It is easy to fall into the mind-set that ‘there is nothing good about getting old’, but in reality, ageing doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. It can be liberating!
Ageing, brings with it wisdom and life-experience. Hopefully you no longer fret about the things you used too, and now have a sense of confidence in who you are, and what you want to get out of life…
Tricks to Ageing Well
But there is no doubt that some people age better than others – so, just what are the tricks to ageing well?
- I’m sure you won’t be surprised to read that exercise is a key factor. Many of us drop exercise after school – getting busy with life, work, kids et al. But it is now time to fall back in love with getting fit! The secret is to find something you love to do – cycling, yoga, jogging – it doesn’t have to be slaving away at the gym. If you need more motivation – put very simply those that do regular activity lower their risk of dying! Weight, inflammation, blood pressure, sugar levels etc are all helped by physical activity – essentially all of the precursors to serious diseases.
- Of course, you knew that diet would follow exercise! There are many schools of thought out there, but Mediterranean regularly tops the bill when it comes to good health long-term. An everything in moderation approach, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, olive oils, pulses and small amounts of protein including some oily fish. Be careful of salt, alcohol and processed foods and you will be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Reducing your risk of diseases like diabetes, heart attacks and more.
- You cannot underestimate the power of sleep. We age better from a cognitive perspective if we get decent quality and quantity of sleep. Poor sleep is implicated in many conditions like depression, obesity, anxiety, even some cancers. The best place to start is a good sleep routine. Exercising helps (but not too close to bed-time). Take a nap in the afternoon if you need to – but only for a short time. Look at meal times. Look at caffeine/alcohol intake. Look at blue light (mobiles in the bedroom). Consider bedding and temperature. You can even try scheduling your sleep by looking at when you need to wake, and work backwards in 90 minutes increments (the sleep cycle). Establishing a wind down pattern can also help.
- The last thing might not be so obvious, but it is all about being fully engaged with your life. Relationships with family, colleagues, friends are very important. Social engagement can dwindle as we age, leading to isolation and feelings of despair. Stimulating the brain is also very important. Just like with exercise it’s all about finding what you like – hobbies, travel, learning new things are all highly valuable. A purpose in life is essential at all ages, think volunteering or leading a group or class in a topic you are well versed in. Take up creative pursuits. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone can do wonders for your body and mind. Even getting a pet, and caring for others can be highly beneficial and rewarding.
Winning mind-sets really set those that age-well apart from others. Be optimistic, be grateful, laugh often – it really is the best medicine!Tweet