all stages of life including our older years. You may find you need slightly less but everyone is different. Aim for seven to eight hours a night. Lack of quality sleep can trigger many health problems, from depression to heart disease.
Make your home your castle
One of the advantages of aging is that you may well be settled in your home. If your kids have left home then you can take the opportunity to really make your home your own style. This will ensure that you can relax fully. Living in your home should be a joy and comfort.
Eventually you may find yourself needing help. You may just need a home help to visit you but eventually you may need to admit that you need more help to look after yourself. If you have to enter a nursing home then there are many homes to choose from.
The best care homes will offer help with daily living without completely robbing you of your autonomy. Caring, experienced health care professionals can help with chores and maintenance that you might otherwise neglect. It’s still important to personalize your room as much as possible to make it feel like home.
Look after your eyes
Take care of your eyes as you grow older. Some deterioration in eyesight is inevitable as you grow older, but you can be proactive in preventing damaging eye disease with regular eye exams and screenings. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in people over age 60. It happens when the small central portion of your retina, called the macula, wears down. It is important that this is detected early so you want to have annual eye examinations.
Laugh and have fun
Studies have linked smiling and laughing as natural antidepressants. Laughing even for no reason can trick your body into producing feel good hormones. Smiling and laughing can help keep you looking and feeling younger. Laughter lines at the sides of the eyes are not a bad thing. Laughing exercises your facial muscles and can help prevent wrinkle production.
So spend as much time as possible doing things you enjoy with people who make you laugh. Don’t hang around with negative people who are always complaining. Have lots of fun! Age has its privileges, and you should focus on them rather than worrying about lost youth. It has been said that “youth is wasted on the young”.
You won’t need to worry how aging affects your life if you are too busy having fun. Look for ways to enjoy every day and to make the most out of anything life brings.
Consider your hormones
Hormone production can be thrown out of sync when we age. An imbalance of hormones can cause weight gain, insomnia, and even depression as we age. All three of these problems will lead to additional problems that will really compound the negative impact of aging. If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor to check your hormone balance. Many problems can be easily remedied to make the aging process a much more pleasant experience.
The obvious hormone change comes from the menopause. This can cause mental problems in addition to physical changes. It is the time when we need to face the fact that our child bearing potential has gone. Some people find this depressing but there are advantages. Eventually you will no longer need to worry about contraception and sex in older years can be better than ever.
For men, a decrease in testosterone can cause distress and is something else to discuss with your doctor.
Hypothyroidism is another problem that can affect us all. If you are gaining weight despite dieting, and feeling tired you should get your thyroid levels checked.
Eat a sensible diet. Aim for a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of fats and sugars. Eating the right food will make your mind and body healthier, and keep you going throughout the day.
If you find your appetite has decreased then concentrate on finding highly nutritious foods that you enjoy.
Look after your money
Aging and our retirement years can offer many opportunities. You will have more time to travel or take up new hobbies. You should get your finances in order before retirement. Setting up a regular savings plan and learning to budget early in life can lead to a much better retirement. You want enough money saved up in order to pay for any emergency health problems that arise but also to pay for little luxuries.
If you haven’t made provision for a secure financial position beforehand then you should consider ways to make money in retirement. You are never too old to make money from home. You may be able to monetize a skill you already have our learn something completely new.
Concentrate on how aging affects your life positively
Aging can be a positive experience if you are willing to see the benefits. A positive outlook has been shown to have health benefits.
Time and tide wait for no man. We all get a bit older every day and there isn’t anything we can do to stop it. Just make sure that you’re also getting wiser as you get older. Aging is something that is completely unavoidable but can be a positive and enjoyable time of your life.
Less responsibility for other people, more time to do what you want and hopefully the time, energy and money to enjoy life. I have heard it said that life is like a game. But the problem is just when you learn the rules, you are too late to play the game. Well don’t let that be true. You are never too old to enjoy yourself. I prefer the adage that youth is wasted on the young.
Use the tips provided above to ensure that you stand the best chance to age well and avoid complications. Remember that little changes can make a big difference. Once you understand how aging affects your life you will be better equipped to make it a positive experience.