We can all work our magic at ageing better today
We want to live long enough to see our kids grow up, spend time with the ones we love and enjoy life.
Life is filled with moments of stress, working days and then trying to add a bit of laughter as often as possible.
Throw in a pandemic, and you can sometimes have a bit of a turbulent time. But, give or take, it always balances itself out. If you think about it, the bad and good eventually ends for the next transition to come along. This year has been pretty hard on me with my mum’s cancer journey and her passing away at home with us after fighting for six months. I’m a good fighter — I like to fight until the end, even when everyone else around me has given up. But, unfortunately, that’s not always possible when dealing with cancer — the disease is always the one in control. Death of a loved one and going through the whole transition of sickness up until death can take its toll. But, heck, life takes its toll, and now I feel that the end is near, and the new year is beginning with a more positive outlook. Have I aged a lot more than expected? Well, yes and no. But as Napoleon Hill always says, “we swap age for wisdom.” Eventually, we all have to do this and become more comfortable with those life lesson swaps. You can’t have one without the other. But life doesn’t have to be all that serious — it’s meant to be fun sometimes. Ok, it’s meant to be fun more than it should be boring and mundane. Yes, we all have to work for a living and put up with a bit of crap here and there, but we can all take some easy steps to ensure we age well and indulge just a little.
One: Be part of a loving community
You can quickly become isolated if you are alone — or perhaps isolated because your life consists of working every day and then home to sit in front of the TV. What’s in the middle then?It can’t always be housework, chores, cooking and shopping. Human connections are what we all crave. It keeps us healthy, positive and also allows us to build loving and lasting friendships with people. But, conversely, your health will become compromised if you experience a lot of isolation or are deprived of connection. It will pay off in droves — as those with satisfying and healthy relationships tend to be healthier and live a lot longer. So get out there, volunteer, get into a sport you love, or coach kids’ sports. There will be endless opportunities to meet and connect with a lot of people. A heart service — such as volunteering or coaching, will provide you with a sense of satisfaction and purpose. Sometimes that can be missing from our lives and is quickly filled.
Two: Lifting weights regularly
This is one of my favourite age well techniques — especially lifting weights. Walking and HIIT is excellent — don’t get me wrong, but weight training changes our body shape and our inner wellbeing at the same time. When you use the resistance of weights, you build strength, mobility and balance. All of these are very important as we age, as we become a lot more susceptible to falls, breaking or fracturing bones and even losing that precious muscle. It could lead to a decline in our resting metabolic rate- leading to weight gain. So not only will you become stronger, but your quality of life will also increase.
Three: Avoid processed food and eat more plants
Processed meats, foods and anything that takes months (or even years) to deteriorate is terrible for your health. What about all the chemicals you are eating that aids in the shelf life. Although these foods are very convenient for almost everyone, in the long run, they cause health issues. The U.S Department of Defence found that following a plant-based diet for just three months significantly increased telomeres and helped slow or reverse the ageing process. Plant foods are also naturally lower in calories and filled with nutrients. So eating lots of them in a meal, whole grains and legumes will create a more nourishing and nutritious environment for your cells. All those antioxidants and flavonoid’s aid in keeping ageing at bay — or better still, keeping that age-related disease away. Go ahead and fill that plate with as many plants as you can.
Four: Get some sleep
It’s not always easy to get the necessary amount of sleep, but it rejuvenates and repairs the body’s cells. You will also have less puffy and dark circled eyes — which in themselves can make you look a lot older than what you are. When we don’t sleep enough (and maybe not drink water either), we increase the likelihood of developing more profound and more visible wrinkles. This could also result from the lack of collagen production during sleep.
Five: Regular meditation and yoga
Meditation and yoga do something extra special for us that other exercise doesn’t quite measure up. It decreases stress and improves our moods. Deep breathing, stretches, and mindfulness all play a part in helping you open your heart and become centred. This produces a more calm and attractive external look, often accompanied by less frowning too. (saving you that botox bill!) Although we can’t avoid stress, we can control the way we react to it, decreasing the likelihood of lowering our energy and increasing those fine lines and greys.
Now, we can’t always be perfect and do everything on this list BUT, we can do our absolute best to eat well, exercise and have fun with some people they care about. It doesn’t take much out of life — it just takes time to add it into our overfull scheduler budget. As I always say, short term pain is for long term gain. If you would like to read more articles like this or start writing your own, please sign up via my link. I’d love to see you on the other side. Sign up here for your medium subscription