All too often, we seniors can be bogged down by stereotypes that affect positive aging. We hear things like we’re growing weaker, our minds are withering away, we’re “too old” for this or that. Heck, even a playful jab from a son or grandson about how we’re growing “senile” can resonate with us. And we here at Senior Fitness Group want to set things straight.
First of all, you cannot avoid/control aging. If you’re anything like the rest of us, then you have that friend or acquaintance you grew up with that’s 60 but doesn’t look 60. That, or at the very least, you’re wondering how George Clooney looks as good as he does at 52. So, let’s stop you right there, everyone ages differently and whether others continue to look young is rarely up to them. In many cases, wrinkles come from your climate, where you live, how much stress you’ve undergone, how many children you’ve had, etc., etc. Some people turn to face lifts and plastic surgery, but why should you mask your age? Part of positive aging is acceptance and more and more, the causes of unhealthy lifestyles are due to thinking of your life like a line graph that peaks in the middle and goes down. Truthfully, you should always view your life as a line that is continually rising to its peak.
Healthy Tips for Positive Aging
- Avoid Walkers/Canes/Wheelchairs
There will be times where it may be tough to get around without a walking aid – that much is certain – but the sooner you choose to use one of these devices, the sooner your body will deteriorate. Using a walker puts the pressure off your body, so it won’t increase muscle mass and your bones won’t strengthen, instead you will actually start on a downhill.
We know it can be hard and yes, eventually you may need a walking aid, but put it off for as long as you possibly can and be proud of that achievement.
- Set Goals
So much of positive aging is about your mindset. Again, when you think of your life as going downhill, the battle is already lost. By setting goals, you set markers for the future and continue to look ahead; it’s something to look forward to and a reason to get up every morning. It allows you to reevaluate yourself and say, “What steps am I taking to reach this goal today?”
- Feel Young
If you start feeling the urge to be a crotchety old geezer who sits on their porch and preaches to teenage neighbors about how their music is too loud, then that’s just a negative mentality. Enjoy life! If you’re only as young as you feel, then feel young. Enjoy the swings at the park, find the pleasures of having a picnic, go to Disneyland. Even if you’re living in a senior housing community, many provide transport to wherever you want to go.
- Don’t Let Your Health Weigh You Down
Finally, perhaps the most important tip we can provide for positive aging is not to let illnesses or diseases get the better of you. You may even be shocked to learn that an optimistic attitude actually causes better health! So get out and get involved. If the doctor can’t get back to you in two weeks, don’t dwell on it – live how you would as if you didn’t have a care.